Ubuntu Spotted on Doctor Who Set

After watching the two Doctor Who Christmas episodes I thought I’d watch the ‘behind the scenes’ programme ‘Doctor Who Confidential’. During one segment where they discuss the set used in the Christmas episode I spotted a bunch of machines with what look like Ubuntu boot screens on them. If you’re in the UK (or have access to Freesat in Europe) you can see it on BBC HD at 16:55 on 3rd January, or on BBC Three at 04:10 on 5th January. according to the iplayer page. The frame below was grabbed from 38:29 mins in.

They look like Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) to me. Probably multiple screens connected to one computer as they are all showing the same thing in the actual episode itself.

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27 thoughts on “Ubuntu Spotted on Doctor Who Set”

  1. There’s a lot of Ubuntu lurking about at the BBC. Most of it by stealth – IT will only support the official Windows desktops, but a lot of the developers in Future Media and Technology use Linux instead. (Note that the head of FM&T is Erik Huggers, who is ex-Microsoft but is so far acting like no fan of their technology whatsoever.) The servers, of course, run on Red Hat and CentOS.

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    1. “IT will only support the official Windows desktops”? You sure about that?

      Every time they showed a production computer close-up on Doctor Who Confidential it was always a Mac of some type.

      (Nope, I’m not an iFan; just pointing-out a fact…)

  2. Yeah definitely looks more like Karmic to me because of that text at the bottom. The reason you can’t see the background image better is probably something to do with the angle of all the screens.

    Excellent spottage and I’m glad the BBC aren’t spunking money up the wall on props when they can help it.

  3. TBF, Linux is used a LOT for computer interfaces in TV and Film. It’s just the quickest, cheapest way of getting something up on the screen which doesn’t look like Windows. Still, its pretty cool none the less.

  4. Nicely spotted. I was lucky enough to visit the Doctor Who and Torchwood sets a year ago, and I spotted the same thing. All these machines are linked up to a Windows box, and from that they run a flash front-end to VLC. From there they can control each monitor separately. At least that’s how the Torchwood set was wired up.

    I have some pictures, and a blog post here: http://foomandoonian.posterous.com/torchwood-set-photos-the-last

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