Researching classic television of the same era of Doomwatch can reveal some fascinating information. For example, against modern productions, the cost to produce the four episode Doctor Who story “Revenge of the Cybermen” in 1975 (Only a few years after Doomwatch finished) was approximately £75K. This equates to roughly £600K in today’s money (using the relative value calculators here
As the current BBC1 drama series commissioning tariff is £500K - £700K per hour (see here); it can be seen that today’s Doctor Who is still budgeted at about the same rate as it was 35 years ago - which means it still has a “relatively” limited budget!
We know that the main cast of Doomwatch was paid around £200 per episode and £10 a day for exterior filming and overtime and the writers had a flat fee of £625. This all equates to around £4K; £200 and £12K respectively when measured against today’s average earnings. As such, it seems both actors and writers are comparatively much better off these days!
If anyone knows what the average production cost of a Doomwatch episode was, either on a per-episode or series basis, please leave us a message in our Forum.
With thanks to Andrew Wilson