Upper Boat Studios

Upper Boat Studios[1]
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
General information
Status Vacant
Type Television studio[1][2]
Architectural style Modern
Address Unit 1/2, Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Upper Boat, Pontypridd, CF37 5UA
Country Wales, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°34′33″N 3°18′00″W / 51.57583°N 3.30000°W / 51.57583; -3.30000 (Upper Boat Studios)Coordinates: 51°34′33″N 3°18′00″W / 51.57583°N 3.30000°W / 51.57583; -3.30000 (Upper Boat Studios)
Current tenants None
Opened 27 July 2006 (2006-07-27)[2][3]
Client BBC Wales[3]
Grounds 86,000 sq ft (7,990 m2)[3]
Known for Filming of Doctor Who[1][2][3]

Upper Boat Studios was a television studio complex leased to the BBC in mid-2006,[1] and formerly operated by BBC Wales.[3] It is located in Upper Boat,[2] a village on the outskirts of Pontypridd,[3] Rhondda Cynon Taf, near Cardiff in Wales. The studios, previously a seat belt manufacturing factory for the automotive industry,[1] were officially opened on 27 July 2006, by Welsh Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies,[2][3] for the purpose of producing Doctor Who, along with its related spin-off programmes.[2][3]

At ten times larger than BBC Wales existing site at Llandaff, the Doctor Who residency at Upper Boat Studios included the use of its six sound stages.[1] Other facilities at Upper Boat included a large props store, workshops, and video editing suites.[1]

By 2011, Doctor Who was the only programme still based at Upper Boat, following the move of several BBC Wales productions to its new permanent home at the new Roath Lock studios. Doctor Who itself relocated to Roath Lock throughout 2012,[1] with the last filming day at Upper Boat on 11 May 2012.[4]

Despite the studio closure, production on Sherlock series 3 continued at the studios[1] until September 2013.[5]


Productions based at Upper Boat Studios

title genre no. of
Doctor Who[1][3]science fiction drama662006–2012[1]
Doctor Who Confidential'making-of' documentary602006–2011
  • moved from Unit Q2 in Newport
The Sarah Jane Adventures[1]science fiction children's drama532006–2010
  • entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios[1]
Torchwood[1][3]science fiction drama312006–2008
Torchwood Declassified'making-of' documentary272006–2008
  • moved to Los Angeles
Totally Doctor Whochildren's magazine programme122007
  • moved from BBC Wales
Sherlock[7]crime drama9 + pilot2009–2013
Sarah Jane's Alien Fileschildren's compilation programme62010
  • entire series produced at Upper Boat Studios

Productions partially filmed at Upper Boat Studios

title genre no. of
Upstairs Downstairscostume drama32010


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "Current BBC production studios outside London > Roath Lock - Cardiff". TVStudioHistory.co.uk. Martin Kempton - History of British television studios. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "BBC Studios". DoctorWhoLocations.net. Doctor Who Locations Guide. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Nick Dermody (27 July 2006). "Time Lord handed permanent home". BBC.co.uk. BBC Wales at BBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  4. "Last day of Doctor Who filming at Upper Boat..." Edward Russell. Twitter. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  5. "Still at Upper Boat Studios". Sherlockology. Twitter. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  6. "Work starts on BBC Wales drama village in Cardiff Bay". BBC.co.uk. BBC News. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  7. 1 2 Maggie Brown (3 December 2010). "Upstairs, Downstairs: the return of a classic". TheStage.co.uk. The Stage, The Stage Media Company Limited. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
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