PHOTOS: David Tennant On The Set Of Voyage Of The Damned #ThrowbackThursday

Today's Throwback Thursday post is a collection of photos taken of David Tennant whilst he was filming the Doctor Who episode Voyage Of The Damned back in July 2007.

Russell T Davies' idea behind the 2007 Christmas Special, was disaster movie. Davies' was a huge fan of the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure - an action film about a ship which is turned over by a huge wave - and decided that a similar plot set in space could be a great basis for the Doctor's festive adventures. And if you're thinking of a maritime disaster story, then Titanic is what immediately springs to mind, so where better to base the tale than on a starship replica of the famous ship.
A teaser for what was to come came at the very end of the series 3 finale when the TARDIS hits something and a lifebelt featuring the name Titanic is amongst the debris.

Davies began working on his idea for the episode, which was then called Starship Titanic, and drafted in James Strong, who had recently worked on Daleks In Manhattan and Evolution Of The Daleks to direct.
Interest in Doctor Who was at fever pitch during this time and was attracting interest on a global scale. A guest starring role in the series was becoming ever more coverted and Davies received interest from not one, but two huge star names keen to appear in his Christmas special.
James Strong met the agent of Easy Rider actor Dennis Hopper on a plane journey and established that he was keen to bag a role, but it was a meeting at the series 3 press launch that finally secured the star name for the episode. Attending the launch was William Baker, a friend of Doctor Who's Mark Gatiss, and creative director to pop sensation Kylie Minogue. Baker was a big fan of the show and had based some of Kylie's tour sets around a sci fi theme as a tribute to the show and now he was suggesting that Kylie would be very interested in taking a starring role alongside David Tennant.
Although Kylie is best known for her career in music, she was already an actress and had in fact started her showbiz days in the Australian soap Neighbours, where she played one of the shows most popular characters of the 1980s, Charlene Ramsay. She had gone on to act in various films including a cameo in Moulin Rouge and had provided a voice over for The Magic Roundabout.

On 26th March Kylie Minogue met up with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardener in London. Davies had been working on a one off companion for the Christmas Special and it was at this meeting that he offered Minogue the role. 
The character was to be a waitress serving guests on board the Starship Titanic, who would befriend the Doctor and help him, but who would disappoint him and thus force him to leave her behind at the end of the story.
Minogue accepted the role, but said she could not be sure of her schedule. The press began reporting on the star casting as early as 22nd April.

Davies continued his work on the episode and began developing ideas for Minogue's character. With her in mind he began to base her role on Halo Jones, a sci fi heroine from the comic book 2000AD. By late April Davies had started to call the character Peth and by mid May he had decided that her exit would now be due to her sacrificing her own life in order to save the Doctor. 
On the 15th June Minogue's representatives contacted Davies to confirm that she would be available to shoot on the episode for three weeks.

The first draft was completed on 5th June. Changes included several names Foon was called Struzie, Frame's surname was originally Blane, and Minogue's character Peth became Astrid Peth - Astrid being a anagram of TARDIS.
Max Capricorn was originally Mr Maxitane and then Max Callisto, and was originally going to be seen as a passenger on the Titanic in the ballroom during the episode's opening scenes. He was not to be ill and confined to a life support machine in this draft. 
The episode was renamed Voyage Of The Damned in late May, when Davies learned that former Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams had designed a computer game called Starship Titanic, which had been previously released in 1998. 
An idea to include the Judoon, who had appeared in Smith And Jones, in the concluding scenes of the episode were abandoned at an early stage in the writing.

By mid July it became clear that big scenes were going to have to be cut, as they were far too reliant on CGI effects and were impacting on the budget.
The biggest change was to the scene involving Buckingham Palace. Davies had originally planned for the Titanic to chop the Palace in half leaving the Queen angrily shaking her fist after Doctor and the ship, rather than having the Doctor steer the ship up to safety at the last moment. 
Also cut were much more extravagant scenes of the chaos and destruction as the Titanic is hit. 
At the same time it was decided that Astrid's scarifice scene needed to be bigger. The script editor, Brian Minchin, suggested to Davies that he should make use of the teleport bracelet to rescue Astrid, which then led Davies to the idea for the scene of the Doctor's failed attempt to save his friend and new companion.

On 3rd July BBC Wales released the news that Minogue would be teaming up with Tennant to the press. This was accompanied by a photo of shoot of the pair cuddling and smiling for the cameras.
At the same time another member of the cast was announced, Bernard Cribbins was to make a guest starring role as a newspaper seller, Cribbins had previously appeared in the 1966 Doctor Who film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD and in the 2007 Doctor Who audio adventure Horror Of Glam Rock.

Production kicked off on Voyage Of The Damned at the Upper Boat studios on 9th July. The first scenes to be shot were those of the bridge over the chasm. Recording on this set went on from 9th July - 11th July.

Sadly David Tennant's mother Helen McDonald passed away during the recording of this episode and he understandably took a break from the production at this point to be with his family. 
Ever the professional Tennant soon returned to work and continued with filming.

Filming for the reception was carried out the Exchange Building in Swansea. And then three days were spent at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff were scenes in the guest lounge were filmed. Murray Gold and Ben Foster, the Doctor Who composers, were on set for these scenes and they played the guitar and piano for the ship's band.

From 19th July to 27th July the action took place at the Johnsey Estates in the Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate in Pontypool. Scenes of the Host storage room and the various Titanic corridors and stairwells were filmed there.

It was back to the Exchange Building on 28th July and 30th July for additional scenes in the reception, as well as the arrival of the TARDIS. 
More special effects work was completed at Upper Boat on the 31st July. 
Later that day, the scene where the tour group visits London was recorded around St John Street in Cardiff. One of the road signs erected was for Donovan Street, a cheeky reference to Minogue's former boyfriend and Neighbours co star, Jason Donovan. 
Colin Baker, who played the Sixth Doctor, visited the shoot on this night, which also saw all of Cribbins' scenes filmed.

At the end of July Minogue wrapped her work on the episode and left Cardiff to continue with her other engagements.
The rest of the work on Voyage Of The Damned, however, was not yet complete. Further effects work was conducted at Upper Boat on 1st August , while the concluding scene with the Doctor and Mr Copper was filmed at the WDA Compound on the Cardiff Docks. 
Further scenes on the Titanic's bridge were recorded at Upper Boat on the 2nd, followed by those in the ship's kitchens at Johnsey Estates on the 3rd. On 6th August the remaining material in Host storage was also filmed there. 
Final sequences on the bridge were then completed at Upper Boat on the 7th and 8th.

With most of the episode complete, only a few scenes were now required. Most of these took place on 21st August, with the newsreader footage, taped at BBC Broadcasting House in Llandaff. The scenes in the interior of the TARDIS were, as always, filmed at Upper Boat. 
Shots of Buckingham Palace were actually Cardiff City Hall. The production team had approached Prince Charles about making a cameo appearance in Voyage Of The Damned, but he declined the request. And so Angharad Baxter took on the role of Queen Elizabeth, with Jessica Martin dubbing the monarch's dialogue. 
Finally, on 21st October, the scene of Morvin's fall down the chasm was rerecorded at Upper Boat.

Even after extensive editing, Strong found himself unable to cut Voyage Of The Damned down to its one-hour timeslot without dismissing scenes that were crucial to the plot. Julie Gardner was put in to action and luckily she was able to secure a seventy minute timeslot for the special instead, which given it's Christmas Day transmission was a gift indeed. 

Murray Gold had been busy creating a new arrangement of the Doctor Who theme music which would be debuted with Voyage Of The Damned.
This new version included elements of the arrangement composed by Peter Howell in 1980. 

In October, the death of Howard Attfield, who was set to play Donna Noble's dad Geoff throughout the fourth series of the show in 2008, led to Bernard Cribbins being brought back to reprise his role from Voyage Of The Damned. 
Davies decided to rename the character Wilfred Mott, he was originally known as Stan. The end credits for Voyage Of The Damned were changed. Also added to the credits was an in memoriam dedication to Doctor Who's first producer, Verity Lambert, who passed away a few weeks earlier on 22nd November.

Doctor Who became the centrepiece of the BBC's Christmas Day viewing with Kylie Minogue's celebrity staus ensuring that Voyage Of The Damned was watched by 13.3 million viewers. That's more than an extra three million viewers than tuned in to either of the previous Christmas specials, and it became Doctor Who's biggest audience since 16.1 million watched episode four of City Of Death in 1979 (which was broadcast during a strike which had shut down ITV). 
Voyage Of The Damned became the second most watched show for the week, the first time that an episode of Doctor Who had ever been placed so highly, the series' previous best placed episode was a fifth-place mark for 1975's The Ark In Space part two.