The BBC's brand new Roath Lock studios are the new home for BBC Wales, where all its in-house drama productions will now be based.
Filming has already started at the 175,000 square feet of dockside studio, but ahead of its official opening selected members of the public were invited behind the scenes to see the locations of some of the BBC's biggest dramas.
Within the confines of the compound the fictional West Wales village of Cwmderi, location of long-running S4C Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm, has been replicated from scratch, along with Holby City Hospital’s A+E department, where Casualty is set.
Filming over 200 episodes of Pobol y Cwm a year runs five days a week, with exterior shots taking place in the custom-built village streets, and interiors in numerous sets built inside the cavernous studio. The central village street exists as a fully functional set, which allows filming to take place in 360°. The set features the Y Deri pub, Y Sosban fish and chip shop, and the local Shop Sioned.
Casualty moved from BBC Bristol in January, and now has a brand new set with an outside ambulance bay which leads directly into the A+E ward. Previously patients would be filmed being unloaded from ambulances at one site, then driven five miles to a separate studio for the inside scenes. The road outside the hopsital has been specially designed to allow ambulances to approach at speed, to create greater accuracy, and the a new pub, The Hope and Anchor, has been created which will feature heavily in upcoming series. The hospital has been completely redesigned following a fire at the end of the last series, and the set now includes its own replica CAT scanner. All medical equipment on the set works for real, with the exception of the defibrillators, which unsurprisingly cannot be used on live actors.
Other series which will be filmed at Roath Lock include Doctor Who, Upstairs Downstairs, Being Human, Sherlock, and Russell T Davis’ latest CBBC project, Aliens Vs Wizards, which is being kept strictly under wraps at the studio. On-location filming will continue to take place across south Wales.
All the special effects and prosthetics departments needed to make the shows are also housed at Roath Lock, with whole warehouses stocked full of the props and gizmos needed to battle aliens, perform emergency surgery, or transform into a werewolf.
It is hoped the new site will eventually provide opportunities for 4,000 jobs, and put Cardiff at the forefront of the British creative industry.
Some pictures from the tour can be seen in the slide show below.
Created with flickr slideshow.