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7/21/2004 09:06:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

We have three items here; first, a set report by David Shaw (in the spoiler tags as usual), as well as a collection of new photos from Wednesday night's evening filming session courtesy Leon Hughes, below; the first of these photos (the one that appears red in the thumbnail) is a spoiler image so be warned (it's explained in the spoiler tag!)

The Sun has also run an article today entitled "Time Travelling for Dummies" which features spoilers and therefore is in the spoiler tag. (Thanks to Leon Hughes, David Shaw, Steve Tribe)

SPOILER PHOTO ABOVE: The first photo... recognize it? It's an Auton hand weapon. Obviously the production team are giving fans a real treat in the new series!

The Sun report: Today's The Sun spoils the Autons for the general public. "DR WHO faces an old foe when he returns to TV - marauding mannequins called the Autons," the article says. "They terrify the time traveller's helper, played by Billie Piper, when they spring to life as she shops. She finds herself at the centre of the action in the show's first new series for 15 years. Billie, who plays Rose Tyler, completed her first day's filming in Cardiff alongside new Doctor Christopher Eccleston yesterday. The Autons' last adversary was Jon Pertwee 33 years ago."

Tuesday Set Report:

The Autons are back! After reading the tip-offs on Outpost Gallifrey (thanks), I travelled the 150 miles to Cardiff yesterday (Tues 20th July) with my 6-year-old daughter, Emma, in the hope of experiencing a bit of the magic of Dr WhoÆs return. We found the Working Street/St. John Street location quite easily, and wandered past the production team vans at 5.30pm. Emma was delighted to spot a familiar group of shop-dummy props in the back of one of the trucks, clearly indicating the return of the Autons! The street was then dressed to resemble 1950s(?) London; props were positioned: a red telephone box, Underground sign, red post box, London bus stop, gaslamps, two industrial metal dustbins and an Evening Standard headline display announcing ôProper rigmaroleö (? la Web Of Fear). The sign of the ôSneakersö sports shoe shop was removed and replaced with a fictional ôClassic Brideö pink shopfront. Wedding gowns arrived for the dummies as well as ôC.B.ö logo stickers for the shop windows. We were excited to realise that it would be the scene of an Auton breakout, as glaziers arrived to fit temporary glass windows! The exterior of the Toad @ The Exhibition pub was transformed into a police station, with new signs, an information board and a blue ôpoliceö lamp. We had followed two traditional 1950s-style London buses from the motorway into Cardiff earlier in the afternoon and were amazed to see them turn up in the Dr. Who street. In fact there was a range of vehicles: fire engine, Royal Mail lorry, Evening Standard van, two black London taxis and the two buses. We tried to keep out of the way and were allowed to wander up and down the street until after 8pm. A few of the workers spoke to us in a friendly manner, and no-one asked us to move away. As darkness fell, the area was closed off by the Police with ôdo not crossö tape, and some extras dressed as firemen arrived. We heard a few rehearsals and shouts of ôQuiet Please!ö as some minor schenes were filmed. Since it was now 9.30 pm and it seemed likely that the main filming would not take place until the middle of the night, we left. We returned at 5am this morning, however, as dawn was breaking to find the clear-up in full swing. Significantly, there was shattered glass all over the pavement in front of the ôClassic Brideö shop, and we watched as the props were systematically removed (all the vehicles had already gone). The Auton shop dummies were piled up in the street and then all props were put back into the trucks. Emma had a fantastic time - Dr Who is definitely back!
David Shaw