Another set report from Paul Mount, who braved the elements today in Cardiff Bay to report on the current state of affairs from the outdoor production of the new series; click on the spoiler tag for more information.
Well there's cold and then there's cold. Then there's freezing. Then there's Cardiff Bay, mid february 2005 and my extremities have never felt more extreme.
Just back from a recce down to the Bay to see what's going on tonight. A hive of activity and some interesting bits'n'pieces. Firstly, as reported above, the TARDIS is there outside the Millenium centre, covered by its tarpaulin and curiously, when I passed at around 8.40pm, unguarded. I was tempted to run inside and fiddle with helmic regulators or at least turn the heating on but thought better of it. (On the way back not long ago there are security guards milling around and the Police Box is lit up, still underneath the tarpaulin)
Further on, on the esplanade of the Bay where a number of restaurants and bars cluster together, the unit's been busy filming otuside the long Terra Nova bar. Here Noel Clarke and Billie Piper's stand-in (Billie's sick, apparently) are filming a scene on a bench by the railings overlooking the bay (the same bench,I think, where I once ate chips with a now ex-girlfriend....ah, the romance!) A couple of rehearsals and the camera turns. Mickey (for it is he) is talking with Rose. A number of pedstrians are passing by. Suddenly, they start looking alarmed, looking up and all around. They start running and screaming, mass panic. Rose jumps up and runs off. Mickey, clearly annoyed, jumps up too. "It's him again, isn't it?" he says (or words very much to that effect). "It's the Doctor. It's always about the Doctor, isn't it? It's never about me!" The scene is recorded again - Noel fluffs his line and curses in fluent Ango-Saxon (Denis Nordern wouldn't approve) to the amusement of crew and onlookers. A quick break and the scene's rehearsed and recorded again, this time with the addition of a shower of polystyrene rubble being thrown on the fleeing crowd from the balcony of the Terra Nova bar.
Now it's getting seriously cold. Even a cappucino from the nearby coffeee mania booth can barely get my fingers tingling again. The unit starts to reposition their equipment (oo-er). More extras (and Billie's double) rush around in front of another nearby building and more rubble is thrown. Much screaming.
Sorry, my toes are dying. As I drift off back to the warmth of my car (ah, blessed heater!) the crew are positioning tables and chairs outside the coffee bar so they look as if they've been knocked over during some sort of panicky exodus. On my way back to my own private TARDIS (well, my car) I pass the real thing, glowing beneath the tarpaulin. I take a quick snap but the flash obviously attracts the attention of a security guard who starts to wander over as I'm wandering away. I suspect that if I linger he'll chase me away with a big stick.