Sunday, 8 April 2012

Production Roundup

Production:

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has reported that the fourth episode of the series will be produced on its own as Block Three, to be directed by Douglas Mackinnon, who previously filmed The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky; the episode will also be the second script written by Chris Chibnall for this series.

This will then be followed by Block Four, due to commence production in May, and of course introduces us to a new traveller in the TARDIS in the form Jenna-Louise Coleman in the 2012 Christmas Special. This will also be the first story to be totally produced at the new BBC Roath Lock studios in Cardiff Bay.

Steven Moffat described the audition process for the new arrival: "I sat down and wrote a scene, from a pretend story, that I thought covered everything a Doctor Who co-star might have to do. And that one scene ended up being three scenes, and two of them I liked so much, they snuck themselves into real eposodes, and one I liked even better because during it we all realised Jenna was our one and only choice. We all sat and watched this - me, Caro Skinner, Marcus Wilson and Andy Pryor - and I'm sure you could hear our heart rates soaring. Because there it was, right in front of us, the new team and the new show." This scene is included in DWM Issue 446.

Casting director Andy Pryor described the process of short-listing for roles to DWM: "My original list was probably a couple of hundred names, which I whittled down to around fifty. Then I began auditioning in earnest - in the intake stages, I'll audition maybe twenty people at a time for a role like this - and showing the best of them to Steven, Caro and Marcus. For smaller roles and guest parts we usually audition somewhere between three and five people, but for such an enormous part it's a bigger deal. Between us we shortlisted further and recalled a small selection to read with Matt. We met some brilliant actresses for the part, but when Jenna auditioned with Matt, we all knew instantly that she was the one."

After photos with classic Daleks revealed by the BBC and Moffat last week, one owned by former head writer Russell T Davies has also been pressed into action! The arrival of 'her' at the studios were marked by brand manager Edward Russell: "Oh look. It's me and Caroline Skinner posing with Russell's Dalek on her way to the studio!« Daleks are female, right? It make so much sense. For one they have skirts....«". The executive producer herself said: "Russell's Dalek has arrived on set - I'm talking her through her part!«" Russell's partner Andrew saw it off: "Our Dalek on its way to TV stardom in Cardiff«", to which Steven Moffat replied: "We'll all look after it. Except for the Doctor, who'll probably blow it up. Sorry, he does that.«"


Photo: Edward Russell/Twitter


Photo: Caroline Skinner/Twitter


Photo: Andrew C Smith/Twitter

Filming from the current block indicates that Director of Photography for episodes one and five is Neville Kidd - previous credits include Lip Service, How To Grow A Planet and Case Histories, and he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Photography (Factual) in 2009 for his work on A History of Scotland

Media:

Matt Smith on how things are progressing with filming: "It's really great. I think we've got some really exciting episodes. We did the read-throughs for episodes one and five and they are extremely extraordinary. Really, really pleased with them, so if we get them right, the Ponds' final hour could be incredible. We will be making some Doctor Who in New York which is incredibly exciting." [Independent, 5 Apr 2012]

Will a woman be taking over the role of the Doctor for the 50th Anniversary? According to the Express, she will, with their show insider saying: "The 50th anniversary series will end with a very big twist - the Doctor becoming a woman will give the show a new lease of life.". The newspaper cites Sherlock actress Lara Pulver as being one of the front-runners. [Express, 2 Apr 2012]

Filming Reports:

After a number of weeks hidden away in studio or abroad, the production team has finally been out and about on the public streets of Cardiff once more, with filming taking place across Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for both episodes one and five. The "Silver Cloak" were on hand to watch the exterior filming, and the following summaries of the shoots contain potential plot revelations - though the details have also been widely reported on Twitter, do not read further unless you don't mind knowing such details!





















Wednesday saw the exterior of Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy pressed into service, and like with Day of the Moon in last year's series the area was dressed to look like a New York street, including a parking sign and a 'stunt' tree. Weeping angels were in attendance (including those seen at the Doctor Who Convention in March), with scenes being shot of two Angels on pedestals by the building entrance with Rory, then the Doctor and Amy seen to enter cautiously. Another actor, named "Rob" also filmed scenes outside the building, which was named "Winter Quay" for the story.

Brian Damage commented: "it probably doesn't sound like the most exciting scene (and there were no spoilers), but somehow those Angel statues are really quite disturbing. Even though they are the same statues which were on display in the BBC studios and at the convention, seeing them out in the real World is really unsettling!"

Simon Watkins also reported: "Inside the building, some other scenes had clearly been shot too. There were people milling around, and we saw later some other characters/extras emerging in period dress, including a small girl with a pink ribbon in her hair."

Filming continued to around 1:15am.


Further photos from the evening's shoot can be found by Alun Vega on Flickr and Laura Blakemore on Facebook. Some video footage from the evening is also available to view from Simon Watkins and "RabbitLights" (1, 2).

The evening's activities were also reported by WalesOnline.
The production team spent the early afternoon of Thursday filming outside the house nominated as Amy and Rory's in Bute Esplanade, plus the TARDIS sited in the park across the street (as usual!). A clapperboard indicated that one of the scenes was Episode 1 Scene 64, and activity involved Amy and Rory waving the TARDIS goodbye, and also an apparent row between the pair in the street. Filming wrapped around 3:00pm.


Further photos from the afternoon's shoot can be found by Lee Tucker on Flickr, Laura Blakemore on Facebook, and Whovians.net on ImageBam. Video footage from the afternoon is also available to view from "Cjllewey369".

The afternoon shoot was reported by the Daily Mail and The Sun.
A number of locations represented London and New York during Friday afternoon/evening, with filming taking place for both episodes one and five.

First up was the familiar sight of Mount Stuart Square, which has appeared a number of times in the series past, most notably as the streets of London during Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel and Doomsday. The square was once again substituted for those streets, with a prop a bus stop indicating Wimbledon Theatre and a "Number 23" bus to Liverpool Street present at the location. A clapperboard indicated that Episode 1 Scene 5 was in progress, and Ryan Farrell summarised proceedings: "Rory gets on a London bus, with "divorce papers", for him and Amelia Williams. Rory is the one filing for divorce. Let's remember that this could be a dream/nightmare sequence or alternate reality. Here's the interesting bit; the bus driver had, in his hand as Rory got on (not in all takes), a mini Dalek eyestalk! It seemed to be New Paradigm style, with the jagged edges rather than smooth, but it did have a blue glowing light and wires coming out of it."


Second location of the afternoon was based in the interior Custom House in Bute Street, a Victorian building that is being renovated as part of a redevelopment project. This might have been for either episode one or five, with Ryan reporting: "Matt, Karen, Arthur and a mystery black guy in the suit and posh hat were all in there."


Action then moved to Bay Chambers in West Bute Street. Ryan picks up the action: "'Winter Quay' from Wednesday's filming is actually a hotel, and the interiors were filmed here. Rory was in a cellar, and gets zapped by something (presumably an Angel) and appears in New York in the past. Arthur had to jump off a small box and look confused and shaken up. Then he looks up, at the Statue of Liberty. He was told to gaze at it as if there was something not quite right about it. He couldn't think what. Next, they filmed "Rob" (actor's name) getting out of a car. It was very odd. They only filmed his shoulders and head, and there was actually no car at all. He had to mime it by squatting and then standing up. He makes a comment about the Statue of Liberty too, and also looks confused, and walks on."

Brian Damage added: "At a guess I'd say that the street scene was not meant to be in quite the same geographical location: the interior of Winters Quay (glimpsed through the door tonight) was the same set up as the false wall which they used at the Physics lab, on Wednesday night. In other words, the Physics lab is the outside of the main entrance, whilst this building is the interior. From the action, it seems likely that this scene follows on from the filming at the previous location, making both scenes part of Episode 5 - which of course fits with the costume of the unidentified black actor spotted at the previous location."

Filming again wrapped around 1:15am.


Further photos from the day can be found by Lee Tucker on Flickr. Some video footage from the evening is also available to view from Lee and Ryan Farrell (afternoon, evening).
The fourth consecutive day of location filming moved out of Wales to nearby Bristol, utilising the architectural interiors of the University's School of Physics and the Institute for Advanced Studies. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were present, with scenes from both episode one and five believed to be taking place.

One fan said: "The angels were in the physics block - I think,they were letting anyone go and look lol. They're filming till 3am and it looks like no Matt. It was all inside and being that we got what we went for we left after they went inside."

Tiny Time Lord continued: "It was only Karen at Fort House - we got there at 22:30 and it was just Karen and two girls as Weeping Angels (we got their autographs as well) Arthur wasn't around. We're pretty sure Matts stunt double was there though. a guy in same jeans/boots and bow tie with his hair styled as Matt. Couldn't get near enough to ask him though! The Angels left at just gone midnight and Karen went back in to film some more. We left just before 00:30!"


Filming reports/photos thanks to: Brian Damage, Lee Tucker, Laura Blakemore, Penny Blakemore, Simon Watkins, Alun Vega, Ryan Farrell, Tiny Time Lord