By 1979, I was able to visit the BBC TV CENTRE, in London, and see 'in the flesh', DOCTOR WHO episodes actually being made.
My very first glimpse onto the studio floor was to watch TERRY NATION'S last WHO story, DESTINY OF THE DALEKS. For several hours, I watched all of the rehearsals and filming of the MOVELLAN spaceship interiors, featuring TOM BAKER, companion LALLA WARD, and SUZANNE DANIELLE (The gorgeous CARRY ON EMMANUELLE star), playing one of the robot MOVELLANS. Unfortunately, though, there was not a DALEK in sight anywhere during that day's recording session!
In fact, not until PETER DAVISON became the 5th DOCTOR, did I get to see my first DALEK action in studio. Thereafter, I watched every DOCTOR/DALEK story being filmed (one per DOCTOR), and I was even, by chance, there on the very last day of recording ever, of the old 'classic' show (McCOY). We certainly couldn't have known then that the series would 'de-materialise' for the next 16 years!
Between 1979-89, I watched many of the WHO episodes being recorded- as varied as NIGHTMARE ON EDEN to THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI. And if I sometimes got bored of the repetitive rehearsals, I'd wander off into other studios and watch such shows as, ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, and HITCH-HIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, being made. (I'd done a bit of work on the HITCH-HIKER stage play in London, and stood next to director, KEN CAMPBELL as we watched the first performance on that long, long opening night! I think someone filmed it all)
For those who never got to see DOCTOR WHO being made, I can tell you that the whole thing was a real education! Frankly, it was a miracle that the show ever got made at all, as it was a high-maintenance programme, which always had five times more people working on it all just to get it 'in the can'. It was a conveyor belt of 'just-get-it-done-or-go-without!' Nit-picking details didn't mean a thing if you were two scenes behind schedule, with 20 minutes left to go, before the main studio lights went on and everyone went home!
It's a shame that more fans couldn't get to see it being made as it would have changed their view of things that they could be so critical of. However, if you watch the DEATH TO THE DALEKS raw studio footage (on BBC DVD ) it is a typical example of what went on, complete with retakes, erratic close-ups of boots, five people talking at once, and things not working when they should.
But, somewhere in all that confusion, with good editing, music, and sound effects added- an episode was born! And I was very glad I was there to witness it all.