Visual effects designers were the people in charge of what was called "visual effects" during the 1963 run of Doctor Who. The title is only historically accurate, however, because the film industry has since differentiated between "visual effects" and "special effects". Most of what Doctor Who "visual effects designers" did would now be considered "special effects" by BBC Wales, because most of it happened in-camera during principal photography, rather than during post-production (although much of these effects indeed were achieved in separate sessions, added in as film inserts).

In addition, many VEDs amassed mostly "special effects" credits and awards outside of Doctor Who. This strongly suggests the true nature of their work.

A variety of credits

This position was credited in several ways. Because of interchangeability of the terms "special effects" and "visual effects" during the 20th century, the job sometimes was credited with "Special Effects Designed by" on the occasional serial as far back as The Wheel in Space. The position was also credited as simply "Visual Effects" on a few serials, dating to The Tomb of the Cybermen. However, with the Barry Letts producership, the majority of serials bore the credit, "Visual Effects Designer". The position was still in flux. Some serials bore both "Visual Effects" and "Visual Effects Designer" and one serial had the credit "Visual Effects Design".

Beginning with Tom Baker's first story, the name of the position was standardised as "Visual Effects Designer". It was never changed again during the remainder of the original run of the programme.

List of visual effects designers

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

Season 12 [15]

Season 13

Season 14

Season 15

Season 16

Season 17

Season 18

Season 19

Season 20

Season 21

Season 22

Season 23

Season 24

Season 25

Season 26


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Uncredited on surviving episodes; however, Troughton serials typically gave expanded crew credits only on the final episodes. It's entirely possible the person or persons named here were credited on the last episode, but since it no longer exists, that fact can't be verified without access to the BBC archives.
  2. 2.0 2.1 This is a rare Troughton-era example of the credit being simply "Visual Effects". Like most Troughton-era crew credits, this one only came on the final part of the serial.
  3. There are no surviving episodes of this serial. Therefore, the credits as transmitted can't be examined. It's impossible, without access to the BBC's archives, to know whether the person or persons named here were actually credited on screen.
  4. Uncredited on most episodes; part 6 has Bill King under "Special Effects Designed by". His company, Trading Post, is not named on this episode.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Credited on final part only, under "Visual Effects Designed by"
  6. This is the first and only credit for Bill King where the use of parentheses makes it clear that Trading Post is the company to which King belongs. For clarity, we use the parentheses throughout this chart.
  7. Credited on last episode only, under title of "Special Effects designed by". Typeset makes it appear as though his name is Michael John Harris.
  8. Credited as "Special Effects designed by" on all episodes.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Credited as "Visual Effects".
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 Credited as "Visual Effects Designer"
  11. Parts one and two have Ian Scoones as "Visual Effects Designer". When Wilkie joins him on parts three and four, the credit becomes "Visual Effects". Wilkie was supposed to be credited on the first two episodes, but an oversight by one of the production team meant he only gained credit on episodes three and four. (INFO: The Curse of Peladon)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Only credited on the first and last episodes; no one is credited for this position on the middle episodes.
  13. Credited as "Visual Effects Design".
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 Both individuals are listed as "Visual Effects Designers".
  15. Beginning with this season, the name for the position would remain fixed at "Visual Effects Designer" through to Sylvester McCoy's last serial. Serials past this point bear the title "Visual Effects Designer", unless otherwise noted.
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