Tag Archives: Vincent and the Doctor

Llandaff, Cardiff – August 2014

Llandaff Cathedral GreenHalloooo,

lately  there has been a lot of grotty weather so lets go back in time again and go to yet another Welsh location – Llandaff! My holiday in August 2014 was so much fun and I love to remember and tell you all about it!

Llandaff is north of Cardiff City Centre, beside the River Taff. It is famous for being the birthplace of Roald Dahl, the author of children’s books and Terry Nation – the creator of the Daleks!Look at the Roald Dahl plaque!

I arrived there on a nice tranquil summer’s evening. I picked a great night to go as I was there on the day of the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the 1st World War, and the Welsh National Service of Remembrance was being held that night in Llandaff Cathedral.

Look, they're waiting for the action!

This location was used in the episode The Eleventh Hour (2010) under the name of Leadworth, the home of Amelia Pond.  This was where the newly-regenerated Doctor first met Amy and he investigated the village to find Prisoner Zero to save the world from incineration by the Atraxi!  When he met young Amy she was worried about the crack in her wall. Did you know that Steven Moffat came up with the idea after looking at a crack in his ceiling?

Once I got to the middle of Llandaff I saw some  kids playing football in the cathedral green where the Raggedy Man first met Rory. I asked them if I could play and I got a match! I didn’t score any goals but I got an assist, so that was good. It was a great match that I really enjoyed playing even though the team that I was on lost.

Any sign of Prisoner Zero?

The green seemed much smaller than on the TV. There was no sign of the duck-pond without any ducks! That was just built for the episode and is not there in real life. There was no exploded phone box either – lots of details were added to make Llandaff look like a typical English village.

No ducks in the duck pond. Or a pond!

At one end of the green is a very special statue which is the Llandaff War Memorial created by Sir William Goscombe John. It is called The Memorial Group,  and used to be called ‘The Departure’. There are three stones with a female figure in the middle, which represents Llandaff, and beside her is a workman, representing the village, and a cadet representing the school.  You will recognise this statue from The Family of Blood ( 2007) when Tim Latimer attends a Remembrance Day Service as an old man, watched at a far distance by the Tenth Doctor and Martha.

The Memorial Group

After the match I went to walk around the cathedral whilst the World War 1 Commemoration preparations went on inside! I saw some people filming outside of the church for BBC  and ITV News as I walked around to tire my feet out. It was fun exploring about the grounds and watching the guests arrive for the service.

ITV News. Woooh!

There was no sign of Prisoner Zero or a giant Atraxi eye floating above the spire! Llandaff Cathedral is also the location of the wedding of John Smith ( the Tenth Doctor) and Nurse Redfern in the Family of Blood ( 2007) and of course is it the Church of Auvers from Vincent and the Doctor (2010) where the Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and Amy confront the lonely Krafayis. Luckily there was no sign of the Krafayis either!

Llandaff Cathedral

After I left Llandaff I returned to my hotel to watch the church service that was broadcast live on S4C. It was led by the Archbishop of Wales. We kept our lights out along with the rest of the nation as a mark of respect because 100 years ago the Foreign Secretary sadly said

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

My heart goes out to all the people that fought and lost loved ones in the war.

The Eleventh Hour White House

My first anniversary of blogging will come soon and to celebrate Project Indigo’s first birthday I will be holding a mega epic competition; please don’t miss it!I’m welling up with excitement and can’t wait to tell you about it!

Thanks for reading ! Gooooodbuy!

Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot – August 2014

This feels cosyCroeso nol !

I am saying ‘Welcome Back’ in Welsh because we are travelling back in time and space again to Wales in August 2014. This time we are at Neath Abbey in the town of Neath which has been used as the filming location for several Eleventh Doctor episodes.

Croeso a Abaty Nedd

Neath Abbey is close to Neath but it feels away from it all and it is a very tranquil place to visit. It is managed by CADW who protect Wales’ heritage – CADW is a Welsh word meaning ‘to keep or protect’.

Neath Abbey is 885 years old and was first established all the way back in 1129AD by the Norman Richard de Granville for Savigniac Monks from Western Normandy in France. It became a Cistercian monastery in 1149. The abbey remained open until 1539 when the Tudor King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. The abbey is now fallen into ruins but you can use your imagination to feel what it was like to be there when it was the largest abbey in Wales.

What is that?

When I visited it was very peaceful and I was alone with my companions. The weather was mild, ideal for exploring the area where, in Vincent and the Doctor (2010), Vincent van Gogh fought the Krafayis – a monster only he could see! Luckily,there was no alien there when I visited. Or was there…?

The Control Room in The Beast Below (2010) was also located in Abaty Nedd (what Welsh people would call it) where the Doctor and Liz 10 looked at the brain of what keeps the Starship UK up in space – a Star Whale which was the last of it’s kind !

Also , the Gangers in the two- part episode The Rebel Flesh and the Almost People (2011) used a machine in one of the chambers of the monastery they worked in to turn the Flesh into Gangers – again, filmed here at the abbey.

I could not recognise any of these scenes; the abbey looked a lot different in real life. The cast and crew must have transformed the whole place to film these episodes! There were also barriers all over the site as the horrible weather we had in the winter damaged the walls and they were not safe. CADW are working to save the abbey from further damage.

I spent my time there trying to picture what the abbey would have looked like before it was dissolved and it was, as historian John Leland put it “the fairest abbey of all Wales.” I like visiting ruins because I like to put myself in the same places where history has been made! I think the building is in very good condition for it’s age really. I did make friends as I came out – with a lovely brown dog. We had a fun game of ‘fetch’ and apparently he goes to the abbey everyday for his walk so if you go I hope you bump into him.

And no , that ISN'T the Dartmoor Hound !

I suggest that all Doctor Who fans should definitely go and visit – it is a great place and it’s free to get in!

Thanks for reading – my next post will be about an exclusive Classic Doctor Who location that I was lucky enough to visit at the weekend. I hope you come back and check it out!

Dewch yn ol yn fuan!