There's a saying in the Devious team where we say we only do one day's filming a year. If that is so then we've finished for this year and you'll have to wait awhile for any new stuff. Well, to be fair that saying was based on our rather disastrous few years where we really did only the one day. As usual there were reasons, chiefly concerning the fact that we all have real lives and this is just a hobby. Now this year looks as if we've finally got things sorted - we're already planning for a mid-October weekend of filming with the same set - with a Saturday and Sunday this time instead of one day.
Next year we hope to have a new set ready (the big control room) for January/February and we'll be lining the Doctor up with nine daleks for the denouement of the piece. There's a lot to be done by then but at present we're confident. Ashley has just 3 daleks left in his shed - the originals in fact which need a bit of cleaning up and repairing but they will be ok for the new year. The new set elements are modular and will work well in the new room. The doors from the corridor sets will be reused as entrances to the control room, and there's the central diaz to build and the computer modules and the tardis (which arrives during the scenes). (This tardis is the outside of the set that is being built at the moment - the church-crypt set - and it's appearance is looking to be that of a church door).
As for the Sunday the 8th of September - the day went well! Despite last minute set build adjustments on the Friday night in Ashley's shed until 2am the set was transported to the location starting at 11am and was ready for construction by 1pm.
We gave up at 6.30 and restarted at 9 on the Sunday - the lighting being the big problem. We had intended the scenes to be shot in the corridors to be from two parts of the story - before the time-ripple affects the complex and the daleks succumb - and afterwards where everything is awake and after the Doctor it seems! So the first part was to be dimly lit as the complex's power was down (we may blue-tint these shots) and the later parts would be with the complex's systems up and running - although still fairly dim as the black walls needed not to be lit being made of material).
Here's Chris fixing one of the lights...
By noon Sunday we were ready and filming started - finishing only by midnight. The set took only 45 minutes to diassemble and store, although much tidying and cleaning was required afterwards - partly due to errors in the set construction - the black paint not being entirely dry - so a slap wrist for Ashley there!)...
Here's Tony as the Doctor waiting whilst Tim (middle) and Arthur (right) remind the daleks of their actions for the scene...
Two dalek props hanging around - one entirely 'armless...
Three wait round the corner ready for a particular chase scene - we took plenty of shots of daleks going up and down the set as you never quite know just how useful they'll be later in the edit process! The two new daleks showed a very good speed and had to be braked hard to ensure they didn't hit the cameras on several occasions!
Stephen (standing) and David talk through the scene before the episode 4 ending where his character and the Doctor seem to be trapped. Bradley had been injured previously by the dalek gun and was desperately trying to remain conscious...(a bit like us lot at midnight really !)
Dalek operator (in his spare time) Ashley finds tea the perfect refreshment whilst Arthur had noticed the camera. In addition to filming the Doctor and Bradley we also shot a short scene featuring Arthur's character Aturo being chased by a dalek. As you do.
With Stephen and Arthur in the foreground, and Tony and David further back, and with dalek props further back still, you can start to see just how long the set was. Well, quite long really. And there's a bit round the corner too!
David and Tony in rehearsal for the episode 4 ending again.
... and here's the shot being....shot.
And here's the bit round the corner we enthused about earlier - although only one of the doors is shut for some odd reason.
And finally in this section here's Tony waiting for another scene. His scenes were rather good and should look great when cut together - time will tell when we get to do the rough edits...
Interestingly (or not, depending on your point of view, or if you have a Whovian fascination with banal triviality) Tony Garner is now by far the longest-serving Doctor of them all! A decade in the part. However most other Doctors get to appear in more than one story! That's Devious for you!
More soon - we'll have some stills from the actual footage to add to these pages later this month.