London VFX house Milk has created the visual effects for the BBC’s Deep Breath, Peter Capaldi’s debut episode as Doctor Who, directed by Ben Wheatley for the eighth series of Doctor Who. The 80-minute episode was simulcast and screened in cinemas globally on 23 August.
The focus of Milk’s work was the principal villain Half-Face Man who appears throughout the episode. Milk replaced one entire side of the actor Peter Ferdinando’s head in 87 of the 117 digital shots produced by Milk. The company created the CG hollow cage-like structure which makes up the missing half of Half-Face Man’s head as well as the visible internal workings of his head which resemble the mechanics of a clock.
Milk also designed and created the T-Rex in the opening sequence and the Victorian London cityscape which included CG builds of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St Paul’s, along with wide fly-over views of the Thames.
Will Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Milk VFX commented: “The most exciting challenge of Deep Breath was realising the Half-Face Man, not least because of the sheer number of shots. We heavily relied upon all aspects of Milk’s pipeline in order to successfully achieve a photo-real look that allowed the audience to totally engage with the character. Ben Wheatley and the production team made it a hugely enjoyable collaboration. He worked very closely with us to enable us to achieve work that we are very proud of.”