Phone Box Thursday: The Wrong Phone Box #2: Doctor Who, ‘The War Machines’ (1966)

This is the first of three classic phone boxes from the 1966 Doctor Who serial ‘The War Machines’. This was the first serial that was set entirely on contemporary Earth (and in Doctor Who, particularly in the classic series, ‘contemporary Earth’ means ‘contemporary London’). As such, there are lots of scenes shot outdoors on London streets, meaning it was inevitable that we would bump into the odd non-police telephone box along the way.

The first example in the serial, however, was not found on the streets – it appears in studio footage (filmed either at Ealing Studios or Riverside Studios according to Doctor Who Locations) and was thus presumably a prop.

When the characters first emerge from the swinging ‘Inferno’ nightclub, their attention is caught by some strange happenings at the entrance of a nearby warehouse. My attention, meanwhile, was caught by the phone box that appears tucked under the arch next to the warehouse. How very handy for the warehouse employees!

Doctor Who 'The War Machines'
Some very suspicious-looking characters next to this phone box!
Doctor Who 'The War Machines'
One of the suspicious-looking men uses the phone box at one point.
Doctor Who 'The War Machines'
It’s very efficient use of the space under this arch.

Next week we’ll have a look at one of the ‘real’ phone boxes that features in the location filming for this story.

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