Saturday, 29 March 2014

Battle of Covent Garden on Location

The part of Web of Fear I was most looking forward to was the battle scene in Covent Garden, as it sounded fairly grand from descriptions but the soundtrack and photos only gave a hint.  While parts of Web of Fear do seem repetitive now we can appreciate almost the whole story, a risk of having any long lost classic returned to the archive (see Tomb of the Cybermen), the battle, as the only location filming in the story, stands up as a, exciting and ambitious piece of filming at a standard which would be seen again in The Invasion.

The story is surprisingly accurate in its use of locations.  Lethbridge-Stewart describes them as approaching the station from Sheldon Street and Neal Street, and these are the exact streets used in the programme. Not commonly seen in programmes generally other than when using famous landmarks.  This makes it very easy to find the locations, and being central London they are unlikely to be greatly altered...

Yeti approach from the North via Neal street...

And clearly recognisable though now heavily paved with bollards.  The camera pans left, to Sheldon Street where more Yeti approach from the west.

The photo is set slightly back from the TV shot, but the large entrance on the right side of the street is visible.  And just up to the left are the distinctive windows behind the soldiers as they head towards the Brewers Yards for safety.

Wooden gates to the Yard have been replaced with gates that are often open, but a barrier is further inside preventing entry.  While avoiding going into the yard, the building opposite the gates can be identified.

Although entry to the Brewers Yard is unlikely, some identifiable features can still be seen.  The first shot inside the yard has a doorway that has since been bricked up.  The door remains barely visible in the shot below where is is positioned on the left between the barrier and the car, and has a couple of vents where the door once stood.

Further shots are difficult to draw meaningful comparisons, other than this one of the Yeti first appearing from the back of the Yard.  The large warehouse entrance and smaller door on the right both identifiable in the zoomed in shot below.

And the battle is on!  Fierce fighting follows with scenes that surpass expectations.  A hugely enjoyable moment in the Web of Fear that makes me very happy it was not in the only remaining missing episode!

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