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Peak District’s starring role in new Dr Who

With many of Derbyshire’s stately homes and beautiful coutryside providing the backdrop for countless films and TV programmes over the years, as a sci-fi fan it was a particular thrill to see the Peaks providing the setting for part of the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who this week.

For those who haven’t seen it yet I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the show’s Ryan character is seen attempting to face his learning disability, Dyspraxia by riding a bike along the top of a grassy peak at the very start of the episode - which is entitled “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”.

The new Swiss Army Sonic made with Sheffield steel

The new Swiss Army Sonic made with Sheffield steel

Later, the main characters, including the Doctor catch a train from Hathersage to Grindleford on their way back to Sheffield.

The episode received an overnight rating of 8.20 million viewers, the highest since “The Time of the Doctor” (2013).

It’s not the first time of course that our majestic landscape has provided the backdrop for the popular series.

The ‘Trail of the White Worm’in which Tom Baker’s incarnation of The Time Lord tracks an ancient creature in the Peak District being a notable example.

Film inserts for the “Trial of Davros,” a fan stage production were also shot at Peak Cavern, Castleton in 2004 in support of Children in Need.

And other sci-fi films have been filmed here too - including the 1981 version of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - for which the caveman playing Scrabble scenes were shot in the High Peak.

Let’s hope we catch another glimpse or two of the Peaks as the series progresses - although it sounds as though there are many other locations set to feature too - while the rebooted sci-fi show has mostly been filmed in Cardiff of late, showrunner Chris Chibnall has taken the Who team across the UK and abroad for this series.An episode was even being filmed in South Africa as well as Monmouth, Gosport and Granada, Spain.