Hi there! I’m back! It’s been a bit longer than a week since I’ve written anything, and I thought I would tell you what I was doing. It’s only very vaguely Doctor Who-related, but it’s fun at least.
Due to some RL events, I found myself with a bit of time off from work, and I joked to my husband that I should take a trip up to Victoria, BC, to see if I could find the filming of Gracepoint, the American remake of the very successful British drama Broadchurch. I wasn’t serious, since I’ve never traveled anywhere that wasn’t for family, friends, or work, I’ve never traveled alone, and I think it’s rather silly to spend all that time and money chasing down a TV show, but my husband said that I should definitely do it. I dismissed the idea immediately, but it was so tempting, and I considered it for a couple of weeks. It just seemed (and still seems) rather, well, creepy to do something like this. Finally, my husband said this: “You love Broadchurch and Doctor Who, you love David Tennant, and you want to travel, so just GO. You’re going to love it, and maybe you’ll get a chance to see the filming.” So I did. I made all the plans and reservations, and three days later, I was on the train heading north.
I spent a night in Seattle (apparently on the weekend of the Emerald City Comic Con and saw a Loki cosplayer walking around downtown), then took the Victoria Clipper to Victoria the next day. The production company tries to keep a tight lid on where they are filming, as I’m sure they don’t want a lot of gawkers hanging around, so I armed myself with a list of the known filming spots and traveled around by bus, checking them out. I wasn’t really expecting to find anything, as the known spots are places where they had already filmed and there was no indication they would be returning there, but I got lucky: as the bus entered the town of Sidney (home of the building that’s playing the Gracepoint police station) from the highway, I saw a huge mass of about thirty trucks and trailers in a parking lot and I knew it had to be related to the filming. A worker there told me where the police station set was, and I headed there.
A guard outside the parking lot of the set told me that they were going to be filming indoors and at night, so I wouldn’t actually see anything, as only people who were part of the production were allowed on set, so I headed off to go explore the little town. As I passed by the pier on the waterfront, I noticed that there was a truck parked nearby with electrical cabling coming from it, strung all the way to the end of the pier, and sure enough, it was from the production company for a scene they were shooting later that afternoon. I stuck around for four hours and was rewarded: Mr. Tennant passed by four times, and I got some wonderful pictures. (I didn’t get to talk to him or get an autograph, as they don’t allow people to interact with the actors while they’re working.) The scene, which I think was the “This is penance” scene, was filmed way out on the end of the pier, and though we weren’t allowed on the pier at all, we had to talk in whispers while the cameras were rolling, because the microphones are so sensitive, they would have picked up our voices if we talked normally. I was very surprised that I was the only person there that wasn’t part of the production; I really thought there would have been a mob of fangirls watching.
I spent another day trying to see more filming, but was less successful. Other than that, I walked around Victoria, Oak Bay, and Sidney, completely enjoying the experience. The area is so beautiful, the weather was gorgeous (sunny but not hot, unlike the rain and overcast everyone had back home all week), and the towns are just the right size – not too big, not too small. I think I could see myself retiring there. If you travel there, I recommend the Craigmyle bed and breakfast for lodgings, and make sure to visit the Royal BC Museum. I think it’s the best natural history/regional history museum I have ever visited.
The other thing that pleased me is that I actually did it: I traveled to a foreign country on my own. That may not seem like a great accomplishment, but it is for me. I’ve always wanted to travel, but never got the chance: you know, when you’re young, you can’t afford it, and then when you get to the point of affording it, your life is already set in its ways and you don’t go just do it. But I did. I just did it. All by myself. And I had a wonderful time! And I want to keep doing it, just going and traveling to new places and see new things. I owe a lot of this to my husband, who told me to go ahead, not worry about how silly I feel chasing Gracepoint down, and enjoy myself. In a way, I also owe a lot to Mr. Tennant: I’ve thought about this, and there isn’t a single other celebrity that I would have even considered traveling to see. I also wouldn’t have done this at all if he wasn’t in Gracepoint. So, in case you’re reading this, thank you, to both my husband and Mr. Tennant, for opening me up to new travels and adventures that I would otherwise have never even considered attempting. I suppose, in a way, that’s what Doctor Who is all about.