Tag Archives: Fifth Doctor

Plas Brondanw Gardens , Gywnedd – August 2015

Welcome to Plas Brondanw Gardens filming location of The Five Doctors
Welcome to Plas Brondanw Gardens!

Hello and welcome back to August 2015 – let’s go to Plas Brondanw Gardens in North Wales! We are here to learn all about this Classic Doctor Who location where the episode The Five Doctors (1983) was filmed. This was a special episode made to celebrate Doctor Who’s Twentieth Anniversary that featured all five of the Doctors from the first 20 years, and many companions. It would have been hard to believe then that one day there would be thirteen Doctors and a Fiftieth Anniversary celebration!

Plas Brondanw is in Carreg Llanfrothen in the county of Gwynedd. It was the home of the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who created the village Portmeirion (aka San Martino if you are a Doctor Who fan!) The gardens and village share the same style. The house was built by John ap Hywel in the 16th Century. Clough Williams-Ellis was given Plas Brondanw by his father in 1908 when he was aged 25, with the aim to restore it and take care of it. And boy did he do a good job!

The home of Clough Williams- Ellis and family at Plas Brondanw
The home of Clough Williams- Ellis and family

I visited the gardens in Summer 2015 when I was on my journey around Wales. It was not nice weather when I visited, I had to travel through the rain and wind, through thick and thin, but luckily I made it there in the end. I took my TARDIS through the Snowdonia National Park and the journey was worth it as I got to see the picturesque mountains along the way.

When I arrived I had some lunch in the café to warm me up and I sheltered from the rain. When it cleared up I explored the gardens.

These gardens were where the First Doctor was stolen by the Time Scoop and taken to the Death Zone on Gallifrey. Sadly William Hartnell had passed away so Richard Hurndall was called upon to play the role of the First Doctor instead.

Luckily for me I am still around to tell the tale because there was no sign of the Time Scoop and it was very tranquil in the garden. It was fun to spot the places where the Doctor had walked. I wonder what he was doing there. Maybe he was trying to take his mind off the whole regeneration thing as he knew his body was growing frail.

Next I went into the forest and up the hill to see Folly Castle. A folly is a quirky or extravagant building or structure built for fun or to make a view more interesting. A plaque says

This outlook tower was subscribed for as a wedding present to Clough Williams- Ellis and his bride Amabel Strachey in 1915 by his brother officers of the Welsh Guards. In the Second World War it was prepared as a local military strongpoint to repel the expected German invasion.

 

At the beginning of The Five Doctors the Fifth Doctor, Turlough and Tegan are relaxing and admiring the view at the Eye of Orion aka the folly. The Doctor said that

‘For some the Eye of Orion is the most tranquil place in the universe’.


Turlough was making a picture and said he felt ‘so calm and relaxed’. Everything was nice and peaceful until the Doctor had a twinge of cosmic angst caused by temporal instability. I loved the view too and felt a ‘high bombardment of positive ions’. I particularly enjoyed climbing up and down the tower.

A panoramic shot of the Eye of Orion aka Plas Brondanw
Welcome to the Eye of Orion

These scenes were the first to be filmed but due to a technical difficulty they had to be reshot. Mark Strickson, who played Turlough, had gone on holiday when this was discovered and the BBC had to search the country to find him!  As well as Doctor Who, scenes from the Ingrid Bergman film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) were filmed at the folly.

Tom on the swing at Plas Brondanw
Enjoying my childhood whilst I still can!

I had a lovely afternoon at Plas Brondanw despite the weather and I would love to go back there on a sunny day. You should go there too but make sure it is the right day for the weather so you can really enjoy it.

Thank you to Doctor Who The Locations Guide for helping me to find this filming location. Also, thank YOU for reading!

Ouch! My TARDIS cast

I’m sorry I haven’t written a post in a while, I have had a lot going on, including some exams, and I also broke my wrist! Luckily my wrist is a lot better now. I will be in Dublin next week, if any readers know any Doctor Who related places I can visit there please let me know.

Right, I’m off to wrestle Rassilon. Goodbye!

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Hampshire-Con, Eastleigh – July 2015

Peter Davison - the Fifth Doctor

Hello and welcome to H- Con – Hampshire TV, Film and Comic-Con which was held at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh on the 25th and  26th  July 2015.

Sorry about the delay in reporting but I have been on holiday in Wales and have only just come back! When I heard about H-Con I was very excited as this was my chance to meet the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison- I delayed my holiday and made a slight detour to Eastleigh to take my chance!H-Con is presented by Sci-Fi South Collectors, working in Partnership with Timeless Collectors and supporting Starlight Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I turned up in my Fifth Doctor Cosplay because I hoped the Fifth Doctor would be happy to see me in his costume – I customised my Third Doctor Sonic Screwdriver with some tinfoil and it looked just like the Fifth Doctor’s which he only used for four episodes before it was destroyed by a Terileptil!

As soon as I arrived I joined the queue to meet Peter Davison – I didn’t have much time so I didn’t want to lose out. When I met Peter Davison we shook hands and he said I looked good which made me feel chuffed. I was a bit nervous about meeting him but he was very friendly and made me feel more confident.

I asked him my golden questions – first, what is his favourite Doctor Who filming location? He thought that was a good question and told me it was Black Park outside London where he filmed The Visitation  (1982). The filming was in a flight path so the crew only had 8 minute windows to work and it was a nice relaxing time! He also enjoyed filming The Caves of Androzani (1984) in a Dorset quarry – there were two other film crews there at same time, one filming Beau Geste, and it was lots of fun. I have been to the quarry and I will definitely add Black Park to my list of locations to visit!

I asked Peter which is his favourite ever Doctor Who episode and he said he had to pick one of his own – The Caves of Androzani. That is one of my favourites too but if I had to choose my favourite Fifth Doctor episode it would be The Awakening (1984).

Finally I asked him where he would go in time and space if he could – he told me he would definitely choose to go back in history and he would like to witness the American Revolution.

I chose a photograph from  The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot for Peter to sign. I loved watching The Five (ish) Doctors and the Doctors all look so grumpy in the picture that it made me laugh. It was brilliant meeting Peter – he is the Third Doctor I have met after Peter Capaldi and Colin Baker!

The Five-ish Doctors Reboot

After I met Peter I explored the stalls in Hall One- there were lots of other Sci Fi stars including Sarah Sutton who played the Fourth and Fifth Doctor’s companion Nyssa. I have already met Sarah before at the Timeless Collectors Fair and she was very kind.

Next I went into Hall 2 and the first thing I saw was lizards, snakes and other reptiles – people had brought their pets along to amaze people and raise money for charity.There was lots to look at in Hall 2 including Daleks, TARDISes and the Master’s collection of Doctor Who monsters.

I had a go at the Tin Can Alley for the first time and I won a Doctor Who stationery set. This stall was raising money for Starlight. I also got to meet ET and phone home- he is sooo cute.

After I left ET I went to the Nerd Herd area and played some vintage video games – SuperMario World on a SNES and MarioKart 64 on an N64. I liked the retro games – they may not look like modern games but they entertain in the same way!

There were also cars from the movies including Transformers and Back to the Future. I had fun browsing and meeting my fellow Doctors – some for the first time and some I have met before. I had hoped to meet Doctor Squee from the Gallifrey Stands Podcast but I had to leave before he arrived. You can listen to what he got up to here. There are lots of features including an interview with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton.

I wish I had more time to spend at H-Con but my holiday had to kick off and I needed to get back to my TARDIS! I will remember the day I met the Fifth Doctor forever.

In other news one of my companions recently met David Morrissey aka The Next Doctor Jackson Lake! I wish I had been there but it was an unexpected surprise. She asked David my golden question – if he could go anywhere in time and space where would he like to go? David said Victorian London just like in his Doctor Who story, but only if they had modern day dentistry! Thank you to David for answering my question and posing for a photo for me! I hope I get to meet him one day.

David Morrisey

Thank you for reading and I hope you will join me soon and read about the amazing locations I have just visited in Wales – New and Classic!

Goodbye!

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Wembley, London – May 2015

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular TARDIS

Welcome back and today I am reviewing the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular!

I was given tickets to the Symphonic Spectacular for Christmas (thank you Nanna!) and I have been looking forward to it ever since! The day finally arrived last Sunday and I was a bit nervous wondering what to expect but very excited! The show was nearly cancelled because an unexploded World War 2 bomb was discovered in Wembley – maybe it was the Daleks trying to get at their old enemy Winston Churchill!

Wembley arena

This was the first time I had taken my TARDIS to Wembley so I had a good explore and looked round the outside of Wembley Stadium and visited the Bobby Moore statue. The League One play-offs were being held that afternoon so lots of supporters were arriving too!

SSE Arena

Outside the SSE Arena I saw the Square of Fame where celebrities had put their handprints.  I saw Kylie Minogue’s handprints – Kylie played the waitress Astrid Peth in the Doctor Who Christmas Special  Voyage of the Damned (2007).

Kylie Minogue WEmbley Arena handprints

When I entered the building I saw A LOT of Doctor Who fans – people of all ages were there and many were dressed up. I saw fezzes, bowties, scarves and even a Stetson! I also saw lots of people wearing a TARDIS hoodie just like me! I bought an official tour programme as a souvenir of my special day and so I could learn more about the performance.

Doctor Who Zymphonic Spectacular programme

When I entered the arena I was surprised at how many people were there and I was pleased that my seat was close to the stage near where all the action was! When I was waiting for the music to start I met my old pal, monster actor Jon Davey, who has worked on Doctor Who for 10 years and has appeared in over 30 episodes (to date). Jon was recently seen guarding Missy in Death in Heaven but unfortunately it didn’t quite work – ha ha! It was great to be reunited with Jon again, I first met him at Fleet Air Arm Museum and again at the Timeless Collector’s Fair. Jon has recently been to Australia and New Zealand for the Symphonic Spectacular and is now on the UK Tour. He has been super busy and told us how the bomb scare had cost a lot of time and everyone had to work superhard so that the show could go on!
Jon Davey Doctor Symphonic Spectacular

When the music started I was amazed at how good it was – and how loud! It was the first orchestra performance I had been to. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it but the National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster, performed the music that Murray Gold has written for Doctor Who. Whilst they were playing monsters were coming out amongst the crowd and clips from Doctor Who were played on the big screen. I loved watching all the scenes from past episodes reminding me of all the Doctor’s incarnations.

The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, presented the show and made a lot of jokes about his fellow Doctors. Then came a big surprise – he introduced the Secretary of his Fan Club to the crowd, PETER CAPALDI! The Twelfth Doctor himself was waving from the stands – he had come along on his day off to listen to the brilliant Doctor Whosic!

Peter Capaldi at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I cannot choose a favourite performance as they were all fantastic – the orchestra did a really good job! I wasn’t scared of the monsters. I used to be very nervous and scared when I met a Doctor Who monster but now I have met Jon I know everything is ok! Another monster actor was Nick Briggs, voice of the Daleks and Executive Producer of Big Finish.

Cyberman at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

The show wrapped up as Ben Foster said he had to dash off and play a snooker match and I was very sad that the show had finished. As soon as we were out of our seats the crew started packing up ready to move the show on to Cardiff! I left via the nearest door and later found out that I had missed another golden opportunity to get Peter Capaldi’s autograph! Peter had stayed behind to meet the fans but I didn’t see him. GUTTED. One day I will get another chance!

On my way back to the TARDIS I did meet creature performer Paul Kasey. Paul is a choreographer and movement director too and has appeared in many episodes of Doctor Who. Fun fact – he is also ‘Foxy’ in the Foxybingo adverts! Paul was very cheerful and friendly and was really pleased when I told him I thought the show was AMAZING!
Paul Casey Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I had a great time at the Symphonic Spectacular – I hope it will be on every year! Thanks for reading and I will see you soon for another location report. Did you go to the Symphonic Spectacular? Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought!

In the words of Winston Churchill – K.B.O!

Masters Quarry – May 2014

I'm the king of the quarry!A dusty greeting to you all.

You find me in the Masters Quarry (why doesn’t the Doctor have one?) I found this location on my way home after a trip to Monkey World in Wareham a couple of weeks ago, in May 2014.  ( Big shout out to Jethro the Monkey!) This location features in The Caves of Androzani (1984).

Masters Quarry isn’t really named after The Master, it is the name of a quarry in Dorset that produces aggregates, which means things like sand and gravel for building projects. This is the first quarry I have been to in Doctor Who history, but I expect to see many more as quarries have often been used as locations as they can look like different planets.

It was a very sunny day when I visited, the sky was as blue as the TARDIS and it was so hot. The quarry was so quiet, there were rocks and stones as far as my eyes could see and everywhere was dusty. I could easily have believed I was on Androzani and not on Earth at all. I could only look, it wasn’t safe to explore too far.

The Caves of Androzani was filmed more than 30 years ago so the quarry looks very very different to the surface of Androzani Minor in the episode. More trees, less sand!!  This is a very popular story, and has been voted 4th best episode of all time by readers of Doctor Who Magazine, as announced this month. (The Day of the Doctor came top!).  The Fifth Doctor and Peri are captured on the mining planet Androzani Minor and are sentenced to death. Luckily there was no sign of the baddie Sharaz Jek but I still looked out for him!

This was the story in which the Fifth Doctor regenerated which I found very sad. The Fifth Doctor was a really good Doctor and I really liked his companions, especially Adric and Turlough.

I am going to a lecture on Doctor Who next week so I will be back to tell you all about it. Goodbye for now!

 

 

Shapwick – March 2014 & Tarrant Monkton – April 2014

Shapwick village centre

Hello again! I’m showing you two locations this time, Shapwick and Tarrant Monkton. These are both villages in Dorset that were used as locations in The Awakening (1984).

The Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough go to visit Tegan’s grandfather in Little Hodcombe just when a reenactment of an English Civil War battle becomes real. This was the first ever episode that The Doctor takes a companion in his TARDIS to visit a family member.

I visited Shapwick on a sunny day and explored the village and churchyard. All was very quiet, luckily there was no sign of the Battle of Little Hodcombe. The church must have been rebuilt since it exploded when the Doctor defeated the Malus!

On now to Tarrant Monkton. I took the TARDIS there just today which has been a very wet and gloomy day. I stood on the bridge over The Ford and saw where Tegan was chased by soldiers. Luckily I could travel by TARDIS as The Ford was filling with water rapidly!

There are other locations for this episode in Dorset and Hampshire that I hope to explore very soon. I hope you come with me.

Ciao for now.