I think the best Doctor Who is David Tennant. Matt Smith is good (read: fit) too and Peter Capaldi is fab but apparently I am incorrect. They play good characters, but weren’t ‘the Doctor’ that original fans had come to know and love. I found out why when I ventured to Cardiff Castle, a frequently employed film location for Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and I’m sure many others once they cotton on to how flipping’ beautiful this place is.
I attended one of Cardiff Castle’s daily film location tours led by Doctor Who obsessive Dean and I honestly can’t imagine enjoying the tour nearly half as much had Dean and the rest of the tour not been so enthusiastic. That might be because I’m not a huge Doctor Who fan (I was more interested in the Sherlock one, see the bottom of this post for those) but I still felt the excitement with the rest of the group.
Doctor Who Locations
The Castle Library as the TARDIS library in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” – Season 7
And this me going back to my #dramakid routes, pretending to be Clara Oswald…
A random underground tunnel as the entrance to Trenzalore in “The Name of The Doctor” – Finale of Season 7
If you’ve read this post before, you may remember the embarrassing confession I had to make when I took many photos of locations that were definitely used in a TV show, but didn’t make any notes so couldn’t remember which episodes. I know, I know, rookie mistake. I did a shout out on Facebook and luckily my friend Adam came through and even put my queries on a Doctor Who forum where others helped too. I’m so happy to finally be able to provide you with the correct episodes for the locations below:
A tunnel and some fancy pants rooms (as well as the Library) in “Heaven Sent” – Season 9
But alas the elusive space that I know what used for a jail cell in something goes unclaimed:
Adam also assures me that “The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People” from Season 6 and “The Snowman” which was a Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “Eye of the Gorgon” from Season 1 of The Sarah Jane Adventures, “Everything Changes” and “Day One” from Season 1 and “From Out of the Rain” from Season 2 of Torchwood both included scenes filmed at Cardiff Castle. I may have the photos of these scenes, but I have tried looking and cannot confirm! Ah well, at least I’ve failed you to a lesser extent now.
Thanks again Adam, I don’t know why I didn’t go to you in the first place.
Bonus track: Sherlock Locations
A random room as the Tower of London and the outside of the Castle Walls in ‘The Reichenbach Fall’ – Season 2
Locations from possibly the best episode of Sherlock EVER.
I thoroughly recommend the tour to obsessive Doctor Who fans and your moderately obsessed/couldn’t care less friends. It’s worth joining the tour rather than self-guided as you get to see twice as many places with a leader that are usually out of bounds to the regular tourists and they show you screen grabs to jog your memory so you fully appreciate how awesome it is that you’re posing where Clara Oswald posed.
And why was David Tennant not one of the best incarnations of the Doctor? Because traditionally, the Doctor is supposed to think logically and is not in touch with his emotions. In the first few series, way back in the 1960s, the Doctor didn’t give a second thought when his companions left him. But now, the Doctor gets all emotional all the time, so that isn’t great continuity. What’s great is that you get a guide on the Cardiff Castle film location tour who genuinely loves the shows he has been hired to talk about, with his own theories, memories and childlike enthusiasm.
Tickets are a minuscule £4 which includes standard Castle entry so you can look around the rest of the Castle ground at your leisure so it’s absolutely worth it. You can find more information on their website here.
Have you ever been to Cardiff Castle? Do you like Doctor Who and fancy having the time of your life?