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Doctor Who Experience

March 12, 2011

To the Olympia in London to visit (with Kevin and Robbie) the new Doctor Who Experience exhibition. The big draw for this new show — the second very large exhibition of Doctor Who paraphernalia in London in the last few years — is the Experience itself, a walk-through which takes in recreated Who sets and costumes (a Node from ‘Silence in the Library’ stands watch over the Starship UK from ‘The Beast Below’), set-pieces (three new-variant Daleks fight off an attack by their predecessors), the chance to pilot the TARDIS… sort of… and a genuinely dazzling 3-D sequence in which monsters fly by and, in the case of the Weeping Angels, leap from the screen close enough to scrape claws down your face. Even we jaded thirty-somethings were quite taken with this.

The display of props, outfits, sets and costumes that follows is the most extensive of its type ever. We’d seen some of the costumes and monsters before at various exhibitions — Longleat, MOMI and the last London show at Earls Court — but it was great fun to wander round the David Tennant TARDIS set, admire the sterling recreation work done to rehabilitate some very old monster costumes never intended to survive forty-plus years and be exhibited in the 2010s (god bless fibreglass). Most delightful, though we were bemused as to what possible educational component there could be to their visit, was the reaction of the school groups touring the props. ‘1988!’ one child gasped, inspecting a Silver Nemesis Cyberman helmet, as if no date could be farther back in history. Kevin, Robbie and I sloped about, eyed with dismay by the children’s teachers and parents, not so much for the fact of our being there but, I imagine, for what we represented: the fear that their ten-year-olds, fascinated by the Abzorbaloff and the Zygon, by K9 and K1, by Daleks and Cybermen and even by Rory Williams’s bodywarmer, might never ever grow out of Doctor Who.

Some more pictures below — the full set is over at my Flickr page.




From → Doctor Who

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