I have a confession. This wasn't our first Doctor Who 'road trip'. We have history....
This is us visiting Cardiff in 2008, mainly for the Doctor Who Exhibition (where we got scared by Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Clockwork monsters etc.....and I may have blinked....oops) but we also had to stand by the railings where the 10th Doctor and Martha stood when Captain Jack told them he'd once been a poster boy, the Face of Boe they called him :)
(We did some Torchwood shots too, but the girls were too young then to be allowed to watch it, so it didn't make a whole deal of sense to them).
I think though to be honest when we lived in the UK, the places (mainly Cardiff for the 10th Doctor) they filmed didn't seem that exciting. Places aren't that exciting when you've lived by them all your life. Weirdly now, when I see anywhere in the UK on the tv I get excited.
But when we saw the two episodes of Doctor Who at the start of the 6th season (Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon) were filmed in Arizona and Utah, we knew we'd have to do a Doctor Who roadtrip.
I've split our current Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon USA Doctor Who Road Trip into 3 parts, today the beach, tomorrow Monument Valley where they all meet and Saturday Glen Canyon Dam from Day of the Moon.
If you haven't seen this episode yet....there are spoilers in the pics about what happens, though I'm not going to show you more than is in THIS episode.
Right, for all you Whovians who've only ended up on this page wanting directions for your road trip, here you go:
The picnic on the beach in Impossible Astronaut
It's filmed at Lone Rock Beach, Lake Powell which straddles the Utah/Arizona state line near Page.
Thanks to the Doctor Who Locations website we got the GPS co-ordinates are: 37°00'38", -111°31'50" Pop that into your GPS/satnav and that will get you to the exact point.....
HOWEVER, our GPS tried to take us to the exact point as the crow flies...through a bit of the lake. So know that is the exact co-ordinates but go about 10 miles on US89 from Page, past the turn-off to Wahweap Marina, past the Lake Powell Mart Corner Cafe on the left of the road and just over the Utah border (there's a big sign on the right of the road). The road you need is Lone Rock Road down to the beach on the right.
You can drive right onto the beach and camp there but if you haven't got a 4 x 4 or truck, you might want to stop when the sand starts getting too soft...we did, and I have read an account of other Whovians who got stuck and had to be pushed off.
We had a fab time on the beach, though were glad we came out of season - even in March there were plenty of people, cars, quad bikes and a few houseboats on the beach. I know they filmed the bits for Impossible Astronaut in November and I'm not surprised to get peace and quiet. Melchett had a great time skimming stones into the water. The views and colour of the Lake are quite spectacular, it's a serenely beautiful place. You'll see we had a little trouble with the brightness of the sun though, it's seriously intense for photos and bounces off all the mountains.
And here's some of the fun we got up to and comparison pics from the original show(s)....btw we don't say 'cheese' for photos anymore.....we say 'spoilers' in a very River Song way, it makes us laugh. We're such anoraks.
Melchett attempting to get into the water to be the Impossible Astronaut:
And the furthest she got in:
That water is flipping freezing....goodness knows what it was like for the stunt man filming in November!
Our picnic on the beach:
And we didn't have 4 picnic rugs like the Doctor, Amy, Rory and River...we had just one. It is there underneath us honest. We didn't have wine either....but we did have grapes, pringles and lovely yellow mugs for our water (I really wanted a cuppa tea (when don't I?) but we didn't bring a stove).
Here's the proper picnic:
Obviously now you have looked away from that photo and are reading this you have forgotten what I was looking at up on the hill....wink wink.....it is there honest, you just keeping looking away from it and therefore forget it's there. How dare you accuse me of being lazy on not photoshopping one in! I'm hurt!
OK that's it for Pt 1....tomorrow I'll show you our pics from Monument Valley when the friends first meet up in the planet called America (as River Song's guard calls it). Then Pt 3 will have our trip to Glen Canyon Dam where Rory got caught by Canton and the FBI in 1969.
(All screen captures are the copyright of the BBC and appear here as reference to illustrate the location in comparison with how it looked at the time of filming and the present day; no attempt is made to supercede this or any other copyright)