A quick update on 'The Time Of The Doctor', the Christmas Special which marks the Grand Finale of the Matt Smith era on 'Doctor Who'.
First of all, some of us may well have missed a little teaser in the image released by the BBC for this program. If you enlarge the section of the photograph between the Doctor's arm and Jenna's arm, something interesting appears. Yes, there IS a face in the flames of the fiery cauldron - and it looks rather like that of the 'new' Doctor, Peter Capaldi ! How cunning of the BBC to weave the new Doctor into the scene.
Secondly, some of the locations for the shooting, which took place from Sunday, 8th September to Saturday, 5th October, have been revealed; as you would now expect, many of these are in Wales, mostly in and around Cardiff. The photograph above shows Clara knocking on the door of the TARDIS, which has landed on a grassy area. It turns out that these are the playing fields adjacent to the Lydstep Flats, Lydstep Crescent, Gabalfa, Cardiff. For those of you who think this will look familiar, you are quite correct. The Lydstep Flats have already been used in a previous episode involving the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, and Rose Tyler. The BBC is always on the look-out for urban or suburban settings in and around the Welsh capital of Cardiff which can be made to resemble London. (A visual clue: Welsh streets - in this area - are noticeably wider than their London counterparts, and the buildings tend to be lower).
The plot is that the Doctor must 'rescue' Clara from her family's Christmas party. It would seem that we are going to see an appearance by James Buller as Clara's father. No mention of any soufflés at this point in time! Other cast 'tips' include possible involvement of Winston Churchill (played by Ian McNeice, of course), and a new character Tasha Lem (played by the Irish actress, Orla Brady), as an important part of the Doctor's past.
The planet Trenzalore will be represented by the rugged areas of the Brecon Beacons National Park, north and west of Cardiff, (particularly the area around the Usk Reservoir) and the Sennybridge Training Area, which is a UK Ministry of Defence military training area, in Powys, Wales.
Media coverage of the shooting for this episode was extensive, as you would imagine. The 'Radio Times' (the BBC's in-house TV and radio weekly magazine and program guide) obvious gave the special massive exposure, but it was joined by almost every other UK newspaper, and online newsfeed, including 'Wales Online'. Matt Smith's wig - to cover his newly-shorn head, which was done for production reasons on another shoot, and which was shown at the 'Doctor Who Prom' - caused a lot of comments. The 'Daily Mail' reported that, 'Matt Smith kept a tight grip on his hair', during the final scenes!
Oh, and if you want to try and win a LIFESIZE 'Union Jack' Dalek - here is a free competition from the 'Daily Mirror' (it makes NO mention of 'UK Residents ONLY', although you might want to check further!)
Well, there you have it; much to think about as we enter the final days of the Doctor (this Doctor, anyway).