Barry Island Railway

Filming schedule

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances: filmed 21 January 2005; 23-27 January 2005

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The Empty Child: Barry Island Railway

Clip taken from The Empty Child, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Florence Hoath as Nancy.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 21 May and Saturday 28 May 2005
Director: James Hawes
Starring: Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor

At the time that the Doctor Who production team arranged to use some period railway sidings to represent London of the Blitz in 1941, the premises were owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Railway, a standard gauge rail preservation organisation on Barry Island which had been opened in 1997.

Christopher Eccleston was on hand on the first night of recording on Friday 21 January for the atmospheric outdoor scenes in which the Doctor talked to young Nancy. Billie Piper and John Barrowman joined Christopher for recording on the night of Sunday 23 January, playing Rose Tyler and the new ongoing character, Captain Jack Harkness.

The railway complex formed the crash site of the Chula cylinder where Jack helped to distract the British army sentry on duty and the climax of the serial was recorded, complete with the army of zombies, Jack's solution to an approaching German bomb, and the Doctor's revelation about the identity of the sinister gas-masked child who had been stalking them.

Inserts of Rose and Jack dancing close to Big Ben were recorded on Sunday 23 January along with scenes in Nancy's food store, and the break-in via the wire fence with the help of the sonic screwdriver was taped on Monday 24 January. "Everybody lives!" declared the Doctor as the misguided work of the nanogenes was reversed on the night of 26 January, with sequences which did not require Christopher or John then completed on the final evening of Thursday 27th, including scenes inside the shed at the crash site.

Episode synopses: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

The TARDIS's pursuit of a metal cylinder through space brings the Doctor and Rose to London at the height of the Blitz in 1941. The pair are soon separated, Rose being rescued from a barrage balloon by the mysterious time agent Captain Jack Harkness, while the Doctor meets a group of scavenging children who are being followed by a sinister small boy wearing a gas mask.

Return to the Doctor Who in Wales map.

  • Region : South east Wales

How to get here

Barry Island Railway lies in the seaside resort of Barry Island, approximately 10 miles west of Cardiff.

The railway line runs for two miles on two individual branches, one to the low level Waterfront station and one to Woodham Halt on the higher level.

By train: Select Cardiff Central train station as your initial destination, and change for a connecting service to Barry Island. Note, not Barry town.

By car: Leave the M4 motorway at junction 33 and follow the A4232 to Culverhouse Cross, then take the A4050 signposted Barry. At the junction of St Nicholas Road and Park Avenue turn left onto the A4055 and follow to Barry Island station.

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