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1/15/2006 03:00:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

January 15, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has received a large number of photographs taken during the filming of Series Two of Doctor Who this past week, as production continues on Block Three directed by Graeme Harper, the two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen" and its second (as yet untitled) half, being shown as episodes 5 and 6, and the final two-parter, episodes 12 and 13, "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday". The photographs, taken on location in Cardiff, feature Cybermen on patrol, series stars David Tennant, Billie Piper and guest star Shaun Dingwall (Pete) and director Graeme Harper; some of them are taken during night filming, hence the darkness of the images (especially those taken while filming was going on, as our correspondents did not use flash photography to avoid spoiling the shot). In addition, we have a collection of set reports as submitted by our correspondents over the past seven days, collected here for easy reading; as some of this can be considered to be spoilers, click on the spoiler tag to read the set reports, and click on each thumbnail for a larger version of the photographs. (Thanks to Paul Mount, David Shaw, Chris Lane, Matt Spencer, Gareth Price, Simon Watkins, Ian Golden, John Campbell Rees, Timothy Farr)
Paul Mount (7 January)

Filming in Mount Stuart Square, just off Bute Street in the Bay area of Cardiff. A built-up area of civic buildings and businesses. Filming at one end of the road. Extras dressed as soldiers. The basic scene being rehearsed and filmed this morning was a street scene - business people, shoppers, people milling about. The Doctor and Rose are walking amongst them - in full costume (Billie in a red/pink top and black trousers, the Doc in full regalia). Suddenly everyone stops still - apart from the Doctor and Rose.Our heroes wander around them,trying to get some response. Rose's mobile starts to download information - weather reports, lottery numbers etc. The Doctor examines it, mentions something about it being a product of "Cyber-technogy" and then tosses the phone casually back at her. They walk off.

Looks like a very thorough shoot. Graeme Harper directing. RTD turned up towards lunchtime and gave group hugs to Billie and David. More filming later.

John Campbell Rees (7 January)

Unfortunately, cue to work committments, by the time I got to Mount Stuart Square this afternoon, Billie Piper and David Tennant were long gone. However, I did see the filming of a background shot that creeped me out big time whilst it was being filmed, and I cannot wait to see it with the music and sound effects added. Basically it was a street scene with about a dozen extras, filmed old style with multiple cameras. One camera was mounted on a boom and followed one man, in a long brown coat, who was sitting on a bench. He appears to read a text on his mobile, and he gets up and crosses the road. The camera on the boom tracks him, and when he hit a mark, the cue was given and everyone in the scene stopped and stood still as statue. They were all wearing Cybus Corporation headsets in both ears, all with flashing blue L.E.D.s. After a few seconds, another cue was given, and all the extras turned to face the same direction, and then on a third cue, they all marched out of shot.

I was a bit confused by the fact that I could not see Graeme Harper, only a woman giving instructions to the extras. So I said to my friend Tim Farr, "I thought Graeme Harper was directing this". "He is." he replied. "So where is he?" asked I. "Sitting there, right in front of you, at the camera monitors." Mr. Harper must have heard me, and at that point, I was wishing the ground would open up and swallow me.

David Shaw (8 January)

My daughter and I went to Mount Stuart Square at 10.30 yesterday morning and saw a group of extras dressed as soldiers in combat gear standing around the usual lighting and props vans. A security guard said it was fine to watch the filming and asked us to stand with the soldiers (out of shot). We looked up the next street and were amazed and delighted to see David Tennant and Billie Piper walking down the road in full costume, filming in front of the Barclays bank building. We couldn’t believe our luck! David and Billie filmed the same scene several times, walking towards where we were standing. I wasn’t sure about the new Doctor’s costume in the publicity photos, but the long brown coat looked great in real life and the pumps reminded me of the fifth Doctor. Billie looked brilliant too, in a red top and black trousers. It was the Doctor and Rose!

The crew set up another shot further up the road round the corner and between takes David and Billie put on padded coats and drank cups of coffee, to escape the bitter cold weather. The second shot lasted only a few seconds; it was rehearsed and recorded a few times and involved a crowd of extras: some of the soldiers, policemen and many in contemporary dress. I recognised Graham Harper, the director, and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. A separate camera was filming for “Confidential” and someone was interviewing Graham. David and Billie were chatting at length between takes, at one point he said something that made her laugh out loud. David was jumping up and down to keep warm- I was struck by his energetic way of moving around, running here and there (a great Doctor). There was a silver “people carrier” vehicle with blacked-out windows, in which the two stars could keep warm. They then filmed another brief scene at a different part of the road. This time we were on the pavement about ten feet away from David and Billie while they rehearsed, which was exciting. We were able to watch them filming for over an hour, and noticed several signs put up for the shoot. There was a London Underground sign on a wall, some “Evening Standard” newspaper stands, the large “Cybus Corporation To Let” signs, some small white cards with the Cybus “C” printed in black and a fake Chinese restaurant sign “Ying Wah” as well as a poster showing a girl’s face with “Henrik’s” written in the corner.

We had a coffee break (to warm up) and when we returned (at 12.30) the security guard asked us to watch from an alleyway while David and Billie continued to film further down the street. The security guard was really kind and gave my daughter some “Dr Who” postcards. He also mentioned that a few weeks ago the cybermen were filmed walking down the same streets (Mount Stuart Square). I asked how many and was delighted when he said sixteen! I can’t wait to see this episode. He said that the new cybermen make a loud noise as they move. Apparently, 8 cybermen were coming from one direction and 8 from another and they were to meet up at the corner of the two streets. He compared the noise of the 16 silver giants moving to a train, and said they had problems getting all of the actors’ movements syncronised.

In the alleyway with us was a crew member and you can imagine our surprise when Russell T. Davies ran into the alley (he had just arrived). He had a few pleasant words with the guy from the crew and then I was able to shake his hand and congratulate him on the return of “Doctor Who”. My daughter told him she’d enjoyed “The Christmas Invasion” and he asked if she likes the Sycorax (yes, she does). He was really kind and it was wonderful to chat with the man who’s brought back our favourite show. Russell went over to David and Billie and gave them a hug and more footage was filmed in the street. Then they all got into the silver vehicle and drove off for lunch at 1.30.
In the afternoon David and Billie did not return. Instead scenes with the crowd of extras were filmed, involving the camera on a crane. Many were wearing small ear-pieces which flashed with a blue light (cyber control?). The extras were asked to walk down the road and then stop and freeze all together (like musical statues!). RTD and Phil Collinson were talking to Graham Harper and again I was struck by the good vibes between everyone involved in the production team. We stood and watched for quite a while and could also see the images on the monitor screens, which looked really good. The filming had ended by 5pm when the last props guys were tidying up and packing away.

Chris Lane (8 January)

Only managed to catch the last bit of filming myself, and didn't get any good pics... The filming was for episodes 5, 6, and 13. I wonder if there's any significance in the same group of extras being used, or if the crew are just hoping the audience won't spot the same faces in the backgrounds? A scene with the extras in business outfits, with David and Billie, and "some big guy" inbetween them. My source didn't know who this was and I didn't see this myself, so it could be a big name they didn't recognise or just another extra! A scene with the extras having to look to the sky, horrified. Presumably something's going to be CGI'd in or cut to in editing. A scene with the extras having to all laugh at the same time.... The final scene of the day, where the extras all mill about, then on cue freeze and head in the same direction. There'd been studio filming the previous day, for 12 and 13.

Timothy Farr (9 January)

Here's what I could hear of Saturday's dialogue scene by being stood close to the camera awning:

(The Doctor and Rose are walking along the street while ordinary people of all ages and descriptions go about their business around them. Ordinary except that they all wear the silver ear pieces with a flashing blue light in both ears. Suddenly and simultaneously they all stop in place, faces blank, expressionless. The Doctor and Rose look around in some bewilderment. After a moment, movement and expression return to the locals as though a switch has been thrown. They continue about their lives as if they had never stopped. Rose takes out her new mobile phone and opens it.)

Rose: (reads off, slowly) ...News, international news, sport, weather... (trails off)

(Shows the phone to the Doctor, who takes his glasses from is pocket and pops them on to examine it.)

The Doctor: Cybus corporation.... You're mad you lot - you'll do anything for the latest upgrade!

(Throws the phone back to her and they continue walking.)

This is far from exact and I certainly couldn't hear all the dialogue in this sequence, but I'm sure we'll hear the rest in the finished episode.

John Campbell Rees (12 January)

Womanby Street in Cardiff, behind the Gatekeeper public house is currently being dressed for filming. Lots of Cybus Corportion signs around, so it looks like it is still the cybermen story.

Ian Golden (12 January)

I’ve had a fantastic afternoon / evening watching Doctor Who filming. One of the best yet.

They were filming a scene from the Cybermen two parter. David Tennant, Billie Piper and Shaun Dingwall were all present and very involved. The action contained four Cybermen stomping out from a passageway attacking the trio mentioned plus one unknown guest star, then a shot was filmed with the four all running away. Finally, more Cybermen walking shots were filmed. All this plus set up took around four hours.

Then came the classic. I was with my friends Andy and Mel Hill along with their five year old son, Sam. During a break in filming, I walked up to David Tennant and said, “There’s a five-year old boy over there who would love to meet the Doctor and if the Doctor has a minute, would he be able to come over?”

David was delighted to. He asked Sam if he’d watched the Christmas special and even held Sam for a photo. I think it might go in the South Wales Echo tomorrow as there was a reporter there with us. He signed autographs for Sam and I to complete a great night. What a fantastic bloke.

Simon Watkins (14 January)

The production crew were friendly enough. They invited us to walk right to the edge of the set where we were lucky enough to clearly view the last two shots of the day which had the Cybermen marching around. The final shot had 4 Cybermen marching from half down Womanby Street near Wetherspoon's right up to the corner near The City Arms, and was completed with one take.

There was a family with a small child and they allowed them to take a few snaps of him with the Cybermen sans helmuts (they wear black robocop type skull caps underneath). Meanwhile I snapped a couple of pics of them as they were leaving. I made sure they didn't mind me doing this, I know they technically can't stop you, but it's always best to keep them sweet as it were. They'd rather sneakily wrapped cloaks around themselves presumably to make themselves less conspicious (as if!). Up close the Cybermen were very impressive; the Cyber suits seemed to be quite flexible; latexy rather than metallic, but still quite shiny when lit correctly. They made heck of a noise when they were stomping down the street.