Doctor Who’s Best Stunts | Den of Geek

5. The Day of the Doctor – The TARDIS Is Lowered Into Trafalgar Square on a Crane

Again, this is the lead actor being genuinely hung off the TARDIS over a very real solid surface. Paul Seed doubles for Matt Smith for the more perilous moments, with the lead actor performing the disembark from a TARDIS prop containing Jenna Coleman. 

Wider shots show Seed’s work more impressively, with the stunt-coordinator hanging above Trafalgar Square in full costume (the effect making people wonder if Smith performed all the stunts himself) for ‘The Day of the Doctor‘. As statements go, filming in one of the most famous locations in the country in front of large crowds certainly raised interest in the 50th anniversary special.

4. Inferno – Roy Scammell Shoots Himself off a Tower

Roy Scammell plays the soldier who shoots Private Wyatt (Derek Ware), but then Scammell himself performed the stunt fall as Wyatt then plunges from a gasometer. This was a record-breaking fall by a stuntman at the time of filming, with Scammell falling 50 feet on location at what is now the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate in Kent. It looks like the towers were still there as of 2006, but we would strongly encourage you not to re-enact this scene (especially if, like Jon Pertwee, you have a fear of heights).

3. The Mind of Evil – the Prison Fight

In episode 5 of ‘The Mind of Evil‘, UNIT successfully attack a prison that has been taken over by the inmates. The prison is an old castle, because it looks mint. Once the Brig announces the prison is in military hands he’s immediately shot at, returns fire, and someone falls off the battlements going ‘aargh’. There then follows a lot of gunfire, grunting, people falling downstairs, people falling off things, people climbing up castle walls on ropes, people doing ‘ooh me guts’ acting, one guy who looks like he’s about to sneeze, and the director getting involved – taking out a few UNIT soldiers before being shot from behind. It’s great, despite reshoots being required for close-ups. Derek Martin arranged the fights, and they’re edited together to make UNIT look efficient and quick. Given the recurring stunt arrangers featured in this era, it’s a reasonable enough headcanon that UNIT clone a lot of their soldiers which is possibly why they’re so recklessly expendable.

2. The Greatest Show in the Galaxy – Sylvester McCoy Gets His Bum Set On Fire, Merely Blinks

Arguably this isn’t a stunt, it’s an actor walking away from an explosion. As you can see from the video below, stunts involving fire and explosions are now rigorously tested so the production team can be certain that their lead actor is not going to come to any harm.An actor moving safely away from an explosion counts as a stunt.

In ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’, however, time was against the production team. The initial plan was not to use explosives but air mortars (using pressurised air to blast debris). The equipment was hired, but they decided to use pyrotechnics late in the day. The only problem being that no one had told Sylvester McCoy this, and he was expecting the blast of air.

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