BBC Cymru Wales will debut its highly-anticipated “Dr. Who” season nine Christmas Special on December 25 on BBC America. Stateside fans – like the rest of the “Dr. Who” fandom around the world – have made the Christmas Special a yearly tradition since the series was revived and began filming a decade ago in and around Cardiff, the capital of Wales.
This year marks the first time that the episode will hit U.S. cinemas, with BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events announcing a two-night special theatrical event in 300 theaters across America on December 28 and 29. The special, which brings the exciting return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song, will also feature a 15-minute behind-the-scenes “making of” featurette designed to bring “Whovians” into the filming action.
BEHIND THE SCENES IN CARDIFF
The best way for fans to get behind-the-scenes of “Dr. Who” is to get into the scenes—by visiting Wales, the home of the Time Lord himself. As enthusiasts in the U.S. await the highly anticipated Christmas Special, Wales is setting the stage across the pond, so worldwide “Whovian” super-fans can explore the familiar intergalactic filming locations throughout the country in person. When the sci-fi series was rebooted in 2005, Cardiff was chosen as the BBC-TV studio site, and the city and its surrounding South Wales towns and villages also became part of the “Dr. Who” universe.
In conjunction with popular tour operators, Wales is making it easy for fans to time travel through the past ten years of filming with set and location tours, dining adventures, museum visits and a stop at Cardiff’s official ““Dr. Who” Experience.”
Travelers can join Brit Movie Tours' unofficial “Dr. Who” Cardiff Bus Tour to over 20 locations from the hit show. Devotees will be guided by “Dr. Who” experts – many of whom appeared in episodes as extras – as they learn how the show is made, hear trivia about some of the stars and see the locations up-close.
Fans looking for more of a leisurely stroll can get up close and personal with the Dr. on the Brit Movie Tours Walking Tour of Cardiff to see the places where over 30 memorable scenes from more than 20 episodes have taken place. The two and a half hour fully-guided experience kicks off at Cardiff Castle, where fans can walk around the Medieval and Victorian areas of the fortress including the TARDIS library, where scenes from the episodes Rebel Flesh, Torchwood and Sherlock were filmed. Next, guides will take travelers around the city describing how terrestrial and intergalactic scenes were filmed on location for the show that has made its home in Cardiff.
And series enthusiasts won’t want to miss Cardiff’s interactive “Dr. Who” Experience with host Peter Capaldi, featuring the biggest collection of real “Dr. Who” "Time Lord" artifacts, props, sets and costumes from the iconic BBC-TV series. During the participatory experience, visitors will have a chance to star in their very own hands-on “Dr. Who” adventure, including the chance to fly a TARDIS, and even up-close encounters with the infamous Daleks!
Along with these and other TARDIS-inspired adventures in and around Cardiff, travelers can wine and dine with a “Dr. Who” culinary adventure at one of the many Cardiff restaurants where “Dr. Who” is filmed. Fans will recognize the incredible views at Bosphorus, a Turkish-inspired restaurant at Cariff Bay, which received the “Dr. Who” seal of approval when Christopher Eccleston treated Rose and Mickey to a meal here in season 9. For a truly memorable rock-and-roll experience, fans will love Eddie's Diner – a time-warp into the American 1950s – that was featured in the Matt Smith episode, The Impossible Astronaut. Finally, “Whovians” can stop off at Cardiff city center's Trade Street Cafe where scenes from Death in Heaven, the final episode of season 8 were filmed
For more information on “Dr. Who” and the various show attractions throughout Wales, visit VisitWales.com.