Published on March 9th, 2012 | by Philip Bates
The Ultimate Location?
Given the task of picking one Doctor Who location to visit, many would just say ‘Cardiff,’ and have done with it. Of course, you can go to the Millennium Stadium, which has doubled for the Stormcage Facility, Van Statten’s museum, the corridors of Torchwood in The Runaway Bride, and various other places in time and space. Or Eddie’s Diner, the Cardiff-based, American-styled cafe where Amy, Rory and River meet with the Doctor after he’s been shot. Maybe you could just wander around Roald Dahl Plass and look at the ‘the Torchwood hub.’
But there’s so much more than that. Just look at the recent news that the series has begun filming in Spain, a country the show has visited twice before. The series has a long history of filming… everywhere!
It would also be too easy to say you want to visit Lime Grove Studio, BBC Television Centre (RIP) or Upper Boat – because don’t we all! So where would we all love to go?
Portmeirion is best known for being ‘that creepy place where The Prisoner was filmed,’ obviously, but Season Fourteen’s The Masque of Mandragora was also shot there, doubling for San Martino. There, you can see where the Fourth Doctor escaped execution at Gloriette Piazza, or follow the path of the Mandragora Helix through Bridge House.
The council estate the Doctor, Amy and Rory search around to find the ‘scariest place in the universe’ in Night Terrors is in Bristol. Waring House can be found on Redcliff Hill, and filming in September 2010 eased Bristolians’ anger (a little bit) after the setting of Casualty moved elsewhere.
The creepy greenery where The Flood first surfaced in s can be explored at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, while Victoria Place is the home of Adelaide.
Doubling for a French avenue, the driveway of White Plains – a residential house for the elderly in Denham – was the first location used for Doctor Who; though it’s where the first Doctor is seen wandering about, the Time Lord was actually played by Brian Proudfoot, as William Hartnell was busy rehearsing!
Doctor Who’s even been allowed to film at Stonehenge.
I could go on forever.
Personally, I’d love to visit two places in particular. Well, two places that immediately spring to mind anyway.
Firstly, who wouldn’t want to go to Monument Valley and Lone Rock Beach in Utah? Other than the stunning vistas, these two locations are of interest because they were used in The Impossible Astronaut/ Day of the Moon – and various flashbacks throughout series six! Monument Valley was seen extensively, in particular when the TARDIS team meet up again and a Stetson is brutally murder by River.
Lone Rock Beach is best known as Lake Silencio, where the ‘Doctor’ was ‘killed.’ It’s so famous, even the Tesselacta have the lowdown on it!
And finally returning to the classic series, how about Oldbury Power Station in Thornbury, where a possessed Sarah Jane revived Eldrad in The Hand of Fear?
The actual station is private, naturally, but you can still get some good exterior views. Tragically, however, the power station was decommissioned last month, after threats of closure since 2008; a fact that will bring a tear to the eye of even the most stone-faced Whovian.
Maybe they could turn it into a Doctor Who museum…?