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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
First secrets from new Doctor Who
Cardiff
The TV crews have been taking over Cardiff streets for the shoot
The new series of Doctor Who will start in an ordinary-looking department store that turns out to be far more sinister, it has emerged.

Speaking on the first day of filming, executive producer Russell T Davies disclosed most of the show will be shot in Cardiff, which will also stand in as London.

Starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, the cult series will arrive on TV screens next year.

The show had ended in 1989 after 26 years.

Most details about the latest incarnation of the timelord and his Tardis are being closely guarded, but it has now emerged that the first scene is being filmed in the department store Howells in Cardiff.

"It is a very exciting scene in the very first three minutes of episode one," said Mr Davies.

Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston will become the ninth Doctor Who

"An ordinary department store turns out to be something far more sinister, and that's all I can give away."

Mr Davies, who also wrote Channel 4's Queer as Folk, said that although information about the series would get out, he wanted to keep most of it secret.

"I hate watching stuff when I know what is going to happen.

"I hope millions will be sitting down and watch a brand new series of Doctor Who as a surprise."

The writer also explained how different parts of Cardiff would feature in the show.

"We are going to shoot 95% of the series in Cardiff.

"We are going to use Cardiff as London, we are going to use Cardiff as Cardiff.

"And we are going to be here representing 1860s, and all sorts of different periods throughout history and the future."

Of course, that means Eccleston and Piper will be spending a lot of time in south Wales over the following months.

Billie Piper
Billie Piper will star as Rose Tyler in the new series

"When I was told I would have to spend eight months of my life in Wales, I was actually quite excited because I used to come here as a child on holiday," said Piper.

"We used to come here in our caravan, so I am happy to be back."

She has been spending her spare time catching up on the old adventures of the doctor, although she said she was trying not to be pressured by the role's past.

"We are trying to create something new with the essence of the old Doctor Whos - times have moved on and so have we."

The Doctor himself tried to explain what kept the show's enduring appeal alive.

"It's an escape, it's a romp," said Eccleston.

"It's the mystery of the doctor and the mystery of the relationship between the doctor and his companion."




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