Behind the scenes of The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords (Part Two)
Excerpts from Benjamin Cook’s coverage of the filming for DWM issue #385
It’s Thursday 8 March. DWM is standing in a slate quarry, near Merthyr Tydfil, in the Welsh valleys. It takes a special kind of stupid not to be wearing a coat. In DWM’s defense, we didn’t realize quite how high up and exposed Vaynor Quarry would be. […]
In the quarry, John and David are fighting over a watch (with which the Master can self-destruct his entire fleet of ships, and destroy the world, and what’s the betting it can display multiple time zones and is waterproof up to 200 metres?), above a steep drop. It’s a long way down, and there’s sod all at the bottom bar slate. “I know everyone will start shouting if I go too near the edge,” says David, “but I’m just compelled.”
“I’ll do it!” threatens the Master.
“Weapon after weapon after weapon,” chides the Doctor, “and all you do is talk and talk and –”
He is interrupted by the faint, dainty melodies of an ice cream van chiming away in the distance. “I don’t believe it,” laughs John, as the take is abandoned. “We’re in the middle of nowhere, and the Benny Hill theme is running in the background!”
“I’m surprised,” adds David, “they have ice cream at this time of year.”
“Well, it is Wales.”
Back in Vaynor Quarry, John Simm has filmed his final scene for today. “When’s the funeral?” he asks.
“Tonight,” David answers. “We’re waiting for you to leave, then we’re burning your effigy.”
“The death of Vader!” chuckles John. “Doesn’t the Doctor push me out to sea?”
“No, that was in the old script.”
“Can we have Light My Fire playing then?” asks John. “Try now we can only lose / And our love become a funeral pyre…”
That night, things hot up. Oh yes! A pyre is set alight by the special effects boys, and David is handed a burning torch. “I’m worried about the sparks,” he says, before the take. “If someone sees my coat go up, just shout.”