Doctor Who (2005 – 2013)
Starring: David Tennant, Billie Piper
The hugely popular BBC Wales series, Doctor Who follows an eccentric Time Lord, travelling through space and time in the TARDIS to battle injustice across the Universe.
The series has been filmed in a variety of different locations across the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley; have you ever recognised the Time Lord in Chepstow, Caerwent, Beechenhurst, Monmouth, Puzzlewood or Clearwell Caves?
The iconic British science fiction TV series Doctor Who has used Puzzlewood’s twisting, turning depths to stunning effect in two standout episodes that screened during series 5 of the BBC Wales production. These episodes first screened on TV in April and May 2010 and starred Matt Smith as the eleventh incarnation of the good Doctor.
In the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor, Puzzlewood was used once again as the setting for an encounter with The Weeping Angels as Doctor Who and his assistant Clara find themselves ambushed in the snow on a planet that they cannot quite identify. This episode was also the last adventure for the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor. Matt Smith filmed Flesh and Stone as his first episode of Doctor Who at Puzzlewood during nine rainy nights in 2009, so it was the perfect finish for Matt Smith to film at Puzzlewood for his final time travelling adventure.
Clearwell Caves has been the site of plenty of time travelling adventures in the episodes: The Christmas Invasion, The Satan Pit, The Fires of Pompeii, The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone.
In The Christmas Invasion (the first Doctor Who episode to screen on tv since 1966) the Doctor has to embark on a race against time to save the human race from being enslaved by the Sycorax. Clearwell Caves serve as the interior of the Sycorax spaceship.
If you’ve seen the Doctor Who Christmas special entitled The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (2011) then you’ve seen Beechenhurst transformed. In this episode, the Doctor’s adventures plunged him into a situation in which the Doctor finds himself coming to the aid of a family who really are in need of a happy ending to their year. The Doctor gives the family a gift that transports them to a classic, wintry Christmas environment. The special owes a dash of inspiration to the C.S.Lewis novel The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.