BBC under fire for Doctor Who scene at famous UK tourist site Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a famous tourist site in Dorset.  It was used in the final scene of Doctor Who.

Alla Tsyganova/screenshot

Durdle Door is a famous tourist site in Dorset. It was used in the final scene of Doctor Who.

**Spoilers if you haven’t seen the episode yet**

As millions watched Jodie Whittaker’s final moments in Doctor Who, the landowners of a famous Dorset tourist spot were furious.

Whittaker’s regeneration scene, where the 13th Doctor transformed into former favorite David Tennant ahead of the show’s 60th anniversary episode in 2023, was pictured at Durdle Door, one of the most photographed attractions and Dorset’s most iconic.

The scene shows the Doctor incarnation being regenerated by Tardis and Whittaker in a sunrise spectacle atop the famous limestone arch.

The actual scene was filmed with the use of green screen, and not at the arch – but landowners are unhappy they didn’t know she would be depicted in the scene and fear it would encourage tourists to engage in risky behavior.

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Lulworth Estate claimed the BBC was “duplicit and dishonest” about its request to film the scene at Durdle Door. The estate has given permission to the BBC to film, but says the broadcaster has not disclosed how it will be used.

The limestone rock has become a famous tourist attraction in recent years, but has attracted dangerous behavior from tourists. The site was temporarily closed in 2020 after three people were seriously injured jumping from cliffs into the sea.

Lulworth Estate fears the regeneration scene is encouraging tourists to ‘put themselves in a dangerous position’ and climb to the top of the structure.

In a statement to the BBC, the Dorset estate said: “When consenting to the use of Durdle Door for an episode of Doctor Who, the BBC decided not to include an appropriate description of what it wanted to.

“Had we known, we would not have accepted, because of the encouragement it can give some of our visitors to put themselves in a dangerous position, the consequences of which are well documented.”

He said he was considering banning the broadcaster from any future filming at Lulworth. He acknowledges that neither the Tardis nor the Doctor were actually on top of the rock, but “this would not necessarily be accepted by viewers and has now heightened the difficulties we continue to have regarding the safety of visitors to Durdle Door” .

The BBC responded by saying the regeneration scene “was a closely guarded secret”.

“Although we were allowed to film with a drone, we were not asked how the location would be portrayed on screen.

“We really felt that this dramatic scene was what Doctor Who audiences expected from the show.”


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