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Home Gravesend News Article
by Thom Morris
Tonight sees the end of Doctor Who until Christmas – but on Monday, a Doctor Who story filmed in Northfleet will be released on DVD.
Jon Pertwee played the Time Lord in 1970 when the production of The Ambassadors of Death materialised at Lafarge Cement in February 1970.
At the time it was run by Blue Circle Industries. The quarry closed in 2008 and is now running as Crossrail, transferring millions of tonnes of excavated material from London to Northfleet.
One of the tunnels on the site was used as the entrance of the Space Control centre and can be seen on film as the Doctor drives his faithful car Bessie to the entrance.
His investigations uncover the fact that astronauts have been replaced with radiation-dependent aliens who had swapped places with them in space and are now on Earth.
It is not the only location in Gravesend and Dartford used in the cult BBC series.
The cliffs around Bluewater, then Western Quarry, were utilised as an alien planet in the 1972 adventure The Mutants, while John’s Hole Quarry in Stone was used in 1964 for the Dalek Invasion of Earth.
The area featured as a Dalek mine – their intention was to place a guidance device in the Earth’s core so it could be driven around through space.
Across the county, Dover Castle, Kingsnorth Industrial Estate at Hoo, Leeds Castle, Dungeness and Botany Bay near Margate all featured in the 1960s and 1970s.
Even the Doctors themselves have close Kent links: First Doctor William Hartnell spent his last years in Marden; second Doctor Patrick Troughton joined a repertory company in Tonbridge once out of the army; Jon Pertwee schooled in Westgate in Thanet; Tom Baker lives in Tunbridge Wells; and former companion Tegan, played by Janet Fielding, lives in Ramsgate.
Last weeeknd, Gravesend twins Daniel and David Beck appeared in the new series of Doctor Who playing evil hospital porters.
The pair, who live in Thelma Close, were barely recognisable with strangely deformed mouths and villainous intent as the Doctor took on an attack from sinister black cubes.
The 28-year-olds were seen kidnapping Rory’s dad, played by Fast Show and Harry Potter funnyman Mark Williams.
Former Thamesview School pupil Daniel, who trained with David at the Miskin Theatre in Dartford, said: "Doctor Who has got such a cult status so when we received the call, you can imagine how ecstatic we both were. We’d love to do it again."
The Ambassadors of Death is released on Monday.
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