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Old 03-12-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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'Doctor Who' Special Effects Company, Mercury FX Limited, To Close

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A company responsible for the special effects in 'Doctor Who' is set to close as the show approaches it's 50th anniversary.
Mercury FX Limited, who were also responsible for SFX on the axed BBC Three vampire series 'Being Human' as well as spy drama 'Spooks', appointed liquidators on Monday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/201..._n_2859364.html
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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Wow that's a big loss. Doctor Who is very popular in Ireland as well as the UK, and probably all over the world.
Any idea how many jobs will be lost? The article just mentions the unpaid bills.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #3
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I'm sure it will spring up again with a fourth name.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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Actually Doctor Who is pretty much unknown in continental Europe as far as I can tell around me... Can't say for the rest of the world.

It's really a British cultural thing Imho. I mean it's like Coronation Street. It's part of the UK TV heritage for sure, but it's hard for anybody who didn't grow up on this to understand why people like it so much.

The plot is whacky but it's not really a comedy, the daleks look like trashcans on wheels... How can they be a threat to the universe when they can't even climb a staircase?

A hard blow for the company though... Being human was cool too.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 11:52 PM   #5
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As far as popularity, it's really hit big in the US fairly recently. Then again, I hang out with a fairly nerdy crowd so it's hard to tell how mainstream the interest is.

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The plot is whacky but it's not really a comedy, the daleks look like trashcans on wheels... How can they be a threat to the universe when they can't even climb a staircase?

Watch the episode "Dalek" and then say that again.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:50 AM   #6
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So... Doctor Who is more popular in the US than in (Europe - England)...?

Color me stunned.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Bear in mind that this company did none of the VFX you would associate with Doctor Who, those are done by the Mill in London.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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Yeah, I thought The Mill does all of the Doctor Who VFX. I couldn't find any example of work done on the Mercury FX website...
 
Old 03-13-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martincutbill
Bear in mind that this company did none of the VFX you would associate with Doctor Who, those are done by the Mill in London.


Not quite true. Whilst it is certainly the case that the Mill would handle the majority of the Who VFX (especially the money shots), mercuryFX would generally pick up work on one or two episodes per season, and either handle the work internally or run it through BBC Graphics in Cardiff.

I know this for a fact because I worked on Who during my time in BBC Graphics.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM
.......the daleks look like trashcans on wheels... How can they be a threat to the universe when they can't even climb a staircase? .


They can fly and hover.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modelriglightcomp
Not quite true. Whilst it is certainly the case that the Mill would handle the majority of the Who VFX (especially the money shots), mercuryFX would generally pick up work on one or two episodes per season, and either handle the work internally or run it through BBC Graphics in Cardiff.


Hence my 'none of the VFX you would associate with Doctor Who' comment. It's not gonna be the gucci stuff
 
Old 03-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear the news.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikarth
As far as popularity, it's really hit big in the US fairly recently. Then again, I hang out with a fairly nerdy crowd so it's hard to tell how mainstream the interest is.

Yeah, that is the question. Dr. Who is a big hit with people I know who like me like quirky stuff. No idea about the majority of the country.

It didn't help that PBS picked up the series in the 80s and were showing the Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker stuff from the 70s, pretty dated. They didn't show Sylvester McCoy until the 90s way after it was released. The new series being more timely and updated helped quite a bit with its appeal.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:10 PM   #13
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Haven't you got any work to be getting on with Martin?

"Bear in mind that this company did none of the VFX you would associate with Doctor Who, those are done by the Mill in London."

Seriously though it is always appreciated when a colleague takes the time out their busy schedule to pass critique over the work of current and past colleagues. It is even more valued when the critique of work done by myself and friends at Mercury and the BBC is based on uninformed opinions.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #14
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Really sorry to hear about the closure. I worked with Mercury and Cardiff on some pickup work on Dr Who a few years back.

As far as I know, The Mill hasn't done any Dr Who work for a few years. I believe its mainly done in Cardiff now.

This recession is really biting in the uk, times are tough out there people.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBananas
As far as I know, The Mill hasn't done any Dr Who work for a few years. I believe its mainly done in Cardiff now.


MillTV are still major contributors to the visual effects work on Doctor Who, nothing has changed there.

Simon W.
 
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