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BBC Wales: Misc


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Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

This article is written from the Real World point of view. TARDIS

BBC Wales (known in Welsh as BBC Cymru) is the Welsh division of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Although based in and around Cardiff, it also operates from several sites in Wales, including one at Aberystwyth University. It operates the Welsh regional variants of BBC One and BBC Two. However, the bulk of its employees are concerned with the production of new content.


As sole producer

BBC Wales makes television programmes in both the English and Welsh languages. It is the largest BBC production center outside London. Some of what the channel has produced has been for consumption throughout the whole of UK, but much of it is only broadcast

Around 2003, BBC Wales successfully untangled the rights issues surrounding Doctor Who, which had plagued the possible return of the program for most of the 1990s. It thus won the right to begin producing a new, televised version of Doctor Who and its behind-the-scenes companion, Doctor Who Confidential. After these shows proved successful, BBC Wales added the spin-off shows, Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified, Totally Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

This heavy output of material related to the Whoniverse prompted the largest expansion of production facilities in the division's history. In 2006, BBC Wales leased a site at Upper Boat in Pontypridd, on which they constructed studio space entirely dedicated to the production of Doctor Who and its spin-offs. Called simply "BBC Studios", the site is ten times as large as the rest of BBC Wales' studio space in Cardiff, and the largest studio complex in Wales.

BBC Wales has not restricted the production of Doctor Who and its spinoffs to Welsh facilities, however, as both Doctor Who and Torchwood have utilized other British Isles locations, and BBC Cymru-sponsored Doctor Who production has also taken place abroad (to date including the United States (for second unit work on Daleks in Manhattan), Rome (The Fires of Pompeii), Croatia (for a Series 5 episode) and even the United Arab Emirates (Planet of the Dead).

Despite the centrality of Doctor Who to BBC Wales' production output, the division a wide body of other work, mostly for consumption in Wales itself. As of 2009, its Welsh language soap opera, Pobol y Cwm, had been on the air for 35 years. Its longest-running English language drama, Belonging — co-starring Eve Myles for a time — lasted ten series.

As commissioning agent

Like its BBC parent, BBC Wales can opt to pursue another production path. Instead of making the programmes themselves, they have an ability to commission programmes from other producers. This arrangement allows them to share both risk and reward with the contracted producer. Comparatively little of its Welsh language output is produced through such arrangements, but most of the programmes it shares with the national BBC are in fact commissioned work. Among the more famous commissioned BBC Wales pogrammes are: Casanova (created by Russell T Davies and starring David Tennant), Life on Mars (co-created by Matthew Graham and starring John Simm), Merlin (starring Colin Morgan, Anthony Head and Michelle Ryan), and Being Human (created by Toby Whithouse and starring Russell Tovey). In the summer of 2009, Merlin became the first BBC Wales-commissioned series to air on a mainstream American network when its first series was shown on NBC, while Life on Mars was subject to a short-lived Americanized remake.


BBC Wales continues to grow. It has recently been announced that production of the long-running series Casualty will relocate to Cardiff. And, in December 2009, the Welsh government approved construction of yet another studio, dubbed the BBC Drama Village, on a reclaimed site near Cardiff Bay (Upper Boat, by comparison, is located some miles north of Cardiff). Production of Doctor Who and its spin-offs is expected to eventually relocate to this site.[1]

External links

  • BBC Wales website
  • Doctor Who Locations Guide entry for BBC Studios in Upper Boat
Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on

This article uses material from the "BBC Wales" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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