The Dawn Treader in Falmouth – Report from icarus
NarniaWebber icarus attended Falmouth’s Narnia event this past weekend. Here’s his full report from witnessing the arrival of the Dawn Treader in the bay to the tour of the ship and museum.
Headed down to Falmouth for the weekend to go check out The Matthew as the Dawn Treader. We got down to Falmouth around early afternoon on the Saturday, only to find out that due to the previously reported unscheduled stop in Padstow, that the Dawn Treader’s arrival into Falmouth had been delayed till later in the afternoon. Fortunately for us however it meant that we would now be able to get a good look at the ship as she arrived. Whilst we waited, we had a look around the museum, where aside from the usual exhibits they had a few Narnia themed events for children going on, such as a Narnia scavenger hunt type game, and a create your own Reepicheep finger puppet activity area. They also had a range of different promotional materials from the film dotted around the museum, such as the teaser poster and the theatre standee (the first time I’ve seen that in the UK incidentally). They also had the standard teaser trailer for the movie playing on a big screen upstairs.
Whilst in the museum, we overheard that the Dawn Treader was scheduled to arrive around 6pm that evening. After waiting around on the quayside for a while with no luck, we decided to take a chance and head up onto the hill overlooking the harbour and see if we could spot the ship off in the distance. No sooner had we got to the top of the hill, than we were presented with the somewhat weird and incredible sight of the Dawn Treader herself sailing into the bay. It was kind of bizarre just to see a Narnian ship sailing out on the sea in the real world, and even more surreal to see it pass by the thoroughly modern industrial scenery of the Falmouth Docks, and then through the Falmouth marina area filled with hundreds of luxury yachts and fishing boats.
After getting a few photos from the hill, we managed to quickly run down from the hill, back down through the town to the quayside to get some equally spectacular views of it arriving in to dock at the quayside. There were quite a few people who had come out to see it arrive, though perhaps not as many as if it had arrived earlier in the day. What I found rather interesting here was the presence of a camera man with very obvious professional grade video camera recording equipment. I had seen him earlier in the day, and had noted the back of his baseball hat said “Prague, Czech Republic” on it, but it was only later in the day as the Dawn Treader was arriving that I got a good look at the front of his hat, and saw that it was for Barrandov Studios (where they filmed Prince Caspian). It seemed far too much of a coincidence for him to have such a hat and not be in some way releated to the production, so my thought was that he was perhaps filming footage for possible Dawn Treader DVD special features, and that he had perhaps got the hat from having filmed similar special features for the Prince Caspian DVD when they were at Barrandov Studios. Though that’s just a guess on my part.
So anyway, we came back to the museum the next morning, and they were now running sessions aboard the ship. On board the ship they had a couple of nautical based activities for the kids, and everyone was allowed to walk around the ship and take photos, and speak to the members of the crew. I have to say, the Dawn Treader additions made to the ship were really well done, and of a far higher quality and level of detail than I had been expecting. In fact, the only part of the ship which really betrayed the fact that the ship had been retro-fitted in this way, was at the base of the dragon prow, where it doesn’t quite integrate perfectly with the exisitng ship’s prow, but the ship as a whole though did look absolutely stunning – looking at it sitting there in the harbour you almost had to convince yourself sometimes that it wasn’t actually the Dawn Treader.
Whilst aboard the ship we talked to one of the crew members who told us that they had just dropped off the 12 competition winners the night before (6 children and their 6 associated parents/guardians) who had come from across Europe, and that they had been sailing around the coast of Cornwall, stopping off at various locations to do various activities such as archery and snorkelling, culminating in an award ceremony the night before, and that all the time they had been sleeping and living on board the ship. Apparently the only reason they had been forced to make the unscheduled stop in Padstow was because of the welfare of the young participants, as the ship itself was more than capable of sailing under far more severe weather conditions. They mentioned then after Falmouth they were going to pick up two more groups, and were going to be heading back round the coast of Cornwall, via destinations such as St Michaels Mount. Having seen the way they had recreated the Dawn Treader, I’d have to say that the thought of being able to sail that ship out in the sea would just be incredible. If Paul Martin from NarniaFans has managed to get himself a place on board, he is going to have one amazing time thats for sure!
Thank you so much, icarus, for your report and pictures!!
There are more images available on user paperdolly1’s Flickr account which you can see here.
And a news report from Falmouth’s the Packet available here.