There aren’t many opportunities to take a photo with a DALEK, but for a few weeks you can do just that in Hammersmith.

Next to the Thames is the appropriately named Riverside Studios, an arts centre on the site of the former BBC TV studios that operated between 1954-74. Although the BBC moved out in 1974, they continued to rent the TV studios for Top of the Pops up to 2010.

As the BBC’s in its centenary year, they’ve put on an exhibition of photos from the BBC archive of the filming work carried out at the studios. It’s a fairly modest exhibition, being just very large photos that run around the main foyer space, but many of the photos they’ve chosen are interesting in their own right.

From the architectural photos of the main building and the studio spaces, to how they filmed a police car driving down a street with a moving back projection. To get the camera close enough to the actors in the car, the front engine was roughly chopped off, leaving a photograph that looks more like the car they are in has been involved in a serious accident.

Several photos from the Doctor Who era are here, as you would expect. I quite liked the moment shown of a Cyberman from The Tenth Planet having to be helped to stand up again having fallen over on one of the show’s famously rickety stage sets.

And of course, there’s a DALEK — shown coming out of the Thames right next to the TV studios, with Hammersmith Bridge in the background. And, an actual DALEK by the main entrance to pose in front of. No sofas to hide behind alas.

As an exhibition, it’s interesting but quite small as it’s barely 30 photos, so maybe not worth a long journey to see — but, you do get to pose in front of a DALEK, and for many people of many ages, that’ll be worth the journey on its own.

The Riverside Studios were rebuilt in 2014-19, and there are still two TV studios in the building, so this is where audiences queue up to watch Have I Got News for You and Strictly Come Dancing, amongst many others.

The exhibition, Time Lords to Top of the Pops is free to visit at the Riverside Studios and is open daily until Sunday 24th July 2022.

It’s about a 10-15 minutes walk from Hammersmith tube stations.


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  1. Sam says:

    Being able to pose in front of a Dalek brings back happy memories of the Museum of the Moving Image, one of my favourite places to visit in London when I was growing up. Still miss it!

  2. Judith Page says:

    Is there a photo of the Blue Peter Dalek?

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