I was quite fortunate to take a trip to Cardiff and visit the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff before they close their doors for a serious regeneration! With Matt Smith’s 11th (12th?) Doctor recently regenerated into his 12th (13th?) self everything Doctor Who is about to change.
In 2011 I visited the original Doctor Who experience in London. Your first time walking in and being pulled through the crack in time and space is quite unforgettable. Boarding Starship UK to gaze upon some relics to all of the sudden find yourself boring and flying the Tardis, landing on a Dalek ship, and finally running through a forest of Weeping Angels before saving the Doctor from Pandorica 2; it’s quite the thrill. What big eyed kid, or adult, wouldn’t get a kick out of this? Suppose if you hated Doctor Who and found yourself there against your will then you may, but that wasn’t the case with myself. Having done this already, doing it again was still fun! Nothing has drastically changed in the Experiences move from London to Cardiff save a few additional scenes in the promotional video before the ‘experience’ begins.
As before, one you complete your adventure with the Doctor you step out into a huge exhibition with costumes, gadgets, Sonic Screwdrivers, TARDISes (what’s the plural for TARDIS – TARDAE? Oh well) Consuls, aliens, miniatures, and more.
It would be fun if Experience offered exclusive contact from upcoming series. For example it would have been great to have Peter Capaldi’s Doctor in the long line of Doctor’s, and maybe a few extra tidbits. After you finish the exhibit you find yourself in the most terrible, horrifying place; a place where all inhibition fails, where judgement is thrown out the window; a place no human should ever have to go: the Doctor Who Experience Shop! If you can get out alive without a substantially lighter wallet good on you! So I guess good on me! Pause while I pat myself on the back: *pat *pat *pat.
Having been to the Experience twice in London and now once in Cardiff I was quite impressed that each time felt, generally, like a new experience. With consistent changes to the exhibits you aren’t seeing many things twice; that you don’t already want to see twice or thrice. What would be a welcome addition to the fun is if Experience built the set for whichever TARDIS interior was currently in use. And if I’m extra greedy, have a Tardis that you can stand inside of with the false backdrop (yes the it’s not actually bigger on the inside, sorry!). What could have done with an update was the walk-through. While the walk-through at the start was still fun and enjoyable – running through a forest of Weeping Angels will never get boring! – I think an update to coincide with the whatever current series is running would be a much more attractive thing, and encourage re-attendnace more! The ride currently is been based off Series 5’s Pandorica which now very out-dated. Alternatively, they need a more neutral ‘adventure’ that doesn’t have any significance to any current series or even any companions. But this is an adult talking, a kid probably isn’t going to care all that much! Still, the idea of either a neutral adventure or series by series update is something to consider.
The shop – well, that’s like any other shop you’ll go to. Some truly amazing things at a truly price. If you want to buy an episode or series box set, go to Amazon – here you’ll be paying £47.00 for the blu-ray for the compete series 7, £20.00 for a single episode from the classic era, £10.00-30.00 for a poster, £40.00-50.00 for a Tom Baker Scarf, just to name a few. While it’s tempting to give in and hand over your hard earned cash, it wasn’t something I was prepared to do as it didn’t make any logical sense at all to do so. But when have general shoppers ever been logical (Tickle Me Elmo flashbacks!). Still, if you can go take on last peek at the experience before it closes in August for regeneration do so! Otherwise start saving your pennies for it’s come back!
Order Tickets HERE
Doctor Who returns to BBC One August 23rd
In the meantime check out my Sherlock books which are for sale now!
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