The owner of Durdle Door, a 200ft limestone arch in Dorset used for the finale of this season’s Dr Who, has labelled the BBC “duplicitous and dishonest”, claiming fans will try to climb the dangerous landmark on the Jurassic Coast to recreate Jodie Whittaker’s final scene.
James Weld from Lulworth Estate, the home of the Durdle Door, does have reason to be concerned about the public climbing the landmark after at least four people were encouraged to jump from the landmark by crowds on the beach in 2019. That incident left thousands needing to be evacuated from the area as the situation was declared a critical incident by emergency services.
“We are aware of the Doctor Who episode where the final scene depicted the Doctor and the Tardis on top of Durdle Door” a statement from the Estate reads. "When consenting to the use of Durdle Door for an episode of Doctor Who, the BBC decided not to include a proper description of what they intended.”
"If we had known we would not have agreed, because of the encouragement that this may give to some of our visitors to put themselves in a dangerous position, the consequences of which have been well documented” the statement continued. “We are disappointed that the BBC chose not to be honest with us when seeking our permission and have written to the BBC requesting that they provide us with an explanation about what we regard as a duplicitous and dishonest request to film.”
The furore surrounding the scene has led to Lulworth Estate now reconsidering letting the BBC film on the grounds in the future, concluding that “Neither the Tardis nor the Doctor were actually on the top of Durdle Door, but this would not necessarily be accepted by viewers and has now increased the difficulties we continue to have regarding the safety of visitors to Durdle Door."
How has the BBC responded?
The BBC responded to the statement by Lulworth Estate by saying “Doctor Who’s centenary special regeneration scene was a tightly kept secret. Although we were granted permission to film with a drone we weren’t asked how the location would be portrayed on screen. We truly felt that this dramatic scene is one that the Doctor Who audience would come to expect from the show.”
Where can I watch the episode of Doctor Who featuring Durdle Door?
The season finale of Doctor Who, including a surprise return during Jodie Whittaker’s regeneration scene, is available now on the BBC iPlayer.