Doctor Who filming on the Pier Head, featuring John Bishop

Liverpool’s Time (Lord) to shine on the small screen

Liverpool is taking a starring role in Doctor Who: Flux which arrived on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at the weekend, and was watched by an audience of 4.43 million.

Scouser John Bishop has joined the cast as the Time Lord’s companion, and Liverpool itself was showcased on the small screen as a key location in the first episode.

Filming for the latest series took place earlier this year, with iconic city centre locations, including the Museum of Liverpool, serving as a backdrop for the sci-fi storyline. 

The interstellar activity didn’t end there, as in October a spaceship materialised on the  Pier Head outside the Royal Liver Building.

And it’s not the first time Liverpool has been closely associated with Doctor Who.

The legendary Tom Baker, who grew up on Scotland Road, played the much-loved fourth Doctor in the mid-1970s, and Paul McGann took the lead role in 1996 becoming the eighth Time Lord.

And in 2008, Kensington-born David Morrissey played The Next Doctor in a Christmas special alongside David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor.

National Museums Liverpool was also involved in quest to #FindTheDoctor over the summer. 

Following a hidden word in the Doctor Who trailer in July, fans were sent on a hunt to find clues which would lead to the password for a locked Doctor Who website. One of the clues was spotted in a curious painting, La Boîte Bleue (The Blue Box), at the Walker Art Gallery and Museum of Liverpool. 

The Doctor Who celebrations are set to continue into 2022 in the city, with the opening of a ground-breaking new interactive exhibition, Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder premiering at the World Museum in May 2022. Produced by leading experiential design experts Sarner International under license from BBC Studios, this new exhibition gives visitors the chance to explore the ways in which science has played a part in the longest running science fiction show in the world.

Visitors can also explore Liverpool’s relationship with the stage and screen at Museum of Liverpool from next month when the Wondrous Place gallery reopens from 26 November. Items in the Stage and Screen display - themed around Merseyside actors, writers, productions and identity – include one of Villanelle’s costumes worn by Liverpool actress, Jodie Comer, in the award-winning TV series, Killing Eve. The display also highlights the important role of TV dramas in exposing significant issues and events such as the 2020 production of Anthony and the 2017 drama series Little Boy Blue.

Doctor Who: Flux arrives on screens as Liverpool is experiencing a real surge in filmmaking, and is recognised as the UK’s second most filmed city. In addition to Doctor Who, the city has also played host to feature films and HETV dramas including The Batman, Daliland, Peaky Blinders, Midas Man, Silent Witness, COBRA: CYBERWAR, Munich – The Edge of War, Ridley Road, Funny Girl.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle: 

It’s an incredibly exciting time for Liverpool’s film scene. Following filming in recent years for The Batman, Captain America and Fantastic Beasts – Liverpool has quickly become a playground for the screen’s biggest heroes. Now with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor joining the line-up of stars filming in the city, it’s even more inspiring that she’ll be on screen in Liverpool – and it actually being Liverpool in the story.

“And with John Bishop joining the cast, we can’t wait for him to bring his Scouse flair, humour – and accent to the world of Doctor Who.

“It’s a real credit to our Liverpool Film Office team for continuing to work under extraordinary circumstances over the eighteen months, to ensure this industry could keep functioning and it will be hugely rewarding to see Liverpool as the backdrop for so many exciting productions across the coming months.”

Karen O’Connor, Director of Commercial Enterprise, National Museums Liverpool:

“Our captivating museums and art galleries, with their varied architecture, stunning locations and all the amazing people and artefacts inside, attract world-leading filmmakers and production companies to Liverpool. We are so excited the BBC team chose the Museum of Liverpool as a filming space for the legendary Doctor Who series.”

Liverpool Waterfront