Coal Exchange and Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay

Filming schedule

Attack Of The Graske: filmed 3 November 2005
Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday: filmed 10 December 2005, 7 January 2006
Rise Of The Cybermen/The Age Of Steel: filmed 7 January 2006
Blink: filmed 21 November 2006
Voyage Of The Damned: filmed 16-18 July 2007

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The Age Of Steel: Mount Stuart Square

Clip taken from Doctor Who: The Age Of Steel featuring Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and David Tennant as the Doctor, filmed in Mount Stuart Square in Cardiff Bay.

Attack Of The Graske

Original BBC red button broadcast: Sunday 25 December 2005
Director: Ashley Way
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Rise Of The Cybermen/The Age Of Steel

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 13 May and Saturday 20 May 2006 Director: Graeme Harper Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 1 and Saturday 8 July 2006
Director: Graeme Harper
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Blink

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 9 June 2007 Director: Hettie MacDonald Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Voyage Of The Damned

Original BBC One broadcast: Tuesday 25 December 2007 Director: James Strong Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Mount Stuart Square in Butetown was named in honour of Lord Mountstuart, the MP for Cardiff during the Napoleonic era who was heir to the Bute estate. The square and was the focus for much of the city's wealth, with an array of impressive 19th century buildings.

Built between 1883 and 1886, the Coal Exchange is a major feature of Mount Stuart Square and in the late 19th century was the hub of the city's commercial life in the era when Cardiff was one of the world's leading exporters of the coal mined in Rhondda. The building, which once housed deals for millions of pounds, it is now an arts and entertainment centre.

The first visit of a Doctor Who crew to Mount Stuart Square came on Thursday 3 November 2005 for material representing London at Christmas 1883 for the interactive adventure Attack Of The Graske. On Christmas Day 2005, digital viewers would be able to use the BBC's red button facility to undertake a series of challenges set by the new Doctor - as played by David Tennant - to try and spot the small alien Graske as it hid in the festive milieu of the Victorian street.

The square was perfect to allow BBC Wales a stand-in for London's central shopping and business sector on both real and parallel Earth during two encounters between the Doctor and a new breed of Cybermen.

The first recording conducted at the Coal Exchange was on Saturday 10 December 2005 when director Graeme Harper recorded sequences for the concluding episode of David Tennant's first series as the Doctor: Doomsday. These scenes would show the Cybermen army in action, having arrived on our Earth from that of an alternative universe and then being sucked into the Void. When the Daleks swooped in to attack the cyborgs, they did so by coming in over the Coal Exchange near Baltic House.

In addition to playing London, close-ups of oriental cast members were also recorded on Bute Street to represent the reactions to the ghosts of youngsters on the city streets of Japan.

Graeme Harper and his team then returned to the same location on Saturday 7 January 2006 to record scenes for the earlier encounter with the Cybermen on the parallel world in Rise Of The Cybermen. David Tennant and Billie Piper acted out scenes as the Doctor and Rose walked through London - with the distinctive dome of St Paul's Cathedral added to the skyline of the east corner in post-production - and then saw the population of the capital freezing into immobility at a signal from their ear-pods.

Similar shots were also taped of the public succumbing to the signal beamed from Cybus Industries in the subsequent episode, The Age Of Steel. Further shots of soldiers and citizens looking upwards from a shopping street were also recorded for Doomsday at the same time.

The interior of the Coal Exchange was also used for indoor sequences such as the police station garage where the TARDIS was impounded in Blink and the entertainment lounge of the Titanic in Voyage Of The Damned, as well as episodes of Torchwood, including Combat and Children Of Earth.

Episode synopsis: Attack Of The Graske

The Doctor asks for the help of the viewer in keeping track of the Graske, a species which takes over planets by replacing people with duplicates, and which has already attacked a family enjoying their Christmas celebrations.

Episode synopses: Rise Of The Cybermen/The Age Of Steel

The TARDIS crash lands the Doctor, Rose and Mickey in what seems to be normal present day London... normal apart from the Zeppelins and the strange silver ear pods worn by the population. The ear pods are the product of the crippled John Lumic's Cybus Industries, and the first stage of scheme whereby he plans to use technology to upgrade humanity into a new species: the Cybermen.

Episode synopses: Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday

When Rose Tyler and the Doctor return to Rose's home to visit her mother, Jackie, the Doctor is soon intrigued by the appearance of "ghosts" across the world, and their connection to the mysterious Torchwood Institute. The spectres are soon revealed to be Cybermen, breaking through from a parallel universe via a Void. The aliens are soon engaged in battle over London with the occupants of a strange spacecraft from the Void: the Daleks.

Episode synopsis: Blink

In a deserted old house, young Sally Sparrow's life is saved by a strange message written beneath some wall paper signed "Love from the Doctor, 1969". Deciding that the strange building merits more investigation, she returns with her friend Kathy, whose subsequent disappearance is somehow linked with the stone states of angels dotted around the decaying house.

Episode synopsis: Voyage Of The Damned

Having collided with the luxury space cruiser the Titanic, the Doctor decides to join the Christmas festivities of the alien travellers aboard the vessel as they come into orbit around Earth. However, the ship is hit by meteors when its shields are down, and the Doctor leads a small group of survivors through the wrecked ship in a battle for survival.

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  • Region : South east Wales

How to get here

The Coal Exchange dominates Mount Stuart Square in the Cardiff Bay area.

By train: The nearest train station is Cardiff Bay; change at Cardiff Central or Cardiff Queen Street for a connecting service.

By bus: Various service numbers frequent the Cardiff Bay area. Check the Cardiff Bus Company website for timetable listings and routes.

By car: Leave the M4 motorway at junction 33 and follow signs for Cardiff Bay. Turn left opposite Techniquest into Adelaide Street and cross Old James Street into Mount Stuart Square.

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