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‘Doctor Who’ Producer Jane Tranter Says British TV Tax Credits Must Be Updated Amid Over-Reliance On Hollywood Investment

Jane Tranter, the co-founder of Doctor Who and His Dark Materials producer Bad Wolf, has called on the UK government to update British television tax credits to promote domestic investment.

Tranter, one of the UK’s most highly-regarded producers, said television’s voice “got lost” in the UK’s recent Spring Budget, which introduced a “game-changing” 40% British indie film relief.

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Tranter said similar thought needs to be given to the existing TV tax incentive regime amid fears that the UK has become over-reliant on Hollywood investment. She added that cuts at the BBC and ITV had exacerbated the situation.

Tranter was giving evidence to UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which is examining challenges faced by the film and high-end television industry.

“We need to look at some of the lower-end shows … which are too UK-focused to really attract any inward investment and they are becoming increasingly difficult to make,” Tranter said.

“It’s gotten a bit out of whack. Protection for those lower-cost shows — in the same way that my colleagues excellently got for the £15M and under films in the UK — would be really helpful.”

She added that U.S. studios should be forced to make commitments to the UK economy, including training and investment outside of London, to access tax credits. She said this would stop global giants housing production in Britain, making a “quick buck,” and then leaving.

The former BBC executive argued that the pandemic, U.S. strikes, and streamer retrenchment had exposed the UK’s dependency on Hollywood. “What it’s done is it’s just made the UK industry very aware of how reliant it has become on inward investment and how it wasn’t always that way,” Tranter said.

More than 78% of the £4.2B ($5.3B) spent on UK film and TV production in 2023 was from inward investment, according to the British Film Institute.

Bad Wolf operates its own studio space in Wales and Tranter is a seasoned advocate for investment in the devolved nation. The Sony Pictures Television-backed company co-produces Doctor Who with BBC Studios, with the new season starring Ncuti Gatwa premiering on the BBC and Disney+ on May 10.

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