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Doctor Who has a ‘Giggle’ in Bristol

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Doctor Who has a ‘Giggle’ in Bristol

The BBC is marking sixty years this weekend since the first episode of Doctor Who aired.

The TARDIS returns to BBC One in the UK tomorrow (Saturday 25th November) with the first of three Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials, taking viewers on an otherworldly adventure in space and time each Saturday.

The third episode in the long-awaited trilogy, ‘The Giggle‘, was filmed extensively in Bristol’s Old City last year with support from Bristol Film Office and will premiere on Saturday 9th December. To mark the occasion, Bristol Film Office has released a brand new Doctor Who in Bristol Movie Map plotting every Bristol filming location featured in Doctor Who over the past 60 years.

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council:

“As an iconic production that has been successfully made in Wales since its reboot 20 years ago, Bristol’s neighbouring locations are easily accessible, appealing and convenient to Doctor Who’s production team. Bristol Film Office has been proud to assist with location support on many occasions over the years – but last Summer’s shoot in the busy central streets of Bristol’s Old City was by far the biggest and most ambitious Doctor Who shoot we have ever hosted.”

Airing on 25th November, the first episode in the trilogy – ‘The Star Beast‘ – sees the Doctor and Donna Noble come face to face after all these years, but just how, and why, is about to be revealed. Joining them in the trilogy is a stellar cast including Yasmin Finney as Rose Noble, Miriam Margolyes as the voice of the Meep, Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble, Karl Collins as Shaun Temple, Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne-Bingham, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Neil Patrick Harris as the Toymaker, set to cause all kinds of mayhem. It’s going to be an unmissable cosmic adventure, all before Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa gets the keys to the TARDIS over the festive season.

Bristol Film Office facilitated the filming of major action scenes for the third episode in the trilogy – ‘The Giggle‘ – on and around Clare Street in Bristol’s Old City in June 2022, featuring the Doctor (David Tennant), Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and Hollywood and Broadway star Neil Patrick Harris as The Toymaker. With staged explosions, tanks, soldiers, wrecked vehicles, large numbers of supporting artists and crew – and of course, the TARDIS – the elaborate shoot generated a great deal of excitement from the Bristol public.

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council:

“The Film Office team did a superb job of working with the production to ensure all necessary preparations were made and filming ran smoothly. With the TARDIS, David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Neil Patrick Harris featuring in the action-paced scenes, the spectacle definitely attracted the crowds and it’s fair to say the city was buzzing! It will be a joy to see Bristol feature on screen in The Giggle when it airs on 9th December.”

Clare Street’s junction with St Stephen’s Avenue and Marsh Street will be recognisable to viewers thanks to the distinctive flower pattern on the road surface. Tennant and Tate also filmed scenes in and around the nearby churchyard at the historic St Stephens Church. Nearby Broad Street was also used during filming.

Creperie Chez Marcel was redressed to become a toyshop called ‘Mr Emporium’. Filming also took place in a nearby alleyway connecting Broad Street to neighbouring Small Street, where the TARDIS was parked.

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council:

“Bristol Film Office’s new “Doctor Who in Bristol” Movie Map gives you the lowdown on every Bristol location that has been used by the show since the 70’s – a must for any Doctor Who fans living in, or visiting, our city.”

The Doctor Who 60th Anniversary trilogy begins tomorrow with ‘The Star Beast’ on BBC One from 6.30pm. The second 60th anniversary special, ‘Wild Blue Yonder’, will follow at 6.30pm on Saturday 2 December. ‘The Giggle’ will air from 6.30pm on Saturday 9 December, completing the trio of anniversary specials.

A special episode of Doctor Who Unleashed will follow, going behind the scenes of The Giggle and speaking to the Toymaker, Neil Patrick Harris.

View the ‘Doctor Who in Bristol’ Movie Map here, or head to www.filmbristol.co.uk/bristol-movie-maps to see Bristol Film Office’s full Movie Map collection.

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