Doctor Who

Goodbye Kansas Studios was thrilled to provide VFX on episodes 1 and 3 from the latest series of Doctor Who, starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson. 

In Episode 1, “Space Babies,” our assets team spent six months creating “The Babystation” and a detailed CG space environment using Photoshop. Real baby and older child actors were filmed separately for dialogue and facial movements. CG baby faces were created using Nuke, Keen: Face Tracker, and Geo Tracker, and teeth, tongues, and gums were made with Maya.

Episode 1 also included The Bogeyman character with a practical costume designed by Millennium FX. Our team helped with CG effects, including a tongue whipping around and spitting saliva, simulated with Houdini. The final sequence takes The Doctor and his new companion to prehistoric Earth 150 million years ago. Using Maya, we created an accurate physical landscape and added trees, mountains, volcanoes, and a CG Brachiosaurus.

Episode Three – “BOOM” – was also set on a worn-torn alien planet filled with fire, dirt and fog. The Doctor Who team embraced Virtual production using a Volume screen on set. However, Goodbye Kansas had to export the Unreal environment as rendered plates. It was further progressed into a final style in Nuke. Additional smoke, dust, and fire were created in Houdini to sell this hostile world. Several characters were turned into holograms and are the emotional heart of the story, delivering a sucker punch to audiences at several key moments. 

The Doctor and a soldier are turned into living bombs, with their internal bones and organs heating up, ready to explode. To illustrate this, we again turned to Keen tools to create the characters’ veins, muscles, and bones that show through their skin, glowing and pulsing. We took the plates, created various layers of the characters’ insides, and then reprojected them back over, to quite horrific effect.

There is a story arc throughout this season of Doctor Who involving snow, which appears at inconvenient moments for the Doctor and Ruby. We used Houdini to create the snow effect, which drifts slowly and hauntingly to tell the story.

CG vacuum drones fly overhead, sucking up digital dust and fog from the environment. Multiple laser guns are shot, replicating the villainous Ambulances to create an army of them (from one practical prop) and more DMP space vistas. 

Doctor Who provided our talented team with an abundance of creative fun. 

Doctor Who is produced by BadWolf with BBCStudios for bbc and Disney Branded Television. Season one is available now on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Disney+ in the U.S. and around the world, where available.


Studio: BBC Studios / Disney
Production Company: Bad Wolf
Director: Julie Anne Robinson


Executive Producer: James Prosser
Executive Producer: Paula Pope
VFX Supervisor: Jim Parsons
VFX Producer: Danny Evans
VFX Producer: Katie Brown
CG Supervisor: James Sutton
Comp Supervisor: Rafal Kaniewski
Production Manager: Joshua Bleeze
VFX Coordinator: Ferenc Orosz
VFX Coordinator: Annie Wire
VFX Coordinator: Zane Cihanovska

Comp Lead (Ep101): Fabiano Waewell
Comp Lead (Ep103): Alex Balmer
Lighting Lead: Ivor Ribeiro Da Silva
FX Lead: Martin Törnestedt

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