Temple of Peace, Cathays Park, Cardiff

Filming schedule

The End Of The World: filmed 6-8 October 2004; 11-14 October 2004; 19 February 2005
Gridlock: filmed 18 and 19 September 2006
The Fires Of Pompeii: filmed 18 and 19 September 2007

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Gridlock: Temple of Peace

Clip taken from Doctor Who: Gridlock, featuring Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones and David Tennant as the Doctor.

The End Of The World

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 2 April 2005
Director: Euros Lyn
Starring: Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor

Gridlock

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 14 April 2007
Director: Richard Clark
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

The Fires Of Pompeii

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 12 April 2008
Director: Colin Teague
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Designed by architect Sir Percy Thomas, the Welsh National Temple of Peace and Health is a non-religious civic building on King Edward VII Avenue at Cathays Park in the heart of Cardiff.

It opened in November 1938, donated to the city by Lord David Davies of Llandinam in memory of those who lost their lives in the 1914-18 War. Now, it houses organisations such as the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (including the educational charity CEWC-Cymru) and the National Public Health Service for Wales.

The first time that the Temple received a visit from a Doctor Who camera crew was during October 2004, when just over a week was spent working inside its impressive conference halls. This back-drop would form the Manchester Suite aboard Platform One, five billion years into the future where the Doctor would give Rose Tyler both her first change to meet many different alien species... and also a view of the final hours of her home planet.

Already there was interest in the forthcoming series, and so teams from various magazines and CBBC's Newsround were present to marvel at the strange and bizarre aliens assembled for the momentous fate of the planet, as well as the series' two stars, Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper who played the TARDIS travellers.

Recording on the Manchester Suite scenes by director Euros Lyn spanned from Wednesday 6 to Tuesday 12 October. Wednesday 13 then saw the team moving out into the corridors of Platform One, for scenes such as one of the Adherents of the Repeated Meme attacking Rose, and the planned shoot there concluded on Thursday 14th with more corridor scenes and also the sequences in the office presided over the blue-skinned Steward.

However, because of the complexity of animating the character of main villain Cassandra, some of her dialogue had to be dropped which caused the episode to under-run. Writer Russell T Davies came up with a new character, the maintenance worker Raffalo, and newly scripted scenes between Raffalo and Rose were recorded back at the Temple on Saturday 19 February 2005.

The Temple again represented the universe of five billion years in the future a couple of years later when director Richard Clark and his crew returned there to record the episode Gridlock. Two days were spent at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, starting on Monday 18 September 2006 with recording of all the travel bulletins from holographic host Sally Calypso played by Erika Macleod.

After this, the venue formed the darkened temple of New New York where Novice Hame tended to the dying Face of Boe. David Tennant joined the team as the Doctor for when Hame explained what had happened to the city, and the next day was accompanied by Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones for the Face of Boe's death scenes.

"On the day of Boe's death scene, David actually texted me from set, to say how ridiculously sad it was! A great big lump of animatronic latex, and everyone felt sorry for him!" recounted showrunner Russell T Davies in Doctor Who Magazine.

A year later to the day, the BBC team were back, but this time the Temple of Peace represented the past of Earth rather than the future of New Earth. Director Colin Teague saw the venue as ideal to feature as the Temple of Sibyl in the tale The Fires of Pompeii once the cast and crew had returned from their overseas shoot in Rome.

Scenes without the Doctor or Donna Noble were taped on Tuesday 18 September 2007, with choreographer Ailsa Berk rehearsing the movement of the sisterhood - one of whom was played by Karen Gillan, later to play the Doctor's companion Amy Pond.

Victoria Wicks was also transformed into the dark, stone-skinned High Priestess by the team from Millennium Effects, and on Wednesday 19 David Tennant arrived as the Doctor to rescue Catherine Tate as Donna just in the nick of time...

Episode synopsis: The End Of The World

Rose's first major trip in the TARDIS lands her and the Doctor in the year five billion aboard Platform One, a space station which will allow a party of special guests to witness the final destruction of Earth as it is engulfed by the Sun. But as the last minutes of the planet's life arrive, a series of strange murders by metallic spiders are committed amongst those present.

Episode synopsis: Gridlock

The Doctor takes Martha Jones into the far future and makes a return visit to New New York on New Earth in the year five billion and fifty-three. Martha is kidnapped from the rundown pharmacy streets at the base of the city, and is vital pawn in a scheme by two young drivers to get into the fast lane of a horrific traffic jam which has seen vehicles at a standstill for years.

Episode synopsis: The Fires Of Pompeii

The Doctor and Donna pay a visit to Rome in the first century AD, but the Doctor soon realises that the TARDIS has gone astray a little. They are in 79AD, but in the city of Pompeii, the day before the fateful eruption of Mount Vesuvius. To Donna's horror, the Doctor announces that the presence of the Pyroviles means that he cannot prevent the death of the city's inhabitants.

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  • Region : South east Wales

How to get here

The Welsh National Temple of Peace and Health, known as the Temple of Peace, is a non-religious civic building in the civic centre of Cathays Park, Cardiff.

By train: The nearest train stations are either Cathays or Cardiff Central; a short walk from either station is required.

By car: If travelling east on the M4, leave at junction 32 and follow the A470 for approximately three miles. Go over the flyover and continue along North Road. Take a left turn in to College Road, then the first right into King Edward VII Avenue. If travelling west on the M4, leave at junction 29 and follow the A48(M)/A48 to the A470. Follow the A470 into the Cathays area of the city.

Car parking in the civic centre area is limited, but there are many car parks and/or park and ride services in operation in Cardiff City Centre. Visit the Cardiff County Council website for further information.

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