11 reasons to film Doctor Who in NZ
Doctor Who executive producer Caro Skinner told the Waikato Times, this week, she'd like to bring the 11th Doctor to New Zealand. Hamilton film maker. Fan Paul Barlow gives Chris Gardner 11 reasons why the BBC should to do it aside from the fact star Matt Smith suggested it to the Times and Sir Peter Jackson wants to direct.
1 - It's value for money. The exchange rate with the UK is pretty good at the moment, making filming here cheaper for the producers.
2 - We work harder. Our average onset work day is 10 hours, instead of the British 8.
3 - Our back yard. An hour from Hamilton by car or plane will put you in the middle of the most diverse landscapes on the planet. Barren Mountains to lush rainforests and everything in between.
4 - Our Buildings. The country has an amazing array of different styles and looks. Art Deco Napier, 19th Century industrial era Dunedin, western style towns, fishing villages, coupled with modern spaces like the Academy of Performing Arts, Te Papa or Sky Tower.
5 - We've had practice. International TV has been shooting here for years. Shows like The Tribe, Spartacus, Xena, Power Rangers and Hercules.
6 - Studio Space. It's not always practical to shoot a Dalek invasion in real streets so studio space comes in handy. In New Zealand we've got world class studios in Auckland and Wellington and in the Waikato Mystery Creek was actually set up to be converted to a studio space if required years ago.
7 - We kind of owe our film industry to the Doctor. Did you know Sir Peter Jackson first paid industry job was on the set of Worzel Gummidge? He only took the job because Jon Pertwee, who played the lead in that show was the 3rd Doctor. Without Sir Peter our industry would be a very different machine to what it is now.
8 - Alongside Maori and New Zealand Sign Language, we have English as an official language. This makes it a lot easier to work with a crew from the UK.
9 - Our history is worth exploring. When you have a machine that can travel time and space you sometimes get involved in historic events. What if the Doctor was to meet Ernest Rutherford before he split the atom? Sir Edmund Hilary before he knocked the bastard off? David Lange before he could smell uranium on the breath of North America? Or Kate Shepherd before she managed to get New Zealand women the first votes anywhere in the world? Maybe he could even settle the Richard Pierce argument?
10 - The fan base. I'm a fan of the show, so are many many others. BBC DVD's of the show sell brilliantly and guests flock to meet Doctor Who visitors, like John Levene, when they do conventions and events here. Judging by the responses flooding into the BBC now it sounds like the fans have mobilised.
11 - Our 50th. Next year marks the show's 50th anniversary, but for New Zealand the show didn't start till 1964. Any episodes filmed here next year most likely wouldn't get seen here till 2014 - our 50th Anniversary. What a great way to thank a fan base that's stuck with a show for half a century.