This week’s filming for Doctor Who has been particularly public and numerous set pictures have rolled in revealing the setting, the costumes, returning cast members and even a few aliens that I think you’ll be pleased to see.
I want to share the pictures so, from here on in, we’ll be zig-zagging in and out of spoiler territory.
So, towards the start of the week, the BBC officially announced that Dame Diana Rigg, who shall ever be the eternal Emma Peel, and her superbly-voiced daughter Rachael Stirling will be appearing in a new Who episode written by Mark Gatiss, and that they have been cast as mother and daughter. It’s this episode filming right now, apparently called The Crimson Horror and it will be the ninth in the run. The seventh is the Christmas special, so expect this one to air early next year.
The episode is set in a Yorkshire town called Sweetville. Here’s a couple of shots of the gates.
That picture was taken by Ryan Farrell, who has spent a lot of time snooping around the set. According to what he’s overheard and observed:
An actor called Brendan Patricks is playing the role of Edmund. Diana Rigg is playing Mrs. Gillyflower, a character known as “the ice lady” who somehow takes away Clara, the new companion being played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.
But that’s just the beginning. The episode also sees the return of Jenny and Madame Vastra, the human-silurian Victorian couple seen in the last series. I’m not surprised at all that Gatiss has opted to bring them back for his story.
This video, also by Mr. Farrell, shows the Doctor and Jenny searching for Clara.
In an overheard dialogue exchange, Jenny apparently expressed a belief that Mrs. Gillyflower had killed Clara, but the Doctor replies that the situation isn’t so simple and that “the process is reversible.”
Here’s another video and two more still images from the Farrell collection.
Here are images of Neve McIntosh, back in the mask as Madame Vastra. Then we have Dan Starkey, reprising his role as the Sontaran Strax, formerly a commander, slightly less formerly a nurse and now, it would seem, a butler.
And what else has been sniffed out? Well, it seems that Brendan Patricks might be playing a second role, as well as Edmund – his CV reveals this to be Jeremiah. Of course, we know nothing much about either of them.
Rachael Stirling has shown up with make up on her face suggesting her eye has been burned. The local factory bears a sign that reads “Brightwell and Hyman – Quality Matches”, and has been spoken of thus:
There is something very odd about that factory – nobody who goes in seems to come back out. And there’s never any smoke.
That’s a paraphrase of a line from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Perhaps directly relevant to the episode title, Strax has been seen holding a jar of red, or perhaps horrifyingly crimson, liquid.
So, it’s hard to put all of the pieces together, but there’s something very Gatiss-y going on, a match factory is somehow involved, and there’s a character being called “the ice lady.”
I think we can make some educated guesses. And probably be wrong on most counts.
Doctor Who returns to BBC One this Autumn. You know we’ll be watching, and if you’ve just read this post, I’m prepared to bet you will be too.
Thanks again to Ryan Farrell for the images and video, and his world-class eavesdropping.