Friday, May 05, 2006

Filming: Day One Feedback

Filming began last night in Cardiff (at last!) and although I tried to make it down there to witness the birth of the show, commitments prevented me from doing so. Anyways, Outpost Gallifrey has posted several set photographs, and several set reports. Because the set reports are all of a spoiler-nature, I'll re-post them all below, in invisotext. To read them simply highlight the text, and hey presto, you have a set report!

So, if you don't want to read what happened on set, look away now!

Paul Mount:

Arrived at Charles Street around 8.15pm. Amidst drizzly rain the production unit is up and running, activity based around the rear entrance to Minsky's night club. At first doesn't seem to be a lot going on but suddenly a big black vehicle appears on the can I describe it? Like a big land rover or range rover but augmented by a huge black front grill with no noticable front number plates and a big extended rear section.

The vehicle rushes up Charles Street, turns and heads back, parking near the unit vehicles. There are people in the front seats but through the slightly-tinted windows it's hard to make them out. Then out steps John Barrowman, togged up in a long mohair-like brown coat and what look like a very trendy waiscoat and shirt combination underneath, black trousers and boots.

Production crew rush over to shield him from the rain with a big brolly. Someone's in the passenger seat fiddling with interior lighting. A few moments later he gets out and it's Burn Gorman (Torchwood co-star and the real star of Bleak House, IMO). Someone calls that it's lunchtime and, under cover of brollies, everyone moves off to vehicles further down the road.

I think I caught a glimps of Naoko Mori walking down the road surrounded by production bods but I wouldn't swear to it. Managed to get a look inside the vehicle through the windows - very swish, leather interior, couple of DVD screens set into the dashbaord. Futuristic and yet modern at the same time.

Went back around 11pm to see a scene being rehearsed at the top of the steps leading down into Minsky's. There are two or three burly security guards at the top of the steps. Some girls enter the club. Another girl - couldn't make out who it was - approaches a Grant Mitchell-type guard and, from the dialogue I can hear, says she wants to get back into the club and that's she's already paid to get in. The guard tells her "You'll have to pay again." She gives him a big snog, he staggers back, surprised, and lets her down the stairs into the club.

No sign of any of the major cast around while this is being rehearsed. The scene is rehearsed several more times and, as I left, they seemed to be preparing to move downstairs to film. Not much, I know but Torchwood is, it's fair to say, on its way!!

John Campbell Rees:

The circus has moved on, if only temporarily, from Doctor Who to its spin-off series Torchwood, which had its first day of location shooting today. When I arrived at 4pm, there was filming inside the Bar Icon at one end of the street. Impenetrable black drapes covered the front of the bar, hiding the filming taking place inside from prying eyes. I thought the afternoon would be a bit of a wash out, so I wandered off to do some shopping. After meeting up with Tim, I returned to Charles Street at 6.30pm, to find that filming had moved to outside the rear of Minsky's Nightclub. I immediately spotted John Barrowman and Eve Myles. Barrowman was wearing an old RAF Officer's greatcoat, similar to the one he wore when playing Captain Jack in The Empty Child/Doctor Dances. A few minutes later, I spotted Naoko Mori and Burn Gorman. The very impressive vehicle that the Torchwood Crew used was parked opposite Minsky's. A souped-up and apparently armour plated Range Rover with the word Torchwood in embossed large friendly letters on the side (aka the Jackmobile). It looks as if the Art Department had a great deal of fun with this vehicle. Although, it must be an absolute pig to drive, as all the windows are black tinted glass, whilst the extra bits of fibreglass stuck on the body make it look armour-plated must really affect the aerodynamics and centre of gravity of the vehicle. Inside, the front passenger seat appears to have numerous screens and keyboards in front of it, making it look as if this car is also a mobile office for the crew. Burn Gorman was seen exiting the car from this seat during filming, which makes me suspect that the initial press release (which stated he was playing the group's medical expert, whilst Naoko Mori, who played a doctor in the Doctor Who story Aliens of London/World War III is the computer expert) is ever so slightly wrong.The first scene I saw being filmed was the Torchwood crew getting out of the Jackmobile. They crossed the road, and three of the crew go down the stairs to nightclub, whilst Eve Myles stayed behind and talked to the two police officers guarding the entrance. On the second take, Burn Gorman tripped on the curb and fell in front of the road, much to the amusement of the assembled cast, crew and onlookers.The next scene to be filmed was a close-up of Eve Myles talking to the local police. It is obvious that she is recognised by the officers and that she recognises them. Which leads me to suspect that the character of Gwen Cooper is a policewoman who has recently been seconded to Torchwood. The snatches of dialogue I heard were Captain Jack asking Gwen if she was going to be much longer, and Gwen asking the police woman on duty to "say hello for me", probably back at the Station where she until recently worked. Whilst filming this scene, a drunk wandered onto the location, an became loud and unruly when he was not allowed to continue down Charles Street. The on-site Security quickly bundled him away.The final scene I saw being filmed before they broke for their lunch, and I had to head home was the Torchwood Crew's arrival in the Jackmobile. It was at this point that it started to drizzle. In order to make it look as if it had been raining heavily, a large truck belonging to Any Effects Ltd drove down Charles Street drenching the roadway, as the dampening from the light drizzle would not have registered.Throughout the filming, Jack would be wearing the RAF greatcoat. The questions that springs to mind are* Where did he get it? The one he had in The Empty Child/Doctor Dances was destroyed with the timeship he was piloting?* Why does he feel the need to wear such an ostentatious outfit? The highlight of the evening has to have been being within 10 yards of the lovely Eve Myles and Naoko Mori. Lowlight was the drizzle.

Andy Stark:

When I arrived it was pouring with rain, much to the disappointment of the crew member who had been brought in specifically to hose down Charles Street to give the appearance of a recent downpour. It continued to rain on and off for most of the evening despite there having been bright sunshine for most of the day previous to this. After waiting for a couple of minutes on the side of Charles Street just down from the back of Minsky's nightclub (with a very small group of fellow onlookers in attendance), a black Range Rover type car came from round the corner at the end of the street (which in real life is actually a dead end) and rushes down the street stopping directly opposite the back door of Minsky's. All four doors of the car open and the four members of team Torchwood (John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Naoko Mori & Burn Gorman) leap out - John, being the designated driver - and run over to the club and down the steps leading to the front door. The sign above the club door reads "Night Spot" in pink fluorescent lighting. Captain Jack is wearing what appears to be a long trenchcoat that seemed similar in style to the one worn in The Empty Child and all other team members are wearing black outfits.The scene stops and after a few minutes hesitation the team get back into the car and drive back up to the end of the road and turn around. Once again the car comes down the street but rather than shooting the scene again, it appears that the director calls for a break and, shielded by umbrellas, they all go off for lunch.After nosing around the Torchwood mobile for a bit we left for a while and a couple of us returned an hour or so later to see preparations for a scene being filmed outside the night club. In the lead up to the scene being shot we saw a green screen being moved from where it had been resting on the side of the street to the alley next to Minsky’s itself. When and for what purpose the green screen was being used we didn’t find out but we tried to follow its progress by wandering round to the front of the club (adjacent to where the final scenes from Rose were filmed) to find a spot where it looked like some props were being temporarily stored: these included some empty pallets, a sofa(?) and some store mannikins(!)We then returned to Charles Street to see a scene being rehearsed involving two bouncers and the club owner greeting clubgoers. Two girls went in to the club, which looking through the doors seemed to be in full swing, followed by another girl who was denied entry. She seemed to gain admission by giving the owner a great big kiss leaving him a little shellshocked and he then let her through. At this stage as it seemed that none of the regular stars were going to make an appearance we decided to call it a night and leave.

If anybody else has any set reports for block one of Torchwood, then e-mail them to either Kurly or myself and we'll do our best to post them on the site. Anyway, at long long last Torchwood has arrived. Yay!
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