Ahhhh yes it’s been ages but it is time for another Doctor Who themed post. For fans and fanatics of the series, like my self-confessed self, UK is not merely an interesting destination with centuries of history etc etc but also the place to relive the greatest TV show of all time. And no I don’t mean rush to the UK just to spend 2 weeks seeing as many quarries as possible to try and work out which was the one used in 1971’s ‘Colony in Space’, there are so many Doctor Who locations that are very easy to visit (most in London!) and so today’s post is not about tourism, but ‘who-rism’. Hmm maybe that needs a better word. Most of these seven place I have personally been. Of course all Who-fans will ‘squee’ at seeing a Police Box (here’s one outside Earl’s Court Station), but there are many places where they actually filmed the iconic TV series.
- Millennium Centre, Cardiff
This is where the Doctor Who Experience moved to a few years ago. However, if you want to re-enact your favourite scene from 2005’s ‘Boom Town’, or look for a secret entrance into the Torchwood Hub, well outside in front of the façade is the place to do it!
- St Paul’s Cathedral
Just outside St Paul’s Cathedral the epic Patrick Troughton story ‘The Invasion’ featured Cybermen coming out of the sewers by throwing aside the manhole covers and descending on London. In 2014 Peter Capaldi’s Doctor returned to this site for a showdown again with Cybermen and the amazing Michelle Gomez as ‘Missy’ (aka ‘The Master’). There are also a number of cafes nearby if you want a coffee. Just saying. You could also go inside and head to the roof, but that’s by the by. I think it would be much more interesting to remove a manhole cover and pose for shots like Cybermen.
- Under the Eye
Why not relive the first in depth conversation between Doctor and companion in the reboot under the eye where Christopher Eccleston uttered the immortal line ‘Fantastic’. Not far from the bridge where the Daleks trundled across in ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ (1964), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament which have featured a fair bit in modern-Who. They’re all on the banks of the Thames, which the Loch Ness Monster traversed in ‘Terror of the Zygons’.
- The Globe Theatre
The modern version of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, although not in the original location, is still built roughly to the original designs. It’s a must see for Shakespeare fans, you can even catch the odd show there too, but for Doctor Who fans it featured heavily in the David Tennant Episode of 2006, ‘The Shakespeare Code’. Tours are great, I took one in 2007. Don’t forget to stand in the middle of the stage and quote Harry Potter loudly. Experiamus!
- Athelhampton House, Dorset
This is where a giant vegetable, the Krynoid, grew to massive size in its quest to destroy all animal matter on Earth, and where Harrison Chase played his demonic music and tended to his plants. The place looks magnificent in ‘The Seeds of Doom’, one of my all time favourites. Alas, I haven’t made it here yet but it is definitely visitable. Website is HERE.
One day I will go back to the UK, yes I will go back. Until then… oh sorry, just a little Hartnell-misquoting. Portmeiron is the town that doubled for medieval Italy in the Tom Baker classic ‘The Masque of Mandrogora’, and also was the location for the TV show ‘The Prisoner’. I haven’t been there, but what an amazing location it was and still appears to be. High on my list of places to see when I get back to the UK, hopefully within 2-3 years. Website is HERE.
- Butler’s Wharf
It was Butler’s Wharf, very close to the Tower Bridge, where a good deal of filming was done for the classic Peter Davison story ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’. It’s an incredibly atmospheric place to visit. Why not dress up as a policeman with a truncheon and pretend to be Lytton? Probably because you might get arrested. Nevertheless, today Butler’s wharf is full of cafes and studio apartments and is really a very cool area of town. Unlike in 1983 when it was basically derelict. However, be on the safe side and keep your eyes peeled for Dalek embryos.
Honourable Mentions :
There are so many locations for Doctor Who really where can you start? I would also love to visit Dover Castle which doubled as Stangmoor Prison in Jon Pertwee’s ‘The Mind of Evil, Aldbourne in Wilkshire featured in the same year for filming of ‘The Daemons’. Neither have I visited as yet.
Hope you enjoyed a bit of a different ‘Seven on Sunday’. Stayed tuned folks, back in a couple of days with more ‘Faces of…’ May the Journey Never End!