ROSSA MCPHILLIPS

Dear Ministry of Defence,

In 1971, the Royal Navy assisted the 'Doctor Who' production office in filming the six-part serial 'The Sea Devils' in and around the Portsmouth area, including HMS Respite base and HMS Reclaim ship. They did not allow the 'Doctor Who' crew to film on a nuclear submarine, so the 'Doctor Who' Visual Effects team built a model of a nuclear submarine and filmed that instead.

In March 1972, following transmission of the 'Doctor Who' story, officials from the 'Ministry of Defence' visited the 'Doctor Who' production office as said nuclear sub model had a propeller which had a similarity to a real propeller being developed by the navy and they feared there was a security leak. The Ministry of Defence officials spoke to the director of the story, Michael Briant, and spoke to Visual Effects designer, Peter Day. Day stated that he had designed the propeller using his own imagination, and the Ministry of Defence officials were satisfied with his explanation. The matter ended there.

Is there any information in your records from 1972 (and beyond) regarding Ministry of Defence concerns about the nuclear sub model on 'Doctor Who'? Is there anything in your records regarding concerns in general about security leaks on 'Doctor Who'?

If you can provide any paperwork on this, I would be eternally grateful. Thanks in advance

Yours faithfully,

ROSSA MCPHILLIPS MBE

DDC-Secretariat Parliamentary (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

Dear Mr Rossa McPhillips

 

This email is to acknowledge your request below.  You have submitted two
identical requests one to the Royal Navy one to the Ministry of Defence,
both are being answered as one reply.  Your reference number is
FOI2021/03656 and will be answered within 20 working days.

 

You have asked the following:

 

In 1971, the Royal Navy assisted the 'Doctor Who' production office in
filming the six-part serial 'The Sea Devils' in and around the Portsmouth
area, including HMS Respite base and HMS Reclaim ship. They did not allow
the 'Doctor Who' crew to film on a nuclear submarine, so the 'Doctor Who'
Visual Effects team built a model of a nuclear submarine and filmed that
instead.

 

In March 1972, following transmission of the 'Doctor Who' story, officials
from the 'Ministry of Defence' visited the 'Doctor Who' production office
as said nuclear sub model had a propeller which had a similarity to a real
propeller being developed by the navy and they feared there was a security
leak. The Ministry of Defence officials spoke to the director of the
story, Michael Briant, and spoke to Visual Effects designer, Peter Day.
Day stated that he had designed the propeller using his own imagination,
and the Ministry of Defence officials were satisfied with his explanation.
The matter ended there.

 

Is there any information in your records from 1972 (and beyond) regarding
Ministry of Defence concerns about the nuclear sub model on 'Doctor Who'?
Is there anything in your records regarding concerns in general about
security leaks on 'Doctor Who'?

 

If you can provide any paperwork on this, I would be eternally grateful.
Thanks in advance

 

Regards

 

DDC-Secretariat Manager

MOD Main Building

London

SW1A 2HB

 

Currently working from home.

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is
addressed.  If you are not the intended recipient or there are problems
please notify the sender and then delete the e-mail (and file(s) if
attached) from your system.  Recipients should note that e-mail traffic on
MOD systems is subject to monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the
effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.  The MOD
has taken steps to keep this e-mail and any attachments free from
viruses.  However it accepts no liability for any loss or damage howsoever
caused as a result of any virus being passed on.  It is the responsiblity
of the recipient to perform all necessary checks.

 

DDC-Secretariat Parliamentary (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

1 Attachment

Dear Mr McPhillips

 

Please see attached response to your FOI request reference FOI2021/03656.

 

Regards

 

DDC-Secretariat Manager

MOD Main Building

London

SW1A 2HB

 

Currently working from home.

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is
addressed.  If you are not the intended recipient or there are problems
please notify the sender and then delete the e-mail (and file(s) if
attached) from your system.  Recipients should note that e-mail traffic on
MOD systems is subject to monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the
effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.  The MOD
has taken steps to keep this e-mail and any attachments free from
viruses.  However it accepts no liability for any loss or damage howsoever
caused as a result of any virus being passed on.  It is the responsiblity
of the recipient to perform all necessary checks.