Doctor Who: How the Doctor & Daleks crossed Abbey Road

Why did The Doctor cross the road? It actually wasn’t about getting to the other side.

Instead, the Doctor Who team deftly manipulated time when they recreated the Beatles’ iconic 1969 cover shoot for the classic album Abbey Road.


How did The Doctor – and Clara – cross the road?

What better way to promote a show all about travel through time and space than to revisit one of the most iconic locations on the planet? To herald the ninth season — with the Twelfth Doctor — of the BBC’s Doctor Who, the popular television show’s two leads joined with two alien creatures in the place and pose made famous by the Fab Four.

For two minutes during the weekend of September 19, 2015, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) — and two Daleks — stood in the crosswalk on a busy street in London. Because the traffic interruption had to be kept to a minimum, timing of the photo had to be precise.

As seen in the video below, just moments after the cars stopped, crewmembers wheeled two Daleks into place. Then the actors took their positions, and stepped back and forth until the moment was captured on camera. (Coleman was walking barefoot — an homage to Paul McCartney’s lack of shoes in the original photo.) The moment the photo shoot was done, the street was cleared — Capaldi and the crew pushed the Daleks off to the side, with nary an “Exterminate!” to be heard.

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The classic Beatles album cover shot

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon crossed Abbey Road on August 8, 1969 for photographer Iain Macmillan.


Doctor Who on Abbey Road photo shoot video

How long did it take the team to get the Doctor Who Abbey Road photo? Find out in this behind-the-scenes video.

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