'Doctor Who security leak - 1972'

ROSSA MCPHILLIPS made this Freedom of Information request to The National Museum of the Royal Navy
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).

Response to this request is delayed. Although not legally required to do so, we would have expected The National Museum of the Royal Navy to have responded by (details)

ROSSA MCPHILLIPS

Dear The National Museum of the Royal Navy,

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

Library, The National Museum of the Royal Navy

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