Doctor Who: series 8 on-set fan photos

News Louisa Mellor 8 Jan 2014 - 08:28

As filming on Doctor Who's eighth series starts in Cardiff, a few fan snaps have appeared online. Casting spoilers ahead...

Filming is currently underway in Cardiff for the first episode of the new run of Doctor Who, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Ben Wheatley, meaning a few on-set glimpses have started to appear online.

Peter Capaldi's costume remains under wraps for now, but a few returning cast members are out in the open below...

With thanks to Ryan Farrell and Simon Clements.

Image: Ryan Farrell

Images: Simon Clements

See more from the day of filming on Twitter, here and here.

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Huh, Victorian London. Good to see the arrival of a new Doctor has shaken things up in terms of story settings.

What are the chances the new Doctor will wind up wearing some sort of Victorian costume for his tenure, then?

Just take them with him in the TARDIS if you're that eager to have them in the show.

To be fair, I don't think they've ever done a post-regeneration story set in Earth's past.

I think doing Dr Who in past Britain is always a winner, one thing the beeb always do well is period pieces. The costumes, sets etc always look so great.
Just a damn shame we have to wait until September.
I'll have to re-watch the previous 7 years until then I's a hard life.....

Well, they've never set a new Doctor's debut in Victorian London...

First Doctor's debut: 1960's London & the stone age.
Second Doctor's debut: The planet Vulcan.
Third Doctor's debut: 1970's Earth.
Fourth Doctor's debut: 1970's (1980's?) Earth.
Fifth Doctor's debut: Castrovalva.
Sixth Doctor's debut: The planet Jaconda.
Seventh Doctor's debut: The planet Lakertya.
Eighth Doctor's debut: 1990's Earth.
Ninth, Tenth & Eleventh Doctor's debut: 21st century Earth.

In fact, there are only a handful of stories set in Victorian times.

What was that comment someone once made? "The Doctor has a time machine that can travel through all of time and space and yet he always seems to end up in either modern-day or Victorian London."

I do think that they do consistently do Victorian London very well, and you could argue that if it isn't broken then don't fix it, but there are so many other period dramas at the moment that you'd think that DW, the show with the time machine, would try and kick the trend.

Maybe they will.
For all we know, these shots represent about 5 minutes of pre-credits screen time and the rest of the episode is set on a 62nd-century space freighter.

Agreed, they're really more than guest stars at this point now. I don't know about you but I feel like they've exhausted their usefulness. They make an appearance in nearly every story I can remember which is set in Victorian London in 11's era (are we calling it that now?) and to me they're wearing a bit thin. They worked well alongside Matt's Doctor but I can't see them fitting in very well with Capaldi's. I would have thought that with a new doctor and the wrapping up of most of the loose ends from the last 3 years that the show would go for a clean slate approach and forget about them. Unfortunately it looks like Steven Moffat's typical self-indulgent insistence on bringing back characters who've totally outstayed their welcome (*cough* River Song *cough*) seems to have won over in this case.

How can you say they won't fit in with Capaldi's Doctor when you know nothing about what his Doctor will be like?

Just a prediction. Capaldi's Doctor has been described as an "old beast" and after his very brief appearance at the end of the Time of the Doctor you can see that he's got an edge to him that Matt didn't which might not necessarily go with their more whimsical characters. I'll happily be proven wrong whenever the episode's realised however, who knows, the contrast could actually really work.

They haven't outstayed their welcome for me, in fact they have been in 4 stories? I don't personally find them an issue and in the same way that U.N.I.T didn't vanish when Pertwee left or Captain Jack when Eccleston left I like the fact that there is some continuity.

It will obviously help younger viewers to transition to a new Doctor, particularly one who is so different (ie. older) than any of the other recent Doctors, if some familiar elements from recent years show up in his first adventure. And before anyone says they started completely afresh with Matt, I know they did but a lot of people said then that too much had changed in his early episodes (wrongly, I think, but they did say it) so maybe they're trying a different tack this time.

i've said it before and i'll say it again, the doctor is an alien with a time travelling spaceship and yet too many of his recent adventures take place on Earth. hopefully they will buck this trend with capaldi in the driving seat. as for what his costume will be, fingers crossed for a kilt!

No complaints from me on that.

Don't expect this to be a popular remark, but I for one groan every time the Scooby gang show up. For one thing, I don't think it was right to render the Sontarans figures of fun, which is what Strax does.

I see the name "Dastardly Donna" on one of the circus posters. Surely I'm reading into that one a bit too much

Same locale, same supporting characters... it's "samey-lamey" with the timey wimey humany wumany teletubby talk.

The classic series did so much more and actually tried to be different...

But the new Doctor's personality isn't known yet. Maybe he won't be a retread of Smith, who was a retread of Tennant.

I think he's referring to the fact how many stories in the new era have visited Victorian London and within such a short span of time. Not regeneration-themed stories.

Big difference.

By now, I'd hope lots of people make the same observation/comment.

At least the first paragraph.

The BBC has always done period pieces well, and this is "Doctor Who" - a show that can go anywhere other than Victorian London...

I concur, at least in terms of time period but enough of Doc11's stories have been set in that era that it all smacks of "justifiable lameness".

So now there will be a post-regen story set in (the same time period that almost half of Doc11's era took place in). It may be token, or it may be novel. It'll probably be token, I never cared about the blue Sontaran that Doc11 called "potato head" (how wonderfully racist that is), or the Nu-Silurian woman.


That would be cool, actually...

For me it just feels like every time the Doctor turns up somewhere in the Victorian era they're always there. I get the fact that they're around at that time but why is it that they always have to be there with the Doctor?

Then let's axe "Doctor Who" and rename it "some people on LSD that experience Victorian London". And those people can be the Silurians and Sontarans, the local inhabitants, and/or the writers and producers that would rather have us all tripped on LSD so we'd blindly perceive and subsequently accept the show as being properly innovative instead of tired and worthless, propped up solely by known trademarked names and logos for superficial nostalgia exploitation.

Most people are commenting on the setting, but I hope Capaldi's era is an improvement on Matt's, and despite my gripes Matt's era was far better than Tennant's.

United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is not the same organization as Unified Intelligence Taskforce. The abbreviation is superficially similar, but that's it. That and "Torchwood"'s retcon into lore failed badly, so they weren't going to try to make "UIT"...

In real life, the name had to change because the UN didn't want its reputation any more sullied than it already was.

I actually was more referring to the fact that U.N.I.T appeared in a few Tom Baker stories after Pertwee left rather than the modern version. To be honest I had forgotten that there had been the name change but they are essentially the same organisation on the show

I suppose you could argue that they are drawn to similar incidents (though if you wanted to be a pedant you could wonder why they weren't involved in The Talons of Weng Chiang :) )and I do get that some people just don't like the characters or the fact that they are there but for me they are well enough written and well enough played that I like them being in it.

It makes sense, but it gets tedious from a narrative standpoint. I did really enjoy them until it struck me just how often they're there. The Doctor constantly going to Victorian London and meeting the same three characters every time is so repetitive. It's the Star Wars prequels effect, which makes the world seem incredibly tiny. This is a show which could travel to most of time and space (reasonably, given the budget) so why would you keep returning to the same characters in exactly the same setting? It's understandable that they're apparently fan favourite characters, so why not use that TARDIS and mix things up a bit by taking them elsewhere into new situations? I think I'd actually enjoy that, but god forbid any more Victorian London!

It's probably just for the narrative purpose of putting a new Doctor next to a few more familiar characters to help ease the transition. And it's no better or worse than setting something regularly in the present day.

They've been in four stories if I'm counting correctly.

One set on Demon's Run, one set in Victorian London, one set in Victorian England - was it Leeds? (Can't remember) and one partly in Victorian London but mostly Trenzalore. There have been the minisodes etc I guess but it has been mixed up quite a bit really.

I think it's their presence in minisodes and the like that's making them wear thin for me. They're fun when they're around, but the fact that there's a constant stream of irrelevant new material involving them makes it feel like they never go away. I would agree with Ozymandias though that their continued presence in the main programme will limit its scope sooner or later. I'm smelling River Song Syndrome popping up again by running a 'fan favourite' into the ground with that now-typical Steven Moffat brand of self-indulgence. Read also: the Weeping ruddy Angels.

Ignoring a Good Man Goes to War and the Name of the Doctor because neither of them really take place in the Victorian era we're left with two Victorian era episodes which heavily featured the three characters. That wouldn't ordinarily be bad, in fact two episodes is nothing when you think about it, however these came within 6 months of each other and were the first Victorian era stories for 2 years (a Christmas Carol, the previous one, came out at the end of 2010), so as a result they currently feel like a bit of a constant presence.

That's fair enough but I thought The Eleventh Hour was an incredible first episode for a new Doctor, and that featured absolutely ZERO returning cast from the previous season.

Still really excited to see this, purely for Capaldi. Hopefully Moffat's writing will do him justice.

I'd like to see a storyline in which Strax is charged with treason for his affiliation and alliances with The Doctor and planet Earth. Probably never gonna happen but I miss the Sontarans being what they're supposed to be - angry, pissed off potato heads.

You never know, he might step out of the TARDIS, take one look at them and tell them to eff off.

To be honest i see it as a major improvement to series 1/2 and the repeated trips to a council estate in London. Im pretty sure its ok for them to appear in the new doctors run given that characters from Nine's run carried over into Ten. When Moffat steps down id expect all the supporting characters to fade away to be replaced by new ones, not before. And as much as the point about Victorian London is fair, The Talons of Weng Chiang was one of the most beloved original series episodes and I think Capaldi easily has the chops to pull a similar strength performance. Given the style of the show is set to change, im interested to see how this comes across, but given its a post regen story, it barely seems important where its set given the fact its not going to be the heart of the story!

Its a post regen story, the setting is hardly the key factor, its probably easier to establish the character with some kind of murder mystery and save the money they would spend on sets for a later date

re angels:
Agreed. But then the new era so often just doesn't know the meaning of enough. Let's have daleks and cybermen and sontarans, and bleedin Rose again, and and cake and jelly and and and ice cream...

Blink was a great story. It's since become "oh, them again..." And with every new appearance, the writers have to freshen them up, which just messes up the beautiful simple premise. First they attack by sending you back in time, then they kill as well. Then they can get into people's eyes, jump out of recordings and talk. Then they only move when they _think_ you can't see them - so much for the "quantum lock". Next time out, they'll probably be ballroom dancing...

IIRC the sontarans appeared just four times over something like 12 years in the classic era. Nor did we get daleks and cybermen every single year. In fact, the period when the show was at its most popular (Tom) featured the daleks just twice and cybermen once.

True, it can be done. Maybe it's for the younger viewers who think Capaldi looks sinister?

For me it feels like when you're watching a Disney film or any other thing that's aimed at similarly broad audiences. every once in a while there'll be a character who you feel has been put in for the kids. And you may like them, but they don't feel aimed at you.
But neither do they stop you enjoying the show. I like seeing the Paternoster Gang now and again and they even make me laugh from time to time. That said, I do wonder if Capaldi's first outing was the right time to bring them back.


The Doctor may have a time/space machine but the budget for the show dictates where and when it goes.

Filming with accuracy relatively recent history is hard compared to filming the future or very far in the past. RTD when he launched the reboot said he did not want to do episodes that the budget could not support and I agree with him.

Sorry meant to say relaunch not reboot

Can't say I get it myself but the writers seem to be obsessed with Victorian London. I'm pretty sick of it in all honesty. I really hope he's not wearing a Victorian costume.

I think a lot of people are done with these Characters. I also have all fingers crossed that River does not appear again. However I had been hoping she was done after The Wedding of River Song.

Sometimes Moffet does not know when to let go.

I agree and for a lot of people the 10th Doctor going was way more popular than the 11th.

I remember JNT asking Sladen to come back when Tom was leaving. Thankfully she said no.

The show changes it is why we like it.

I agree. The Sontarans are pretty pathetic these days and have gone the way of the Cyberman as being pretty easy to get rid of.

UNIT had been being phased out for the whole last season of Pertwee as the show was going back to the Doctor traveling again. I think they used it for his regeneration (Spiders and Robot) so Mike and the Brig could appear and provide some continuity. Pertwee had been in the role longer than any other Doctor at that stage.

Also remember the original plan was for the Master to have died saving the 3rd Doctor. This was nixed after the death of Delgado but reused as RTD like the idea in The End of Time.

To be honest in the series there has not been much continuity of characters during regeneration episodes.

1) Ben and Polly only appeared two stories before the 1st Doctor left.
2) There was no one who carried over for the 3rd Doctor as the show was rebooted in a lot of ways. The 2nd Doctor had met the Brig and Benton as they tried out the concept of UNIT in earlier stories.

3) 3rd to the 4th Doctor saw the most carry over.
4) Tegan, Adric and Nyssa where all new when we went 4-5.

5) Peri was new when the 5th to the 6th happened.

6) 6th to 7. Mel was new.
7) 7-8 No carry over.

I get my seasons mixed up a bit but weren't UNIT in three of Pertwees last series? Time Warrior (briefly) and Invasion of the Dinosaurs? As I say, I may be wrong but I thought those were part of that series.

I'm not necessarily referring to them being integral to a regeneration episode, I suppose I just see them as an extension of the fact that the Doctor has had recurring characters throughout its history who weren't necessarily villains. The Brigadier, UNIT, Sabalom Glitz and so on, I am a sucker for Victorian pulp so perhaps that's why I like these characters...however, I can see the point that they are seemingly ubiquitous with the minisodes.

I also agree that River Song has been overused and The Weeping Angels should have only been a one time villain.

I don't mind River Song. Sure, she's been overused (as has just about everything recently - it's the greatest hits era). But the concept of an occasional companion who isn't from Earf innit and knows a bit more about the universe, and whose own time-hopping existence means her encounters are all out of sync, is a good one and often worked.

I really didn't need her to turn out to be pondlife though, and that whole bonking in the Tardis produces Timelord-ish offspring thing left me totally cold.* As did the marriage-or-was-it-oh-who-cares stunt.

Must confess a bias as Kingston really rather does it for me, but that said, I'll happily watch her in something else and the character probably ran out of road a while ago. I'll forgive them one more appearance, justifiable perhaps re settling Capaldi into the continuity.

* So why all the moping about the extinction of the Timelords, eh? Why not just turn the Tardis into a love shack? No special vetting process required really - unless for some Moffetty reason the mothers have to be gobby and the fathers drips.

I could imagine Sladen getting on really well with Davison, but not being that keen on working under JNT.

Oh further point:
Has anyone ever considered figuring things out from River's chronology and rewatching the episodes in her order?
I'm not brave or bothered enough, but if anyone has, I'd love to hear their take.

Saying that half of 11's time was in the Victorian era is WAY off. Multiple eps were set in the 60's in the US, several in modern day England, and several more set off world. In fact the first of Matt's episodes set in Victorian England was The Snowmen(which was the Christmas special in the middle of Matt Smith's THIRD season as the Doctor. Then after a few episodes with other settings the Crimson Horror was set in Victorian England, and then we see it again during the first part of The Name of The Doctor. Let's see, that means that out of Matt Smith's 47 episodes the main setting was in Victorian England for a grand total of 3 episodes, and one of those the setting changes to another planet before the half way mark in the episode. I don't see that as being "justifiable lameness" or anywhere near half(it's actually about 6% ).

7 episodes out of 119....not that big of a concentration really

Of course, this isn't necessarily the first episode. After all, the first shots we saw from Matt Smith's era were the beach shots from The Time of Angels.

There's a great River Song timeline infographic out there somewhere. Disqus doesn't let you link, but when if you Google it and you see one that looks a bit like a map of the Underground then you've got it.
The first thing that becomes clear is that the whole idea that hers and the Doctor's days are in reverse is a very rough approximation. She needn't have taken that first/last kiss quite so seriously.

Technically, eleventh doctors debut was in the 1990s, as he met amy as a little girl remember?

Also its funny how the second doctor lands on a planet named vulcan "live long a prosper doctor"

Makes sense, Clara helps the doctor steer the TARDIS towards victorian london to get vastra's help

Uhm, a christmas carol wasnt even set on Earth..........the last victorian episode was The Next Doctor

I wish they would make an episode set in ancient egypt, a proper one, and give it some kind of indiana jones feel, id love thaf

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