Doctor Who filming: clue found for secret location filming

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In the Production Diary column in Doctor Who Magazine 587, script supervisor Scott Handcock had this note for Monday 12 December, 2022.

“…somewhere on the outskirts of Cardiff, Block One begins a week of location filming that manages to go completely unnoticed.”

Unnoticed by fans, yes, but a few locals noticed some changes.

In a 3 January post on the The Very Tenuous Claim To Fame Group on Facebook a local had this to say:

“A pub which I occasionally frequent has been closed to the public for a week while the Dr Who film crew have been filming there. Previously the pub appeared on an episode of Torchwood, the spin off series…”

The comments on the post revealed that it was The White Cross Inn in Groeswen, Wales. The interior of the pub was used for the first season of Torchwood in the episode Countrycide.

Further comments on the post indicated that the Doctor Who filming at the inn had already wrapped. The inn’s Facebook page confirmed the pub was closed for filming 12-17 December.

A December 17 post from The White Cross Inn showed off a new sign on the premises.

The new sign advertising the inn must have been gifted by the Doctor Who crew after they put up a new signpost for the filming. However, the sign used for filming was different and spooky.

According to the sign used for filming, The White Cross Inn doubled as a Welsh pub or inn called Y Pren Marw, established in 1863. Y Pren Marw translates as The Dead Wood in Welsh.

Block One of Doctor Who filming occurred during this time frame. The first filming block was directed by Dylan Holmes Williams and consists of Episodes Four and Five of Series 14. Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard was spotted filming during Block One. The actor’s image was seen on poster props for Welsh candidate Roger ap Gwilliam.

Doctor Who will return in November 2023 with three 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. In the following festive period, Ncuti Gatwa will star in his first full Doctor Who episode as the Fifteenth Doctor. Doctor Who Series 14 starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson will debut in 2024.