Riverside Studios were primarily television studios on Crisp Road in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. They were the principal, though not exclusive, home to studio recording for Doctor Who from the second to the early fourth seasons of the original run. They are perhaps most significant to historians of the programme as the location where the first regeneration scene was filmed.

Site history[edit | edit source]

Riverside's buildings were not originally meant for film or video production. Instead, they were constructed in 1903 as industrial space. It was only in 1933 that the site gave up its industrial roots and was converted into a film studio by Triumph Film Company. For the next twenty-one years, the studios passed through a succession of moderately successful film producers. Perhaps the most famous movie produced at the site was the Academy Award-winning, The Seventh Veil. In 1954 the studios were used for the final time as a film studio to produce the Alec Guinness film, Father Brown (USA: The Detective). Like nearby Lime Grove Studios, Riverside was then acquired by the BBC as a "temporary" solution to its recording needs whilst BBC Television Centre was being built.[1] Also like Lime Grove, it was used far after the 1960 opening of the TC.

However, unlike Lime Grove, it was regarded as a superior recording space. In the run-up to the opening of the TC, Riverside was the premiere recording space that the BBC operated. It was particularly important to the development of colour broadcasting and the ADR process.[2]

By the mid-1970s, Riverside was no longer required by the BBC, as TC was fully operational. The studios then became administered by local government, the object of a Trust set up by the Hammersmith Borough Council. It underwent massive refurbishment between 1975-78, and thereafter became mostly a performing arts facility. However, by the mid-90s, it could no longer financially survive as a venue for live performance. It refurbished Studio 1 (the main location at which Doctor Who and others had been recorded in the 1960s) and re-entered the television market. One of its more important television residents in recent years was the award-winning late night programme, TFI Friday — a show that brought a Ron Grainer theme tune back to Riverside.

Stories filmed at Studio 1[edit | edit source]

Of the three studios, Studio 1 has always been the biggest and most well-equipped. Thus to speak of "Riverside Studios" in the context of Doctor Who really means "Riverside 1".

Season 2[edit | edit source]

Season 3[edit | edit source]

Season 4[edit | edit source]

Season 5[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Barfe, Louis. "Television Gets a Complex". EMC Studio One. Transdiffusion Broadcasting System. 1 January 2005.
  2. The Riverside Story: a timeline
  3. Shannon Sullivan's exploration of The Wheel in Space
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