BBC could be banned from filming at Durdle Door over Doctor Who 'dishonesty'

David Tennant made a surprise return to Doctor Who. (BBC)
David Tennant made a surprise return to Doctor Who, filmed at Durdle Door. (BBC)

The BBC could be facing a ban over filming at a Dorset beauty spot after its owner accused a Doctor Who filming request of being "duplicitous and dishonest".

Jodie Whittaker's final scene as the Doctor for the BBC One sci-fi hit saw her regenerate into former Doctor David Tennant on top of Durdle Door on the privately-owned Lulworth Estate in Dorset.

Read more: Every Doctor's regeneration so far

But James Weld of the estate on the Jurassic Coast said that the BBC had made no mention of the scene showing Whittaker and Tennant on top of the 200ft limestone arch in the BBC centenary special episode The Power of the Doctor - although the actors were not actually on top of the arch, they appear to be, which has raised concerns that fans will try to copy them.

Watch: Jodie Whittaker regenerates back into David Tennant

Now, the estate is considering banning future filming requests from the BBC as it has accused the corporation of being "dishonest" and says it raises concerns that fans will try to attempt the dangerous climb themselves.

In a statement, the estate said: "We are aware of the Doctor Who episode where the final scene depicted the Doctor and the Tardis on top of Durdle Door.

"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.

Read more: Doctor Who's Jodie Whittaker: The Time Lord is so much more than a role

"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.

Doctor Who - The Power of the Doctor,23-10-2022,The Power Of The Doctor,The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER),*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 22:00HRS, MONDAY 17TH OCTOBER, 2022*,BBC STUDIOS 2022,James Pardon
Jodie Whittaker has appeared in her final Doctor Who scenes. (BBC) (James Pardon/BBC Studios)

"With any filming request we seek details of what is intended, and no mention was made by the BBC that they were seeking to portray the Tardis and the Doctor on top of Durdle Door, the consequences of which will have a potentially serious impact on our staff and the emergency services.

"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.

"We are considering whether the BBC should now be prevented from filming at Lulworth in the future.

"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."

People enjoy the warm weather on the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, in Dorset, after the public were reminded to practice social distancing following the relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
The famous Durdle Door limestone arch. (PA) (Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images via Getty Images)

A BBC spokesperson responded: “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.”

Fans were surprised to see Tennant return to his role rather than Whittaker regenerating into Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor.

Gatwa will make his debut over the 2023 festive period, with three specials planned for November 2023 starring Tennant.

Watch: David Tennant's 'one worry' over Doctor Who return