TV filming at Durdle Door may be banned over fears it encourages students to climb it
The BBC reportedly did not tell the owner it would film on top of the arch
The owner of Durdle Door, used in Jodie Whittaker’s final Dr Who scene, has branded the BBC “dishonest” and claims it will encourage students to dangerously climb up its rocky arch.
Durdle Door is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dorset and a popular attraction for resident Bournemouth students.
Increased access and use of drones are enabling viewers to experience entertainment as they never have before. Although the BBC was granted permission to film with a drone, it claims it “wasn’t asked how the location would be portrayed.”
This potentially jeopardises future filming endeavours, as James Weld, a family member who owns the estate Durdle Door is on, is considering pulling all future requests from the BBC to film there.
He said permission would have been denied if the BBC had explained they would be filming on top of the arch.
Standing at 200ft in height, Durdle Door has attracted danger-seeking jumpers, known as tombstoners.
During one incident in May 2020, at least four people were encouraged to jump from the landmark by baying crowds on the beach, with thousands evacuated from the area as the situation was declared a critical incident by emergency services.
Weld added: “The consequences will have a potentially severe impact” as “neither the Tardis nor the Doctor were actually on the top of Durdle Door, but viewers would not necessarily accept this.” The section of rock Whittaker appears to stand on is not open to the public.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Doctor Who’s centenary special regeneration scene was a tightly kept secret.
“Although we were granted permission to film with a drone we weren’t asked how the location would be portrayed on screen.
“We truly felt that this dramatic scene is one that the Doctor Who audience would come to expect from the show.”