"I've been to many planets in the solar system, and you'd be surprised how many of them look like quarries in Wales."
The ISO Standard alien planet set, as used endlessly in Blake's 7
, Doctor Who
and even The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
TV series. It was a disused or rented quarry, full of interestingly dull rocks and fascinatingly monotonous scenery, the perfect alien-landscape-on-a-budget — the British equivalent of Kirk's Rock
. So common was the quarry usage by these series that according to Gareth Thomas, who played Blake in Blake's Seven
, there was one occasion when they heard noises at the other side of the quarry, and discovered Doctor Who
was filming there at the same time (though evidence of filming dates shows this may be apocryphal).
The quarries were usually not owned by The BBC
, but rented for filming from businesses like Lime Works.
Many of the quarries are no longer quarries. Its legacy lives on, however, in Smallville
, Battlestar Galactica
and other shows, except now it is bigger, full of trees, and in British Columbia
The direct American equivalent is Bronson Canyon
. See also Kirk's Rock
, Here There Be Lions
and California Doubling
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- Rather than drive 1500 km into the Australian outback to find a desert wasteland, the creators of the Fan Film Star Wars Downunder decided to just copy Doctor Who and film in a gravel quarry outside Ipswich, Queensland. Some background shots for the bluescreen were eventually filmed in Sturt Stony Desert.
Films — Live-Action
- UNISON, the Freedom City Expy of UNIT, dealt with alien invaders operating from a base they had constructed in a gravel quarry in central England in 1969.