The Doctor Who Experience - 26/04/14

Two years ago I was lucky enough to visit the Harry Potter Studios in London to walk around the set of the films. 
This year, I had an equally incredible day. I was lucky enough to visit the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. I find both these things quite ironic and funny, mainly because a fair few of the people my age are going through the stage of having house parties and getting drunk which is their kind of fun. My kind of fun is getting overly excited and walking round the sets of films and tv shows that I've devoted my life to- that's just how I am I guess.
No, Craig is not meant to be doing the macarena, in fact he is flying the
Tardis of course!
So, this year I decided the overdue trip to Cardiff was one that I couldn't wait for any longer. My parents agreed, we booked the tickets and all of a sudden 3 months went as quick as 3 days and it was April the 26th.
Who would have thought I would have enjoyed
getting attacked by a cyberman ??
We left early in the morning, and after some heavy persuasive skills I managed to get my parents to switch off radio 2, yawn, and listen to each of my five Arctic Monkeys CD's. Classic. Eventually we arrived, and parked up before continuing to walk a short distance across Cardiff in the hope that we would come across the Experience without getting lost. 

Cardiff was absolutely beautiful, it was right by a stretch of water so there was a breeze which could only mean I had to put up with my hair attacking my face. There was also a carousel playing music that can only be described as naff. But overall, it had a really nice atmosphere and was full of interesting monuments.

Fortunately the hunt for the Experience was a short one and it wasn't long until we were inside. After a tuna baguette in the cafe, we lined up in the queue for the beginning of the tour, surrounded by a few cases of different props from more recent series'. [Shown on the left.]

After a short wait, it was our turn to go begin the experience. The first half an hour or so of the experience was all interactive, and cameras or any form of video recording was not allowed to make it be spoiler free for those to follow.


- FEEL FREE TO SKIP THE NEXT PART IF YOU ARE HOPING TO VISIT THE EXPERIENCE SPOILER FREE -

After being lead into a room and watching a short video clip, a crack in the wall in front of us identical to Amy's opened and we were lead through. The interactive section of the experience started off on Starship UK, the ship in series 5, episode 2 housing the whole population of the United Kingdom. We were shown some key artefacts before alarms went off and there was a security breach. Suddenly a video recording of Matt Smith in the Pandorica appeared on the screen, and he then made the Tardis appear in the corner of the room.

We were then instructed to walk into the Tardis and around the barriers were 8 different leavers. I was in front of the leaver which said 'Dynamics'.

We were then ushered out of the Tardis, and guided through a series of situations involving some old foes and some new ones, two of which being the Weeping Angels and the Daleks and in addition an incredible 3D recording which will make any cinema experience to follow look measly in comparison.

The use of moving floor simulators, lights, sound and visual clips all complement each other to create some great tricks and movements, and very realistic videos create the image that you really are in outer space.

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The first ever interior of the Tardis.
After this adventure, you are lead through into an amazing display, with each Doctors costume and a description on the side. There were cabinets of each sonic screwdriver, recreations of the inside of three different Tardis' and a green screen with dress up costumes [Picture at the start.]

The whole lower floor of the exhibition is very spacious, with plenty of room for many to walk around. You are able to get up and close with most of the displays, and each one was easily accessible. Older and more new companion costumes are on display, as well as some different Torchwood items and a identical replica of K9.

The upper floor was the villains display. Two of my favourites showed the character and image development of the Cybermen and the Daleks which I thought were particularly intriguing. 

















Upstairs each of the villains were accompanied by video clips, replicas of the costumes belonging to Billie Piper in the 50th anniversary, and Clara Oswald in the Christmas special.

There was a great wall full of stills from across the years, paper models of sets, and three different Tardis' with their Doctors costume on a model outside.

After an explore of  both upstairs and downstairs the whole experience lasts up to about three hours depending on in how much detail you want to look around. After that you can go through to the gift shop, full of posters, t-shirts, mugs, DVD's and any other merchandise you can think of.

I bought both a poster and a audio book read by Catherine Tate of one of Donna and David Tennant's Doctors adventures, as I do like to listen to audio books to help me get to sleep some nights.

Overall the whole exhibition brought something that I watched regularly on screen to real life, displayed up close, bringing together the whole history of the show through the use of props, costumes and interactive clips. Each recreation of a costume or set felt so real and I had a truly great day.
 






2 comments

  1. So cool Katie! I shall definitely be making a trip up there this year :-D Life is more fun when you're a fangirl :-D

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  2. It's definitely worth the trip! :-)

    ReplyDelete