Bristol Film Office is a Bristol City Council service dedicated to all productions planning to film in the city. We can assist at all stages of production, from initial location and crewing advice to recces and logistical support.
The Church on Ruby Road – Clifton locations feature in the Doctor Who Christmas special

The Church on Ruby Road – Clifton locations feature in the Doctor Who Christmas special

Many Bristolian fans of The Doctor may still be buzzing from watching Bristol provide the backdrop for action scenes in 60th Anniversary special The Giggle earlier this month.

Hot on the heels of that explosive episode, comes the 2023 Christmas special The Church on Ruby Road that was also filmed on location in Bristol supported by our Film Office team.

As the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) takes over the TARDIS for his first epic adventure he will be joined by Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) making her debut as the Doctor’s companion. Joining the cast are Davina McCall playing herself alongside Michelle Greenidge as Ruby’s mum Carla, Angela Wynter as Ruby’s grandmother Cherry and Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood.

Filming took place in Clifton earlier this year when the iconic TARDIS was stationed on the corner of Frederick Place and Wetherell Place. These streets and nearby Bruton Place and Park Place were dressed to double as a festive Notting Hill setting.

Doctor Who The Church on Ruby Road (image courtesy BBC) filming location Frederick Place Bristol
Millie Gibson in The Church on Ruby Road (image: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)
Filming location: Frederick Place/Wetherell Place, Bristol

Christmas decorations adorned the pavements and railings, and street signs for ‘Minto Road’ and ‘Forebridge Street’ in ‘W11, the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’ were added to street corners. A Routemaster bus, London bus stops and black cabs were also part of the set dressing, as well as bins and post boxes marked as belonging to the London Borough.

Doctor Who The Church on Ruby Road (image courtesy BBC) filming location Frederick Place Bristol

In The Church on Ruby Road, the Doctor comes face-to-face with the mythical and mysterious goblins as his life collides with Ruby Sunday. Little is known about Ruby as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby.

Now living with her mum, Carla and grandmother Cherry, her world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters the Doctor and the two set off on their first adventure together.

(Left: Millie Gibson in The Church on Ruby Road. Image: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios. Location: Frederick Place, Bristol

The Church on Ruby Road is written by Russell T Davies, produced by Chris May and directed by Mark Tonderai. It is produced by Bad Wolf with BBC Studios and Disney Branded Television.

As we near the end of a year that has been challenging for many that work behind the scenes in film and TV production, it’s fantastic to see three major titles filmed in Bristol landing on screen this festive season. Whether it was The Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and his new companion Millie Gibson causing a stir on the streets of Clifton, the beautiful Blaise Castle Estate hosting the medieval village of Avalon for The Winter King, or our city locations providing the backdrop for life-or-death drama TrueLove, these shows illustrate the vital role that Bristol plays as a filming destination for primetime UK television.

Now that the US writers and actors strikes are behind us, the industry is looking ahead to a busier 2024 where production activity is expected to return to the high levels seen previously. We look forward to supporting many more major productions at The Bottle Yard Studios and Bristol Film Office.

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council

Don’t forget to check out our Doctor Who in Bristol Movie Map to view more Bristol locations featured in the world’s longest running sci-fi series over the past 60 years.