Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas

Filming schedule

Tooth And Claw: filmed 20 October 2005
The Girl In The Fireplace: filmed 20 and 24 October 2005
Forest Of The Dead: filmed 22 January 2008

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Forest Of The Dead: Dyffryn Gardens

Clip taken from Doctor Who: Forest Of The Dead featuring Catherine Tait as Donna Noble, Colin Salmon as Dr Moon and Jason Pitt as Lee.

Tooth And Claw

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 22 April 2006
Director: Euros Lyn
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

The Girl In The Fireplace

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 6 May 2006
Director: Euros Lyn
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Silence In The Library/
Forest Of The Dead

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 31 May/Saturday 7 June 2008
Director: Euros Lyn
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Dyffryn Gardens is a collection of botanical gardens near the village of St Nicholas, set in the grounds of the nineteenth century Dyffryn House on an estate which dates back to 640AD.

Landscape architect Thomas Mawson was commissioned to design a new garden for the house in 1894; the result, featuring numerous lawns and statues, was completed 1909, and in 2000 was awarded Grade I Status in the Cadw Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in Wales.

The Doctor Who team arrived in a rather muddy Dyffryn Gardens on Thursday 20 October 2005. David Tennant and guest star Sophia Myles acted out scenes for The Girl In The Fireplace in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles in 18th century France, before travelling on to Alcester in Warwickshire, the next venue in director Euros Lyn's production schedule.

However, the Doctor Who team were back the following Monday for more work at Dyffryn Gardens, completing the scenes in the Castle Room where the Doctor commanded one of the clockwork droids to abort its attack on Reinette. Also recorded on the first day was a shot of the sinister monks in the Torchwood Estate courtyard as required for the episode Tooth And Claw.

A couple of years later, Euros Lyn and the Doctor Who team were back for another day of recording at Dyffryn Gardens. This time the building featured as the CAL hospital, in the cyberspace environment where the Doctor's companion Donna Noble found herself in the episode Forest Of The Dead.

Playing Donna, Catherine Tate recorded her character's arrival by ambulance, her subsequent conversations with the strange Doctor Moon, and also the closing scene in which River Song was reunited with her colleagues from the archaeological team.

Interior scenes in Dyffryn House were also taped of River Song reading to the children, and of Donna with her own children in their bedroom during her virtual lifetime.

Episode synopsis: Tooth And Claw

The TARDIS materialises on a moorland in Scotland in 1879 where the Doctor and Rose Tyler join Queen Victoria's party as it heads for the Torchwood Estate of Sir Robert MacLeish. However, on arrival the estate is already playing host to the sinister Father Angelo and his caged prisoner, who - at the full moon - transforms into a wolf.

Episode synopsis: The Girl In The Fireplace

The famous Madame de Pompadour frantically calls through a fireplace, summoning her life-long friend the Doctor for help as clockwork killers rampage through the palace of Versailles in eighteenth century France. Meanwhile, the TARDIS arrives on an abandoned space vessel in the far future, where the Doctor passes through a strange fireplace and finds himself in the bedroom of a little girl in Paris 1727.

Episode synopses: Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead

The TARDIS materialises in a vast, apparently deserted Library in the fifty-first century. The Doctor and Donna Noble meet a group of archaeologists including River Song, a woman whom the Doctor had never met before, but who knows him intimately. As the group investigate the premises, they are stalked by the shadows of the Vashta Nerada.

Return to the Doctor Who in Wales map.

    How to get here

    Dyffryn Gardens are located near the village of St Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan, 10 minutes west of the centre of Cardiff.

    By car: Leave the M4 at junction, following the A4232 to Barry. Exit at the first slip road and at the roundabout take the fourth exit A48, towards Cowbridge. In the village of St Nicholas Village follow signs to Dyffryn Gardens.

    By train: the nearest railway station is Cardiff Central.

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