Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire – August 2014

Chepstow Castle

Croeso and welcome back to another Doctor Who locations post!

Timey-wimey stuff! Today we are travelling back in time again in my TARDIS to August 2014 and visiting Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire. This is where The Day of the Doctor (2013), the 50th Anniversary Special was filmed and I wanted to see where the Doctor married Queen Elizabeth in England 1562!

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle was also used as a filming location for the monastery in the Doctor Who two-parter The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People (2011), and also Merlin,  the 1980’s TV series Robin of Sherwood ( not Robot of Sherwood ) and Ivanhoe – which was filmed 102 years ago!

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle is on a cliff overlooking the River Wye. As you can see in the amazing shot in the episode when the Doctor and Elizabeth are first seen, it is breath taking stood on top of the cliff looking out over the valley. This Norman castle is the oldest still-standing stone fort in Britain. It was built in the 11th Century and started just a year after William the Conqueror’s invasion of Britain. It was built by William Fitzosborn, a relative and friend of William the Conqueror, who became the Earl of Hereford. Until the late 14th Century the Normans called the castle  ‘Striguil’ from the Welsh word ystraigl meaning “river bend”.

Chepstow Castle is managed by CADW who conserve Wales’ heritage, and I have been to many Doctor Who locations looked after by CADW including Caerphilly Castle and Neath Abbey. I had a great time at this castle and explored all around. I saw the oldest castle doors in Europe (800 years old and made of wood!) Imagine all the history that these doors have seen! I walked along the battlements and climbed a tower and had a fantastic view of Wales. I even saw the scariest toilet in probably the whole world – the scary thing is that it is over a cliff. Aaaaargh!!

Chepstow Castle doors

I saw where the Tenth Doctor and the First Elizabeth got married, watched by the War Doctor, Eleventh Doctor and Clara. Clara threw confetti over the couple as Elizabeth gave the Doctor a very big snog! Then the Doctors and Clara went ‘back to the future!’I wonder if they saw Marty McFly?

Chepstow Castle
Where the Tenth Doctor married the First Elizabeth

I spoke to the Chepstodians about Project Indigo and how I like to follow in the Doctor’s footsteps. One of them was there when the crew were filming and she told me that they had built the Zygon’s nest in the castle cellar! She was so lucky – if I could watch Doctor Who being filmed I would be so happy.

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle was the first location I visited on my Welsh adventure last August and I am happy to say I will be going back to Wales again this summer to revisit my Welsh roots – and visit some more Doctor Who locations of course 🙂 .

I’m sorry there has been a delay with this post – I have had computer trouble but I made it in the end. Thanks for reading, I hope you will come back and join me again for my next Doctor Who adventure!

Hwyl fawr!

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An interview with Jon Davey from Doctor Who – June 2015

 

Jon Davey Doctor Symphonic Spectacular

Hello and welcome to another post – but this post is very special as I am interviewing Doctor Who Monster Actor Jon Davey!

Jon has been acting in Doctor Who for the last 10 years and has appeared in over 30 episodes (to date) ! He has played Daleks, Ood, Cybermen, Whispermen, Hath, Heavenly Host, Judoon and more. He has also appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and Merlin. You may also recognise Jon’s face from Series 8 as he played a Droid in Deep Breath (my favourite New Who episode!) and a Unit Soldier who was killed by Missy in Death in Heaven! You might confuse Jon’s face with the actor Mark Strong’s as they look very similar. 🙂

I’ve met Jon three times, at the Fleet Air Arm Museum Dalek Invasion, the Timeless Collectors Fair and recently at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Wembley. Also when I was at the Doctor Who World Tour in Cardiff he was playing one of the Daleks – I didn’t realise at the time that there were real people inside! If you get the chance to meet Jon at a Doctor Who convention make sure you say ‘Hi’ as he is really friendly and can tell you all about being a Monster Actor and about wearing the make-up and costumes!

Jon Davey
Jon Davey

Here is the interview of Jon Davey!

Hello Jon! What is the favourite monster you have played?

Probably the headless Cyberman from the Pandorica episode. It was amazing to see myself on screen with an arm and head brilliantly removed. 

What monster would you like to play?

I’ve always had a vivid memory of the Sea Devils emerging from the water. They were pretty scary as I remember so if they ever come back I would be honoured to play one. 

What is it like when you are in a costume and make-up?

Most of the costumes have slightly limited vision so rehearsing our moves with “heads off” is always essential. After that it is normally counting our steps to make sure we don’t collide with anyone or anything.

The costumes can get quite warm so doing as little as possible when we are not shooting will help generate superfluous heat.
Also inertia can be our enemy, standing still in a large costume can be harder than moving so when we are resting you will normally see the monster doing small stretching exercises to keep the body supple. A fun sight to be seen!

What monsters do you play in the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular?

This year I played the Judoon and Dalek, which was great fun, and got a few screams from the audience. 

Where have you been with the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular?

I have just been on the UK tour this year as well as Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Auckland on the Australia and New Zealand tour earlier this year.  Last year we went to Melbourne, Brisbane and Wellington on ANZ tour too, it has been amazing taking Doctor Who to the overseas fans. 

Do you have a favourite Doctor Who episode?

Probably Blink and Death in Heaven.  Great bit of story telling on both of these episodes.

Do you think you would be a good Doctor?

I would like to think so – hopefully if they are looking for Mark Strong to play the Doctor and he turns it down, I could step up to the role!

What do you do when you aren’t playing a monster?

I’m a still photographer and film maker. I spent 8 years filming mostly stop motion animated music videos for the likes of Radiohead, Scissor Sisters and Mcfly. This helped me with understanding timing and movement which helped with my monster work. 

Are you in Doctor Who Series 9?
The first rule of Doctor who Series 9 is you don’t talk about Doctor who series 9 😉 I can answer that question this autumn!

If you could go anywhere in time and space, where would you like to go?

Probably the moment before the Big Bang to see what I was like before time existed.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Jon, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Jon Davey for taking the time to answer my questions. I will be keeping an eye out in Series 9 for him just in case he is in it!

To learn more about Jon’s work, including acting, film and photography please follow him on Twitter @jondavey007 or take a look at his website jondavey.com where he says

“No job too complicated, no idea too imaginative!”

Thanks for reading and I will see you soon I hope!

Tom.

This is Jon Davey with the new Doc