Sunday, 30 December 2007

Christmas is over...

Well, Christmas is over (almost) for yet another year - although given how quickly last year flew by, it'll be Christmas again in no time!!! Seriously, though, the last two weeks that I have spent in Lichfield have whizzed past - it seems like only yesterday that I got here, yet here I am, packing to return to Cardiff.

I must say I am slightly disappointed at how little filming I actually managed to get done - but I still have planty to edit when I return (stills of which I shall post when it is done), and much fun was had by all - it is allways great to see my old school friends again.

I have to go now, as Father is getting tetchy and wants to set off, so I shall go pack the car and catch the cat!!!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Successful Shoot

Have just filmed a couple of shots from the teaser of Epiosde 1, which involves my brother as Sergeant Edwards.

Below are some photos from the shoot (though Edward was acting a little camera shy!!). As you can see, I even managed to rope my reluctant Father into donning a camo jacket and being an extra!

All I need to do now is insert this footage into the already edited footage from the teaser (although, I don't think the background location will match up at all!!!)

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas Presie

Yesterday - Christmas Day - as per traditon, we had a couple of family friends round:
Jayne (who plays Lt Col Beckett) and her mother Cynthia.

Cynthia's neighbour (Colin) made a rather funky present for the films! A homemade clapper board!!

Henceforth I shall use it at every shoot!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Random Photos

These photos were taken by David Cox when we were filming a year ago - Christmas 2006. He found them recently and gave me a copy yesterday. There were about 80 photos!! These are a random selection…

Friday, 21 December 2007

Successful Shoot

Today I shot some footage with Dave Cox at his parent's house. We filmed some scenes from Episode 1 and Episode 4.

Here are some photos from filming...

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Successful Shoot

I have spent this afternoon shooting a scene from Episode 5, with Dave Cox. The episode involves a parallel universe.

I shall upload stills from the scene once I have edited it (after Christmas). Until then, here are are some photos from the shoot...

Monday, 17 December 2007

Voyage of the Damned

After watching previews for the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas Special, 'Voyage of the Damned', I have come to the conclusion that Russel T Davies has been watching a little too much Futurama!
I refer, of course, to the first season episode 'A Flight to Remember', where Fry, Leela, Bender etc. took a vacation aboard the luxury liner Starship Titanic, which looked very similar to the Titanic in the 'Voyage of the Damned'! Plus, I don't know what those flaming things shooting towards the Titanic are in the Doctor Who preview, but they reminded me of the comets from the Futurama episode! As Zap Brannigan stated, "Ah, yes. Comets. The icebergs of the sky!"
However, 'Voyage of the Damned' still looks great, and I can't wait till Christmas Day!!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Shooting Schedule

I shall be returning to my parents’ house in Lichfield tomorrow for two weeks – a nice little Christmas break.
During the next two weeks I intend to do as much filming as possible – hopefully I shall be working on Episodes 1, 3, 4, and 5! On top of all that I need to find time to go Christmas shopping with my brother, go and see John Barrowman in Panto, socialise with all my old school friends, and celebrate Christmas itself! Let’s hope I get the time to fit it all in!!!
I shall update my Blog with shooting info as and when it happens.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

They're Back!

Yay!! I have just read the latest Doctor Who: Monthly Magazine and UNIT are due to come back in next years Doctor Who Series!

In the words of Russel T Davies himself:

" A quick look at a random call sheet - it's for Tuesday 11 November - reveals eight scenes to be shot that day, all set within, wait for it, UNIT Mobile HQ. Yes, they're back! Properly! We've seen UNIT now and again since Doctor Who returned, but mostly in the background, keeping vigil during 'The Christmas Invasion', and onboard the Valiant in 'Last of the Time Lords'. But now they're centre stage! The call sheet includes such gems as ep. 5 sc. 44, and each scene has a one-line description; this one reads, 'Mace hears Ross call in, and declares a Code Red.' Ooh, and wait till you see what happens next..."

Sounds good! I can't wait!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Promo Poster

A poster for Episode 1 of The David Elworthy Series.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Photo from filming

Found this picture that Father took of my brother and I whilst we were filming some scenes from Episode 3, back in May.

UNIT Organisation

UNIT has always been one of my favourite aspects of Doctor Who (the Brigadier is my favourite character from the whole 40 years of the show). However, I always felt that (due to budgetary restraints, no doubt) the UNIT team we saw in the show was a little too Dad’s Army! Given that a Brigadier was in command, there were far too few personnel – he only had a Captain and a Sergeant as his support staff!! Where was his Aide-de-camp, or his senior Warrant Officers?
At times the chain of command seemed to have completely gone to pot – ‘The Daemons’ springs to mind, where Captain Yates and Sergeant Benton shared a plate of corned beef sandwiches in some sort of dormitory. Officers and NCOs do not mix like this in social settings! There is an Officer’s Mess and a Sergeant’s Mess and each cannot go into the others!
However, the UNIT ‘cosiness’ was endearing, to a certain extent! I just wish they could have afforded more than 5 troops! To a degree ‘Battlefield’ displayed a much better military organisation (but again, where was Bambera’s support staff? At least they were not shown in their HQ so at least there was a feasible reason for there not to be all the necessary staff). I loved ‘The Christmas Invasion’ for actually made UNIT feel like a proper military formation!
Rant over – don’t be mistaken, despite these shortcomings I always thought that UNIT was great!!!

Since I am the sort of person who likes detail when writing scripts or creating comics (each character has to have a name and a history), I have put together a rough organisation chart for the British Contingent of UNIT. It seems quite large compared to what we’ve seen on the TV, but since a Brigadier is in command, it has to be this size. If it was any smaller a more junior officer would be in charge (I once saw it written somewhere on the Internet that the British Contingent of UNIT was only 1 battalion in size. If so, Lethbridge-Stewart would have been a Lieutenant Colonel not a Brigadier).
Also, I must stress that this is the organisation of the British Contingent of UNIT based on the organisation of the British Army – other UNIT contingents in other countries would doubtless have a different organisation structure based on the organisation of their host countries’ army.

We know from the Doctor Who TV series that a Brigadier commands the British Contingent of UNIT, so it must be comprised of a brigade of troops.
However, a British brigade can be anywhere from 2 to 5 battalions in size (a standard NATO brigade consists of about 4,000-5,000 troops).
Usually a brigade is a sub-component of a division (a larger unit consisting of two or more brigades, commanded by a Major General); however, some brigades are classified as a separate brigade and operate independently from the traditional division structure. Given the nature of UNIT, it is logical to assume that the UNIT brigade is probably one of these independent formations.

For the purposes of my films the British brigade of UNIT consists of about 4,500 troops, made up of 2 infantry battalions and an Intelligence battalion, plus other logistic units (including, I imagine, some sort of PR unit since they need to put out cover-stories to explain to the public about all the alien incursions!).
One of the infantry battalions is based in the South of England – largely at their main HQ (the Stately Home in Newbury), but they also have troops based in London (including their HQ in the Tower of London).
The other infantry battalion would be based in the North of England / Scotland.
The Intelligence battalion (which is known as the Special Operations Branch) is the battalion in which Elworthy serves. They are based in Sandford Castle (a fictional castle that I invented and is located somewhere in Staffordshire – a centralised location in the UK).

Each battalion is comprised of about 500-1,000 troops, is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and is made up of 2 to 6 companies (usually a Headquarters Company, Support Company, A Company, B Company and C Company).
The HQ Company contains signals, quartermaster, catering, intelligence, administration, pay, training, operations and medical elements. The Support Company usually contains anti-tank, machine gun, mortar, pioneer and reconnaissance platoons.

Each Company is formed of about 3 to 5 platoons, and comprises about 75-200 soldiers. Each company is commanded by a Major (the Officer Commanding) with a Captain or senior Lieutenant as his Second-in-Command. Each company also has a Company Sergeant Major (who will be a soldier with the rank of Warrant Officer 2).

A platoon is composed of 2 to 4 sections and contains 30-50 soldiers. The Platoon Commander is a Lieutenant, assisted by the Platoon Sergeant, who is actually a Sergeant.

Each section within the platoon consists of 8 soldiers, with a Corporal as section commander, a Lance Corporal as his second-in-command, and 6 Privates.
In conventional warfare, the section can be split into two 4-man fireteams (“Charlie” and “Delta”), commanded by the Corporal and Lance Corporal respectively.

Since Elworthy works for the Special Operations Branch I have gone into a little more detail about that particular battalion.

Below are some of the important figures in the battalion:

Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Beckett
Second-in-Command: Major Wolfe
Adjutant: Captain Villiers
Quartermaster: Major Williams
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant: Warrant Officer 2 MacDuff
Regimental Sergeant Major: Warrant Officer 1 Squires
Regimental Medical Officer: Major Stephanie Broadchest (Royal Army Medical Corps)

When I started the Elworthy Comic, David Elworthy was given a UNIT undercover ‘secret agent’ role like James Bond. He was simply referred to as a Field Agent. Fitting him into the UNIT organisation came a little later on.
In a throwaway line that I wrote in one of the film screenplays, I stated that he was a Platoon Commander, as well as an Undercover Field Agent. But, as stated above, a Platoon Commander is usually a Lieutenant (which Elworthy was when he joined UNIT, but is now a Captain). However, specialist platoons can indeed be led by a Captain, and since Elworthy is a secret agent, surely his platoon is specialist – so problem solved! But not quite!!
When a platoon is led by a Captain, he is assisted by a Warrant Officer or Staff Sergeant. Elworthy’s second-in-command, John Edwards, is only a Sergeant! This would be fine if Elworthy were a Lieutenant, but he should really be, at least, a Staff Sergeant for the series to be accurate! I have already filmed some scenes with Sergeant Edwards in for Episode 3, which means in Episode 1 he will also have to be a Sergeant, but perhaps I will promote him for any scenes he may appear in in the later episodes!
The only other thing I could do is change the line, and just make Elworthy Second-in-Command of a Company.

And on a final note with regard to the UNIT organisation, I assume that the Brigadier has 3 people to report to: Someone in the United Nations (perhaps even the Secretary General himself), a liaison in the British Government (Department C19), and a liaison within the British Armed Forces (most probably a Major General).

So that concludes my lecture on the UNIT organisational structure! I really didn’t mean to go on for quite so long!! For those of you who made it through the whole thing – thanks for reading!

Sunday, 25 November 2007


I have put a couple of links on the side of my Blog:

One is to my YouTube page, the other is to my DeviantART page (where I am in the process of uploading a load of my drawings and fan art).

Shooting Schedule

I had a filming free weekend this week, although I am currently trying to make some C4 explosives (not real explosives, you understand - just pretend!). I need to get a shot of them and insert into the footage of the Episode 1 teaser.

There are a few small shots from Episode 1 that I plan to shoot in my spare time over the next few weeks, but my next chunk if filming is planned for the two weeks I am off over Christmas - and I didn't quite realise just how much filming I had actually planned to do!! Never mind, I didn't want to relax over Christmas anyway!!!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Film Footage

Editing is now, more or less, complete on the footage from the weekend. Here are some stills:

This is a UNIT document from Episode 1 (I don’t know how legible the writing is in this shot – but it cannot be read on screen and is just a load of nonsense that I typed out).

These are shots from Episode 4, which form the other half of the scene that I shot two weeks ago.

And these are from Episode 3.

These shots are also from Episode 3, and involve the first appearance of the Dalek. However, as you can see, they are a little dark. One of the two bulbs in my parents’ garage was missing so there was not as much light as there had been previously, plus it was horrible and overcast outside so there was very little natural light either.

In a way it looks quite atmospheric – unfortunately in the previous scene, Professor Richards is in the same garage, only it is nicely lit!!
Depending on the time available – and if Dave, Sarah and Harry don’t mind – I may reshoot a number of these shots over Christmas.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Successful Shoot

I spent most of yesterday filming - another successful session.

Dave Cox came round and we managed to shoot the other half of the office scene that I shot with Jayne two weeks ago, which is from Episode 4, and we also shot some more scenes from Episode 3. Harriet came round to help too, and she once again operated the Dalek. Also, a big thank you to Sarah, who came round just to have her face 'suckered off'!

I am about to begin editing now so I shall post stills when it is done.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Shooting Schedule

I am returning to Lichfield for the weekend tomorrow, which means more filming! Yay! Also returning will be David Cox (who plays Professor Richards). I don’t know what scenes we will be working on yet, or from which episode, but logic tells me that they will be scenes involving the aforementioned Professor Richards!

Production Pics

The UNIT team:
Pictures of Captain Elworthy, Lieutenant Colonel Beckett and Sergeant Edwards.

Pictures of the actors – my brother Edward, Jayne and myself – taken on Christmas Day last year.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

What is going on?

This is a still from the footage taken during the shooting of the Episode 3 teaser scenes (shot a couple of months ago). The alien, clearly en conscious, is slumped in the chair, but just what is Elworthy doing to him?

Monday, 12 November 2007

Film Footage

Stills from the shoot last Sunday. These scenes are from the Episode 1 teaser, and involve Elworthy battling with the Autons.