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Published on May 7th, 2010 | by Chris Davids

Venice or Bust

Amazingly, Doctor Who is under fire AGAIN this week, as details emerge of a trip to Venice for Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as part of Doctor Who Confidential‘s coverage of The Vampires of Venice.

Doctor Who ConfidentialThe “parent show” opted to use the Croatian town of Trigor to double as both 17th century Venice and 19th century France for another episode later in the series, but with its own budget, Doctor Who Confidential opted to fly the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond to the real, modern day Queen of the Adriatic.

According to a popular red-top, other BBC producers have critisiced Doctor Who Confidential for wasting money.

However, a BBC spokesperson said: “Doctor Who Confidential is highly successful and is fantastic value for money.”

So, the BBC producers of Doctor Who Confidential spent around upto £2000 to send its stars and a small crew to Venice for a day or two to film them on location – meanwhile nearly 18 months ago the then Doctor Who production team spent at least 10x this amount to film a bit of sand in Dubai.

Yet another storm in a teacup?


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8 Responses to Venice or Bust

  1. avatar Rick714 says:

    Wow. Over here in the US, about 20 years ago, there was a mild uproar about some nudity in NYPD Blue and that was the last time there was really any huge complaint about something so minor.

    For all their superior attitudes toward US programming, there are a really, surprisingly amount of petty minded people on both sides of the pond but this DW bashing is going overboard and getting very pathetic in the extreme.

  2. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    I think it is a waste of money. Confidential is behind the scenes. Its not to pay for actors to go off to locations. Especially locations that the show did not use.

    Remember its us that pays the BBC and at the moment you wouldn’t think that, or the fact the BBCs funding is under threat. Look at the election last night, how many presenters did they need? And why have a party on the Thames with celebrities and a light show of the Houses of parliament. Just wasting money. Irony is Dr Who’s budget was cut, yet they can waste money on other things!

  3. avatar Carn says:

    I’m ok with it. I’d like an option when paying for my tv license to have all of my license fee go towards Doctor Who and it’s related shows and none towards all the other crap I can’t stand.

  4. avatar Christian Cawley says:

    Ian – if the figures I suggested above were exact, and we bear in mind just how much of Planet of the Dead was actually filmed in Dubai (as opposed to the lengthy bus interiors that were remounted in a studio in Wales), do you still think a few grand for a trip to Italy is a waste of money?

    Clearly, BBC News has its own budget, DW has its own budget, DWC has its own budget. If they didnt, then surely it would be a ridiculous free-for-all from all departments, much more likely to lead to overspending and potential financial ruin for the BBC…

  5. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    Planet of the Dead was also a waste of money. Look at the money they spent on the buses! And the story was rubbish.

    Yes they may have there own budget but its how they spend it. What will it achieve by having Matt & Karen in Venice?
    And now with a Tory government in waitng they should spend the money wisely otherwise heaven know what the Tories will do.

  6. avatar Hyncharas says:

    I think there are two problems going on that are the real basis behind these comments – the first being that a lot of people are unhappy that Russel T Davies (maybe) wanted to put his career ahead of doing more DrWho stories and move on. Unfortunately this is business and every show must evolve in order to stay ahead of competition elsewhere, so sometimes what many fans may want back is not their choice to make…

    The second might be that, with no governmental decision on who’s running the country, there is still a lot of criticism between what was done last year compared to now and the change in financing the show. It’s possible that the BBC has been burning the candle at both ends and needed to restructure the show regardless to sort deal with this.

  7. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    I take back what i said earlier about confidential being in Venice. Found it very interesting. Loved the history.

  8. avatar checkyourfacts says:


    I’m an American living in the UK. As I understand it (I could be wrong), if you own a TV (i.e. there is one in the house), you are required to purchase a TV license (

    You have to prove you don’t own a TV for you not to have to pay the fee. That fee is used to produce public broadcast programming for the BBC 1 (where Dr. Who resides)and BBC2. The entire country has “free” access to this programming (even though you pay for it). The world gets the added bonus of enjoying the publicly produced BBC shows when they pay for cable subscriptions to channels featuring such programs.

    People might be pissed off because their money (sort of like saying US taxpayers money) is being used to wine and dine celebrities and production crews in Italy (also Dubai in the last series) instead of being invested more practically and economically in depicting other behind the scenes aspects of the show(i.e. script development, character development, actor interviews, set development, makeup artists, CGI production, etc).

    If everyone in the UK has to part with their hard earned cash to produce the DW confidential show, they might get easily p****d off and critical if the money is perceived as being wasted.

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