Torchwood Los Angeles Locations
By Steven Barber
The fourth series of Torchwood brought the cast and crew to a whole New World: North America. As part of the production deal with STARZ, much of Torchwood Miracle Day would take place in the United States, China, South America as well as the United Kingdom, creating an international scope and scale to the production.
Much of the show was shot in and around Los Angeles, in areas ranging from downtown LA, to Venice Beach and the area of LA known as San Pedro.
The opening episode of the series takes place in Cardiff, London, LA and Washington, DC.
The following are the LA-area locations used for Torchwood Miracle Day: The New World.
An iconic structure known worldwide for its appearance in numerous TV shows and movies, Los Angeles City Hall was for years the tallest structure in Los Angeles. Known best around the SciFi community as being blasted to pieces by Martians in George Pal's 1950 classic WAR OF THE WORLDS, City Hall was used by the Torchwood Miracle Day: The New World production company for the external scenes in which Esther arrives at the Central Intelligence Agency archive.
City Hall is located downtown on Spring Street, between Temple and 1st. It is a block away from the 101 (Hollywood) Freeway.
While getting to City Hall is relatively easy, finding parking is not. Particularly during the work week. My suggestion is to visit the site on the weekends, but be aware of the rather large and sometimes aggressive homeless population in the area, particularly in the park south of City Hall.
City Hall East
The second addition to LA City Hall (there are three main buildings on the campus), City Hall East features a large plaza and backdrop used by production companies over the years for scenes involving protests and events at an official-looking building. Torchwood Miracle Day: The New World was no exception, filming the scene in which Jack Harkness describes Torchwood to Esther (for the first time) in the courtyard section of the CH East complex.
As with City Hall proper, finding City Hall East is relatively easy. It's the large building across the street on the east side of City Hall. But visitors unfamiliar with LA should exercise reasonable caution due to the large and sometimes aggressive homeless population in the area.
Linda Vista Hospital
Like many older buildings in LA, The Linda Vista Hospital, used for hospitals sets in both Cardiff and LA story lines in Torchwood Miracle Day: The New World, has subsequently been repurposed into low income housing.
Located at 610 S St Louis Ave in the East LA neighborhood of Boyle Heights, the site is easily accessed from several freeways. From the 5 Freeway coming up from Long Beach and Orange County you'll want the Soto Street exit. From the 101 Freeway from downtown and Hollywood take the 4th Street offramp. Best to use GPS to avoid wandering too far afield.
There is a large well-maintained park, Hollenbeck Regional, located directly across the street which features an unusual view of downtown. Caution is recommended during evening and night-time hours.
650 S Spring St
A former Bank of America branch, 650 S Spring Street is in an area of Downtown LA undergoing significant gentrification. Boarded-up storefronts sit adjacent to expensive security apartments and crowded Starbuck's. The scenes filmed at this location served as stand-ins for the CIA archive.
650 S Spring is relatively easy to find, but parking can be problematic depending upon the planned length of your stay. Metered street slots are a rare commodity, and there is a relatively inexpensive parking lot just north of the building. Spring is one-way, as are most streets downtown. It runs southbound, so 650 S Spring is best approached on 6th Street. Summer 2016 saw much of the street torn up for construction.
Sybil Brand Institute
Unlike the other buildings on this list The Sybil Brand Institute is locked away (you see what I did there?) from public view.
A former prison for women, it's now part of the greater Sheriff's Department compound a few miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. Closed to the public, it's in constant use as a prison shooting stage for numerous television and film productions. The site was used in Torchwood Miracle Day: The New World for scenes of Oswald Danes' incarceration and prison.
Steven is a travel writer, whose fabulous travels can be found here: http://thumbnailtraveler.blogspot.com
All photos courtesy of Steven Barber