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Taylor, discussing his role in filming The Unicorn and the Wasp on Confidential

Rory Taylor was one of the two directors of photography during the David Tennant era of Doctor Who. He began his cinematographic career on Doctor Who with Tooth and Claw. From then he alternated credit with Christopher Eccleston's only cinematographer, Ernie Vincze. He was also, as the need arose, a camera operator on productions overseen by Vincze. While he did not work on any episodes during Matt Smith's era of the show, Taylor subsequently returned to the series in 2014 for the two-part Series 8 finale.

He was also the cinematographer for Torchwood: Children of Earth and various episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Stylistic choices on Doctor Who[]

Joining in the second series of BBC Wales' Doctor Who, Taylor's most obvious contribution was in pushing episodes towards warmer colours. This shift was particularly noticeable in interior TARDIS scenes. Perhaps the clearest example is the short scene where Donna Noble and the Tenth Doctor initially meet. Vincze had lit the original take of the scene in Doomsday, but Taylor was The Runaway Bride's director of photography. Because Vincze preferred to use gels that cast the set in blues and greens — and because Vincze tended to light for heavy areas of shadow in the console room — it would not have been possible for the production team to simply "lift" the scene from Doomsday and insert it into Bride, particularly because so much of the story was TARDIS-bound.

Bride's director Euros Lyn was obliged to re-shoot the entire scene with Taylor's preferred lighting, matching it shot-for-shot with Graeme Harper's work on Doomsday.

This un-retouched comparison of the work of Taylor and Vincze shows the two men's differing approach to lighting the interior of the TARDIS

At left is a comparison between the two takes of the scene, taken from exactly the same moment in the respective takes. The dramatic difference between the two clearly illustrates the impact a cinematographer can have on a scene, but also instantly reveals Taylor to be a director of photography who preferred rich, warm colours, like reds and yellows. It also shows a penchant for strong, even lighting in interior TARDIS scenes. This preference was not limited to Bride. With the arguable exception of Tooth and Claw, the interior TARDIS scenes almost always betray which of the two cinematographers was in charge during the David Tennant era of the programme.


As DOP[]

As camera operator[]

External links[]