Wednesday, 11 September 2013

#dwsr - Lydstep Flats, Christmas filming!

The Tardis is assembled!
The flats receive a quick festive makeover.
Normally you get the tiniest bit of culture shock when you see Doctor Who's massive Christmas tree or robot Santas lurking around Cardiff in the middle of summer. I'm now so used to this that it was weird watching filming for the Christmas 2013 episode of Doctor Who when mince pies are in the shops (seriously they are, I've just been to the Co-op.) Christmas trees and a blow-up Father Christmas on the balconies of flats? My friend on Facebook is complaining her neighbour already has her outdoor fairy lights up. Doctor Who, this filming lark is just getting too believable.

Matt, his chair, and a turkey.
So yes, they started late this year. Yes we say that every year, but it does seem that they have left it a bit last minute - especially considering they've had a lot of spare time to film it in. And yes, Matt Smith is wearing a wig. It's a pretty good wig, and I can't really tell the difference, although I was watching from a distance and wasn't there when he came over to do autographs (I had to drive back urgently as my car was booked in for an MOT.) We also missed photos with Jenna. Ah well.

Jenna looks out of the
We left the house at 7.15 am and arrived in Cardiff at about 8.30 am. Rush hour is a real trial, especially when you have to make a detour to get some petrol. When we arrived they had been setting up for some time, and we caught up on the details from the lovely @StreetwiseLee. She told us they'd set the Tardis up and taken it down again, and seemed to be doing something with a red band of material - trying to make it fly while the Tardis de/materialised. There was a lovely crowd of fans out that day; it really makes watching filming that bit more memorable and exciting when everybody is so animated. @ryantfarr also arrived, so the morning shift was complete.

Clara's hat flies off!
They soon rebuilt the Tardis and Jenna (Louise) Coleman was driven up. She stayed in the car for such a long time we thought they'd only been driving crew from the base to the location in it and had ceased to pay attention. The first scene they filmed was Clara running from the direction of the flats to the Tardis and knocking of the door. She's wearing a green hat from a Christmas cracker, and as she runs it flies off her head. They filmed it on the perfect day for this as it was very windy and Jenna was constantly trying to keep the hat on.

Matt and Jenna reunited.
Then Matt Smith arrived. As soon as he climbed out of the car he gave Jenna a big hug and they walked arm in arm towards the crew. Matt proceeded to give several people hugs, which made me wonder if this was the first day he was seeing a lot of the crew as there was far more of a meet-and-greet than normal. The first scene he filmed with Jenna was them leaving the Tardis and heading towards the flats, dialogue was hard to hear due to the distance and the wind but The Doctor appeared to be berating Clara for disliking Christmas.
DOCTOR: You don't like Christmas? Maybe you've not been reading the jokes in the crackers. They're amazing!
The Doctor then holds his arms out wide and they give each other a cutesy hug. It was a very sweet scene.

To the Tardis!
The final scene we saw filmed was Clara bringing an uncooked turkey from the direction of the flats and taking it to the Tardis with the Doctor following along behind. They were obviously trying to make the turkey seem very heavy and for Clara to be struggling to carry it slightly as Matt Smith kept helping her hoik it higher up her body. Again dialogue was difficult to hear,

DOCTOR: You can't keep using the Tardis like this!

Chatting between takes.
After this they broke for lunch and that was our cue to rush back. It was a great day and it was lovely to see Matt before he leaves Cardiff for good. I was disappointed to not be able to get autographs/pictures because despite doing this regularly it's very rare for us to get these and I'd treasure it considering how much of my spare time I devote to following filming around Cardiff. I'm a little scared that there may be very little location filming for this episode, but hopefully we'll see them again!



  1. Thanks...great reading

  2. I was there for the final hour .... Clara running down the stairs with said green hat on. Greeting the Doctor and him, armed with the sonic, going into a flat .... sorry, bit dull! But the wig looked good up close! sadly, I had nothing to sign so just grabbed a photo and grinned at Matt like a buffoon. Didnt get near Jenna - coudlnt see her over the crowds!