Last Alteration: Thursday 13 March 2008

Filming at Penarth, 13th March 2008

Penarth, filmed 13th May 2008

Reflections by Paul Mount

I arrived around 8.15pm. The filming's in the back streets of Penarth, in the shadow of a grim row of imposing derelict flats (which, incidentally, you can see in background shots on the opening scene of 'Love & Monsters'). The TARDIS, all lit up, stands outside a church. It's clearly a post-apocalypse scene as there are cars skewed across the road, their doors open. Debris and rubbish are scattered across the roads and pavements. David T and Catherine are limbering up outside the TARDIS. She's in the leather jacket thing from the Pendraw filming the other week, he's in his crumpled brown suit. Technicians and TV types abound. Graeme Harper's on a four-man motorised camera trolley thing (gasp at my easy way with TV terminology!) which roars up the road filming David Tennant running as fast as he can. "That's fantastic, he's great!" enthuses Harper after the first take - but they still do it again. The watching crowd - dozens and dozens of people of all ages including loads of excitable kids - are ushered to the other side of the road behind bariiers, cutting off our view of the TARDIS (boo!).

A car whisks David and Catherine away but a very friendly security guard informs us they'll be back in an hour. Moments later another car whizzes up and Billie Piper clambers out. "Ooh" goes the crowd. As mentioned already, Billie is filmed running down the road carrying a Big Space Gun. A man on the trolley thing shouts "exterminate" as she runs. This is done a few times and 'exterminate' is called out every time. Is Billie chasing after some sort of to-be-CGI'd Dalek saucer or ship or something? Your guess is as good as mine! Probably better!! Lots of kids wants autographs but it ain't happening. Billie is driven away. Kids (and some adults - ahem) shout out "Bye bye Billie!" half-out of the car, she beams and waves and calls "I'll be back later!!" Bless!

Tired kids are shuttled away by their parents. The fools! As the crowd thins a car pulls up - as close to me as you are now (eh??) - and David Tennant climbs out. He smiles, waves, pulls a face, runs back towards the TARDIS. Catherine comes out after him; she smiles and waves too and makes her way back towards the set.

Some of the crowd are wandering off now. My enduring cold's getting the better of me. Filming continues until 5am but I've got a day to spend filling in a Very Important Application Form for a job promotion tomorrow so discretion gets the better part of valour (or something) and I make my excuses (to no-one in particular) and leave. Before I go I grab a quick word with the friendly security guy who tells me they're all knackered after an eight month shoot and that they've got two weeks on the series to go and then straight into the Christmas Special while everyone's still together. I left the team making the long preparations for the next shot but as it's some distance away and I'm tired and footsore, I decide to wend my way back to my keyboard to delight you all with titbits from the front line...

Salute!!

Paul


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