One of the lasting memories I have of the announcement that Doctor Who was to return is the reaction of one North American fan. Hearing that the show was to be produced by BBC Wales he convinced himself that it would be a Welsh language version on the presumption that no-one in Wales spoke English.
Our transatlantic friend wasn’t alone, those with little knowledge of Cardiff apparently found the choice quite �odd� and voiced the opinion that London and the quarry pits of the South East would make a more fitting base.
Wales Millennium Centre
Those better acquainted with the city understood just how many types of locale it and the surrounding areas could offer the production team and were intrigued to see how the mix of modern urban city and rural vistas might be put to use.
Of course, the link between Doctor Who and Cardiff is nothing new as Ian Everett, press officer for The Cardiff Initiative, explains:
�Cardiff has always had a link to Doctor Who thanks to [Dalek creator] Terry Nation, who was born here, but the new series of Doctor Who has made that link even stronger.
Many viewers may not have realised that the majority of the first series was filmed here, as the BBC effects team did such a great job of disguising Cardiff as World War II London, underground bases in Utah and alien space stations.
The diehard fans, however, have shown a great deal of interest in visiting the locations used � which include the Millennium Stadium, the Wales Millennium Centre and the National Museum.
The new Torchwood spin-off, which will be set here as well as filmed in Cardiff, will also be a great boost, as it will give the city a great opportunity to shine on camera.
As more viewers across the world get to see the new series, the interest in visiting Cardiff is also going to increase, so its likely that before long, location maps, guide books and even Doctor Who themed tours will be available.�
And make no mistake, television can have an important part to play in driving tourism. According to The Cardiff Visitor Survey, the percentage of visitors influenced by TV was 18% with 4% citing the medium as their main influence responsible for visiting the city.
Cardiff landmarks which feature in the first series include Queens Arcade, Howell’s department store, Wales Millennium Centre and the Welsh National Temple of Peace and Health.
A full list of locations used for each episode can be found on the BBC Wales website.
unitnews would like to thank all those who provided background information for this article especially Ian Everett at The Cardiff Initiative and Sally Hart at Cardiff County Council.