Trefil Quarry, Tredegar

Filming schedule

Planet Of The Ood: filmed 23 August 2007

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Planet Of The Ood: Trefil Quarry

Clip taken from Doctor Who: Planet Of The Ood featuring David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tait as Donna Noble in a scene filmed at Trefil Quarry.

Episode synopsis: Planet Of The Ood

Original BBC One broadcast: Saturday 19 April 2008
Director: Graeme Harper
Starring: David Tennant as the Doctor

Once a source of limestone which was mined and transported to the ironworks at Beaufort during the 18th century, Trefil Quarry is now disused. On the edge of the Brecon Beacons, it is a popular venue for the pastime of off-road motorcycling at weekends.

The barren area had experience of appearing as an alien planet prior to the arrival of director Graeme Harper and the BBC Wales Doctor Who team; in 2004, it had been host to the team making the movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy where it featured as the suitably grey and uninviting Vogsphere.

BBC Three's Doctor Who Confidential was on hand on Thursday 23 August 2007 to capture the transformation of the abandoned mining area into the ice plain of the Ood-Sphere which the Doctor and Donna Noble found themselves traversing when arriving on the Planet Of The Ood. This was undertaken as a collaboration between the effects company Any Effects and the specialist firm Snow Business, who first sprayed the top of the quarry with water, and then sprayed a layer of fine paper snow over this. The result was a dazzling whiteness, the blinding effect of which in the summer sun meant that the cast and crew had to wear sunglasses and protect against sunburn.

Scenes at the start and end of the adventure in the year 4126 were recorded, with David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the TARDIS travellers first encountering the expiring Ood Delta Fifty, and then later bidding farewell to the freed Ood, and hearing the ominous warning that the Doctor's song would be ending soon.

The following year, the locale was visited by the production team of the CBBC spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures where it featured as a desolate alternate London in The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith and the stone circle in Enemy Of The Bane. The director was again Graeme Harper.

Episode synopsis: Planet Of The Ood

The TARDIS takes Donna Noble to her first alien world: the frozen Ood-Sphere in the year 4126. Discovering a dying Ood, the Doctor is keen to find out what new source is possessing the slave race, and investigates the affairs of the ruthlessly exploitative Mr Halpen and his colleagues at the nearby conglomerate of Ood Operations.

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  • Region : South east Wales

How to get here

By car: Travelling from Cardiff: Take the A470, then the A4060 heading towards Pentrebach/ Abergavenny. At the roundabout take the first exit onto the A465, at the next roundabout take the fourth exit to the A465/Heads of the Valleys Rd and at the following roundabout take the first exit onto Llwyn Helyg. Continue onto Trefil Road, turn right then left and left again.

If travelling west: Leave the M4 motorway at junction 24 and take the A48/A449 exit to Newport(E)/ Monmouth. Turn left at A449/A48/Cylchfan Coldra and take a slight left at A449. Exit onto the A40 toward Abergavenny. Go through one roundabout. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto A465/Heads of the Valleys Rd. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit and stay on A465/Heads of the Valleys Rd. Go through two roundabouts. At the roundabout take the third exit onto Llwyn Helyg. Continue onto Trefil Road, turn right then left and left again.

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