Tag Archives: The Time of the Doctor

Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire – August 2015

Tom at the entrance to Puzzlewood
Welcome to Puzzlewood!

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you enjoyed The Husbands of River Song (2015) as well! It was an amazing Doctor Who story to watch at Christmas and I really enjoyed it, I’m just sad that we now have to wait a long while until the next new episode comes!

In the meantime we are going to hop in my TARDIS and travel back in time to the summer of 2015. Welcome to Puzzlewood near Coleford in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – a forest for which there is no map! Puzzlewood is a filming location for many TV shows and films – including a little known film called Star Wars Episode VII- The Force Awakens. Have any of you seen it? I would be surprised if you have 😉

SPOILER ALERT – if you haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII look away NOW!!! Kathleen Kennedy from Lucasfilm says that Puzzlewood is

“the most magical forest on the face of the earth”.

Highlight the following text to reveal the spoiler! When I saw Star Wars Episode VII I instantly recognised Puzzlewood in the scene on the planet Takodana, where Rey takes BB-8 to the woods for safety and bumps into Kylo Ren…..

DON’T BLINK! Do you remember in Flesh and Stone (2010) when the Doctor, River and Amy are being chased down by the Weeping Angels? Puzzlewood was the filming location for the cybernetic forest on board The Byzantium which provided the passengers with air. As they travelled through the forest, poor Amy had to keep her eyes shut as she had a Weeping Angel in her eye. Luckily for me I didn’t run into any Weeping Angels when I was there!

Aboard the Byzantium - Doctor Who filming location Puzzlewood
No sign of any Weeping Angels, phew!

Puzzlewood was also a filming location for The Time of the Doctor (Christmas Special 2013), Matt Smith’s final episode which saw the Eleventh Doctor regenerate. In this episode the Doctor and Clara were attacked by the Weeping Angels in a frosty land – rescued only by the old Key in the Quiff Routine!

The Puzzlewood Wall of Fame! Photos of the programmes and films that have been filmed at Puzzlewood
The Puzzlewood Wall of Fame!

Apart from Star Wars Episode VII and Doctor Who, other things filmed at Puzzlewood include Atlantis, Merlin, Wizards vs Aliens ( written by Russell T Davies) , Jack the Giant Slayer and Tree Fu Tom which stars Sophie Aldred aka Ace and the Tenth Doctor David Tennant! Puzzlewood is so popular because of its very special scenery and it looks amazing on screen.There is a wall of photos inside showing the many programmes and films that have used this location and you can spot many famous actors who have filmed here.

On show at Puzzlewood, Scowles are the geological feature. Scowles are found throughout the Forest of Dean  and are ancient caves formed millions of years ago in the carboniferous limestone that have come to the surface due to erosion. The rocks are covered in a feathery moss and there are bright green ferns that make the forest so green (and the trees are so green too!) that it is the greenest place I have ever been. It is said that Puzzlewood was the inspiration for the forests of Middle Earth in JRR Tolkein’s books, which sounds pretty reasonable to me!

I had a really nice time at Puzzlewood and enjoyed getting lost in the woods and trying to figure my way out -it was a real puzzle! I found many things including a magic doorway and dinosaur feet. The weather changed all the time and it got wetter and muddier as the weather changed from good to bad, good to bad. The mud got more slippery and more  slippery and I ended up with my first Project Indigo related injury – a banged collar bone and very muddy trousers! Top tip – if you visit Puzzlewood, wear old clothes and wellies :).

Puzzlewood is a must visit place for fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy of all ages! Thank you for reading and I hope you will join me again for my next Doctor Who adventure – and I wish all Project Indigo readers a Happy New Year for 2016!

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The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay – August 2014

Walking in Trenzalore!Hello again,

We’re back in Cardiff for another post for you.  We are off to The Doctor Who Experience on the 4th August, on a lovely sunny day and I am so excited. I am going to the door and ooopps, sorry CLOSED! Retake!  Awwww!Wearing my Blue Peterbadge, ready to go in. Oh wait, closed! Sorry!

But I walked around the side and noticed  some SFX trucks. There was some filming going on in there! I wonder why…… A Christmas Special? Five-ish Doctors Sequel? A new intro? I’d love to know.

(UPDATE – I have now found out that Peter Capaldi was inside filming a new version for the updated experience! )

Day 2, ready to go in. Open! Yay!

Now it is the next day, sorry about that, now it really is open and I went in to see the action. I didn’t have to pay because I used my Blue Peter badge! It was very busy (like it always is) because the Doctor is famous worldwide and this is THE place to come to if you are a Doctor Who fanatic. I have been there three times now- August 2014, February 2014 and August 2011 when it originally opened in Olympia in London, before it moved to Cardiff. I came back to see the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, for the final time before the Experience closes on August 31st to change over to the Twelfth Doctor.

The clock strikes 12 – The Time of the Doctor, 2013

Inside the walls are covered with loads of fantastic Doctor Who artwork. I don’t know who did it but they are a great artist and I wish they could decorate my bedroom!Sadly this is not my bedroom wall.

First stop was the interactive experience, it was my last chance to save the Eleventh Doctor from the Pandorica. I stepped through a crack in time and went on a real journey through time and space! First up, Starship UK then I went into the actual TARDIS which really was bigger on the inside, it’s true. I met the Daleks and Weeping Angels and helped rescue the Doctor- who was really silly to get stuck in the Pandorica for a second time! Some children were crying because they were scared but I wasn’t one of them luckily!

Straight out, I went to get a photo taken. There were lots of props to choose from so I took a Fez, bow-tie and a Sonic Screwdriver. I posed in front of a giant green screen and first pretended I was afraid to be on Trenzalore and then flew the TARDIS. I felt a bit weird because there was a big queue and everyone was looking at me but it was good fun and I chose to buy the photos of me on Trenzalore. I had two photos and they were e-mailed to me as well.

Fezzes are cool.I wasn't really in Trenzalore, I was just fooling!

Next I travelled around the exhibition. This is actually a filming location, not only for The Day of the Doctor (2013) where they filmed the Tenth Doctor at his TARDIS console but also An Adventure in Space and Time (2013), which is a film about the creation of Doctor Who, and The Five-ish Doctors Reboot (2013), which is a really funny film about the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors trying to get in on the 50th Anniversary episode. I have met Andrew twice, and he is featured in The Five-ish Doctors Reboot as one of the employees who took John Barrowman CDs from the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctor as payment for getting into the Experience! He is a very nice man and let me take a photo the first time I met him.

I took this photo in Feb 14
I took this photo in Feb 14

The exhibition has the worlds largest collection of items that have been used for filming – costumes, props and sets. This time there were even more than the last time I went as there were lots of items from the Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor (2013). These included the puppet theatre, Tasha Lem’s bed-shaped altar and poor old Handles, the Cyberman head who helped the Doctor on many occasions and became his best friend when he stayed for Christmas.

You can see all the characters including Daleks, Cybermen, Ood, Abzorbalof, Zygon, Smilers, and a bunch of others too many to mention. You can see costumes for all the Doctors and lots of the companions and the Doctor’s old TARDISes. You can control a Dalek, watch some making of Doctor Who films, learn to walk like a Scarecrow and a Cyberman, and listen to the sound effects. Everybody inside is so joyful to see and do all these things and they take lots and lots of photos to remember the day. Everything you see makes you go ‘Wow’!

Now we have left the exhibition we are in the shop which is crammed full of Doctor Who items such as pictures, Sonic Screwdrivers, T-shirts and loads of DVDs and magazines to choose from. I bought a Cybermen wristband and a keyring with my favourite Doctor, number Seven on it.Dr Who merchandise and memorabilia - as far as the eye can see

I had a brilltastic day and can’t wait to go back again. I hope I get to see the Experience when it has regenerated into the Twelfth Doctor’s story. Have you been there? Please leave a comment and tell me what you liked best.

More Cardiff posts coming up soon, byee!