It’s been reported that the Durdle Door owners aren’t too pleased about the thirteenth Doctor’s regeneration taking place at their historic monument.
On Sunday night, more than four million of us tuned in to see the dramatic regeneration of Jodie Whittaker‘s Doctor into David Tennant at the end of The Power of the Doctor, which served as her farewell episode. According to the reactions on Twitter, the Whovians went crazy, effectively becoming the embodiment of the “screaming, crying, vomiting up” meme. It was one of the most anticipated TV moments of the year.
The renowned Durdle Door arch at Lulworth in Dorset is where this particularly picturesque regeneration was filmed, but many fans may have been so ecstatic over Tennant’s return that they may not have noticed. The landowners, however, have now claimed to The Sun newspaper that they were unaware of this when they granted permission to film there.
Since his family has held the property since 1641, James Weld said: If we had known, we would not have accepted because this may encourage some of our tourists to put themselves at risk.
Although neither Jodie Whittaker nor David Tennant actually scaled Durdle Door during the filming of the regeneration scene, which was constructed using special effects, it is anticipated that some Doctor Who fans may attempt to do so.
A BBC representative said that this specific scene of the BBC Centenary episode was a closely guarded secret, despite the Weld family’s claims that they didn’t receive a fair description of how Durdle Door will be used during production and that they may now decline further requests to film there. Although we were given permission to record using a drone, the question of how the location would be portrayed on screen was not asked, the representative stated.
The 200-foot limestone arch is already controversial since it’s a well-known location for tombstoning, where thrill-seekers ascend to the top before jumping into the water. During the 2020 shutdown, hundreds of people disregarded police advisories and descended upon Durdle Door’s beach, where three divers suffered serious injuries.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Whoniverse has inspired fans to travel to actual locations; in 2009, when beloved character Ianto Coffee Boy Jones was cruelly killed off in Torchwood’s Children of Earth series, fans had such a breakdown that they built a shrine in his honor on Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay.
Ianto’s Memorial is still in existence today. Fans from all over the world continue to bring comments, decorations, and artwork to be exhibited there. John Barrowman and Ianto actor Gareth David-Lloyd have even paid visits to the shrine.
It’s also not the first time that a Doctor Who episode has included famous or recognizable sites; during Jodie Whittaker’s first series, several well-known Sheffield locations were sighted, and practically all of London’s most famous monuments appeared.
Notably, it was at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre that David Tennant’s Doctor and Martha Jones stopped a Carrionite invasion, where a Slitheen aircraft demolished Big Ben’s famous clock face, and where a Titanic-replica spaceship came dangerously close to destroying Buckingham Palace. Thankfully, Durdle Door made it through its visit to Doctor Who unharmed.