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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 44 - On Location > OUT OF THIS WORLD TOURS


Forget Devil’s Dyke and the English Civil War – sightseers are increasingly drawn to the likes of the Satan Pit and the Time War. people behind the booming Doctor Who tourism industry.

The Canal Park children’s playground in Cardiff might not be a name to rival Versailles, Vienna or Potsdam. But it was here, in 2015, that a peace conference took place on which hung the fate of the entire world. Specifically, it took place on the swings and the monkey bars, between the mysterious agent known as Doctor Disco and the joint Zygon High Command – aka schoolgirls Jemima and Claudette.

Nine years earlier, that very Doctor – albeit with a different face – had rigged a trap to catch the ghost of a Cyberman in the same park, while the year before that, the words Bad Wolf graffitied on the wall of its basketball court had helped Rose Tyler save the planet and quite possibly the universe. Clearly, some sort of blue plaque is long overdue.

‘Doctor Disco’ (Peter Capaldi) checks his phone in a scene from The Zygon Invasion (2015).

Cardiff has been Doctor Who’s home – and provided the lion’s share of its recording locations – since production on the first BBC Wales series began in 2004. So spend ales series began in 2004. So spend even a short amount of time wandering the streets of the Welsh capital, and it’s virtually impossible not to stray into the scene of one of the Doctor’s adventures.

Spend a short time wandering the streets of the Welsh capital, and it’s virtually impossible not to stray into the scene of one of the Doctor’s adventures.

Better still, you could forego aimless wandering in favour of one of the city’s dedicated Doctor Who location tours; currently, customers can choose between an official tour, provided by BBC Worldwide as an adjunct to the Doctor Who Experience, or one of several run by Brit Movie Tours, a private concern specialising in trips to the filming locations of everything from Game of Thrones and James Bond to Downton Abbey and Emmerdale. Between them, these tour operators are the reason you will often find Canal Park filled with grown men and women taking pictures of the children’s play equipment.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

In its early days, Doctor Who was recorded on cumbersome cameras tethered to claustrophobic and often inadequate studios. The show rarely escaped these confines in the 1960s, but as technology improved, producers and directors became more adventurous. Location shooting has helped to create some of the most memorable episodes in the series’ long history. In this unique publication, new features, exclusive interviews and rare images tell the story of those episodes and the people who made them happen.