Friday, 26 October 2012

Hungry Earth/Cold Blood Location and Sky One's Stella

So I've decided to split last weekends adventures in South Wales up a bit in terms of the blog, otherwise I will be  bombarding you poor people with too much information and pictures all at once. 

Before I start, I just want to say a BIG thank you to the Doctor Who Locations website and everyone that contributes to the site - I wouldn't find half of the places I travel to, or even know about them, if it wasn't for this site. So... THANK YOU

So here it goes - I woke up on my first day in South Wales to beautiful skies and a stunning view from the lodge, grabbed my list of location spots, switched on the Sat-Nav and headed off on the road. 

Doctor Who - The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood

We were heading to the Church used in the Eleventh Doctors Series 5 Silurian two-parter The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood. I have looked at the church in the past on Google Maps, and knew it was in the area we were heading to explore on our first day, so I thought it was a great idea to head up to the location. The two episodes are based in Wales during 2020 and follow the disruption a drill is causing to the civilisation of Silurian's living deep inside earth. Read a full write-up of the plot, here:-

When keying in the area code for St Gwynno's Church into the Sat Nav, we had a few problems, as it ended up sending us to a Golf Course, so I can confirm for future reference that the postcode that will take you to right outside the church door if you are interested in travelling here will be Brynffynon Hotel's postcode (which is just a few yards up the road) -  CF37 3PH . You can park outside the church on the gravel to the left or outside the hotel.

The church itself is very creepy and gothic looking on first glance. I mean, a church is not made to visually look inviting, but this one is pretty intimidating as it stands towering over you and is located in the middle of woodland and forest! The gates were open when we got there, but I have to admit it does look as if they are locked up -all you have to do it move the chain across and make sure you place it back when you exit (there are signs on the gate with instructions when entering). We walked around the church yard and I noticed a few spots used in the episodes straight away, namely the huge church doors and archway which are used in shot when The Doctor speaks to Ambrose at the end of Cold Blood. But also, the spot where the Tardis lands overlooking into the distance a large wooded area (where the drill was edited into shot for the programme).  

 However, my absolute favourite part of this location was looking ahead from where the Tardis was stood to the small raised hill in the distance. Here, during the storyline, Amy and Rory see what they believe to be their future selves waving back at them. And, of course, at the end of this two-parter, when Rory has been 'erased from time' Amy spots only her future self on the hill, still waving. 
All Images Courtesy of BBC
I really wanted to either head around to the hill myself, or get my partner to, just for the photo opportunity... but I was a scaredy cat and didn't want to be left alone! I have threatened to edit myself onto my photo of the hill.... I suppose there is still time...

Sky One's Stella:-
Heading off my normal subject slightly, I knew that the first Doctor Who location I wanted to visit was near where they shot one of my favourite television series of the moment- Sky Ones Stella, starring and written by Ruth Jones. So, I used this opportunity to see the sights and stop at some of the spots used. 

Looking online before heading off to the Valleys, I did notice how hard it was to locate some of the areas used in the series, so I thought I'd set the record straight for some of the sites. Stella's House is based in Ferndale in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. More specifically 'Elm Street'- head right down the bottom and its the second to last house on the right, painted red. From here, there's a stunning view down into the Valleys. Please be warned though that you will need to turn your car around to get back out of the housing estate as all of the other streets along are dead ends. Me and my partner met another couple who had also made the journey from the West Midlands for the same reason whilst we were taking some photos, so they kindly offered to take one of us together. 
Heading south from here, along East Road and into Tylorstown, you will pass a Red brick building on your left called "Welfare House", this is where Emma and Sunil's engagement party was held and has been used for other occasions during the series. 

The third and final place I (tried) to visit for Stella was where the bench was located overlooking the Valleys. I had a postcode for this area CF43 3HA, but me and my partner parked at the bottom of the hill and tried to walk up, to no avail. I, being the unfit one, thought I was going to pass out at any given moment and we just couldn't see anything we recognised ahead. However, after coming home and watching the series all over again, I can see that we were closer than we realised. The area behind me was used in the shot from the bench... its all just a mystery to me...
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I have a few more blog entries lined up and which are currently being drafted. They are from the same weekend in South Wales and include my second visit to Dunraven Bay (which doubles up as the famous Bad Wolf Bay, and used in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship in the most recent Series 7), and I also intend to write up my visit to the location where we said our final farewell to the Pond's. 

Sorry I couldn't include everything in one big post but I am currently splitting my time between work, dissertation overload and my not-so-social calender! I upload the rest of my weekend as soon as I can!

I hope you all enjoy reading my posts as much as I love going out and finding these locations, its a real buzz and I intend to keep on exploring!

Have a lovely weekend everyone, take it easy, write to you soon!