/* *********** TRACKING ******* */

Bookmark and Share First Day Cardiff Report

7/19/2004 06:19:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Outpost Gallifrey correspondent Dave Shuttleworth was in the Cardiff area on Sunday and reported in our forum about some of the goings-on in town. We have marked these as spoilers though there is very little specific information. Several batches of photos of the area, including some of the film crew vans and a few facades, are being discussed in our forum in the new series sections and Outpost Gallifrey hopes to post them for our readers later today. (Thanks to Dave Shuttleworth)

After looking at the streets listed as this week's locations on the news page, I popped in to the Cardiff Visitor Centre, in Working Street. I figured there was no harm in asking whether or not they could confirm that Doctor Who was going to be filmed outside their premises and, sure enough, not only are the crew using the street, they're using the visitor centre itself as a location, together with the pub next door (Toad @ the Exhibition).

The two premises are part of the same building - the old city library - and are being used as a police station. I went into the Toad for lunch (not bad and reasonably priced!) and got chatting to the girls behind the bar. They're getting ready to let the Doctor Who crew use half the pub on Tuesday night from 7pm (the rest will be open to the public) and are quite excited about the prospect.

From there I walked out to the old Cardiff Royal Infirmary, which is a wonderfully ramshackle example of gothic decay - a great location! In the area at the front of the building was a group of about eight or ten extras, dressed as soldiers - camouflage gear, red berets and heavy rifles - together with one man dressed in a smart military uniform, with a cap (from the military police vehicle I spotted later, I would guess they might be 'Redcaps' but I didn't recognise the insignia on the berets, which was sort-of T-shaped metal badge - perhaps a figure with arms outstretched?)

There were various film crew types wandering about and an awful lot of lighting/equipment vans and other lorries. Circling the site, there were lots of temporary 'BBC Wales' signs and I asked one of the chaps what was going on (I'm sure my pretence of 'not being all that interested' didn't fool him for a moment!) and he said: "It's the first day of filming on the new series of Doctor Who."

Back round at the front of the building, some set dressing was going on at the hospital gates - a big 'metal' arch, painted black, with 'ALBION HOSPITAL' in gold letters, which were being dirtied down. From the safety of the other side of the road I watched for a while (I was desperate not to run the slightest risk of getting in the way or annoying anyone and it's a very public place, so what the hey?) then went off to the cinema for a couple of hours.

When the film was over I couldn't resist popping back for another look! By this time (around 4pm) there were a handful of police vehicles (basic markings - stripes and lettering, blank insignia - so not a specific force, apart from one that had 'MILITARY POLICE' on its bonnet. Maybe extra decals will be added later?) and the armoured car. Round the back of the infirmary were four extras, dressed as police wearing tactical gear (black combat stuff).