“Flatline”, S08E09, is an episode of the new Doctor Who which has bothered me for a while. I’m not on about the plot, which I quite like, but I always wanted to know where the railways scenes were filmed, and what the stock was.
I’m not going to dissect the whole episode, just the bits that refer to railways. So, obviously we’re going to be ignoring a hell of a lot of the episode.
03:00 – 04:06 and we already know where we are: Barry Island. Specifically, on the former trackbed of the original Vale of Glamorgan line which would have run though Barry Island Tunnel. The building is the Plymouth Road Shed, just to the east of Barry Island Station.
Which, by the Magic of Television, has now moved to become part of Bristol Sidings 344 (confirmed in the dialogue).
06:16 – 0814 Same location (minus the TARDIS interiors). Nothing new to learn here.
20:15 – 25:11 And we’re in one of the Barry sheds (when we aren’t in the TARDIS). Note the presence of BR Class 08 Shunter 08503, one car of a DMU set (probably BR Class 101 DCTL 56356) and parts of a steam loco with a GW partly restored tender. There also seems to be a Road-Rail Vehicle and some more carriages in BR Yellow, but they’re not clear enough to identify.
And then they run into a storeroom, which allegedly leads to the tunnel (really, it doesn’t).
25:23 – 27:47 The tunnel. Note immediately the lack of tracks. Barry Tunnel is a shooting range.
A big hand snatches someone away, some running happens, and they need to open a door. But wait, suddenly they have track! As Barry does not have any track within a tunnel, we are clearly somewhere else now. Let us see how this unfolds.
29:42 – 29:44 Cue a CGI/SFX representation what looks like a 3-car DMU (likely a Class 117)in BR Green with an A113 headcode thundering down the tunnel. BR Green. Headcode. In 2014? And A113? Well its not a valid code anyway, and is just an in-joke with animators.
30:35 – 30:47 TARDIS falls back on to the rail, and The Doctor pulls a lever. Yeah, maybe that should have been done earlier.
30:48 – 31:41 In the tunnel, and a train is coming. The same CGI’d one that is now 2M65.
32:01 – 32:25 Stationary in the tunnel. It looks to me like a BR Class 117.
32:32 A BR Logo
32:37 Hang on… Red seat moquette? Cubic grab-handles? Modern arrow signage? Drop window slam doors? Wales? Could this be the Gatwick Express Mark 2F/Class 488 set again? Possibly, but the colours are wrong.
Scenes from 32:32 onwards doesn’t show any tunnel parts, so could well just be filmed in the dark at Barry. Sadly Barry doesn’t have the right rolling stock, so we have to look elsewhere… maybe somewhere with a tunnel to film in that isn’t too far from Wales.
Step forward the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, which conveniently has a Class 117 set (W51360, W59510, W51363) and Greet Tunnel. W51363 could be the blurry number above.
So far we’ve got:
- BR Class 08 Shunter 08503
- BR Class 101 DCTL 56356
- BR Class 117 (W51360, W59510, W51363)
- Unknown Mark 2F/3 Possibly from the Class 288 Gatwick Express set at Barry.
And with that, I think my work is done.