James Matthew Atkinson

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Main » 2015 » November » 6 » The Doctor Who Experience was worth the drive and poor hotel
0:38 AM
The Doctor Who Experience was worth the drive and poor hotel
Warning - spoilers


During a recent week off Julia and I had arranged to go to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. I had been looking forward to it for quite a while. We set off on Tuesday 22nd September and had arranged to spend the night at a hotel around an hour away from Cardiff. This was in order to go to Puzzlewood and Clearwell Caves where parts of Doctor Who had been filmed. First of all, I will not mention the name of the hotel, as it was dire. The room was terrible and very unimpressive. The only reason we were there is due to not knowing rugby was on in Cardiff. We don’t watch it so were very surprised that all the rooms around Cardiff were triple price! Booking the hotel near filming locations seemed a good idea but two problems occurred. The first was that I felt incredibly ill when I got up and made us late to set off. This obviously means that we go to the hotel late and with no time to see the Forest of Dean locations. The second was that the hotel was not what we had hoped. In fact it was bloody awful.

I was glad to get out of the place. Poor Julia seemed mortified when she saw the room originally so it was a relief to get on our way to Cardiff and Galiffifrey’s number one thief. We had to ring the Experience as visitors have slots to go into the interactive part and we would miss ours. Its good we did notify them, as once we were in Cardiff the damn rugby reared its head again. The car park was only for permit holders although the attendant was helpful and told us where to find another. We made our way to the Doctor Who Experience and found the dock front around Cardiff was clean and modern. The buildings are stunning, no wonder it has so many visitors. There are some areas that were like art installations and then we saw our destination.
The excitement had built to a point that I could not wait to get in. I could see the display in the lobby from This Planet Earth. They are official retailers of larger props from the series. I ordered a Dalek from them a while previously and it will be delivered soon so I was looking at the size of the prop and realised the base is much larger than I expected. Ian Clarke, who is the Managing Director of This Planet Earth, arranged a day for the NSD Dalek to be delivered recently and it was perfect timing as Julia and I had already arranged to go to the Exhibition. Their display was very good and then we both were allowed to join the next group going around the interactive element.


This Planet Earth display in the Foyer

Tom Bakers first story original prop 'K1 Robot' from Robot
My childhood in a nutshell!
The statue from the Keeper of Traken behind, 2 x classic creations in UK science fiction

Props for the 50th episode in 2013. This is the iconic 'the moment' with Billie Pipers costume


I can’t let you know what the interactive experience was like due to the fact it would spoil too much for those that wish to go. Suffice to say that it was a tour de force for fans of the series. I take my hat of to the design team of Joseph Lidster and Paul Wilmshurst who helped bring the concept together.
The Museum area with all the exhibits from classic Who to the new series is a true fan delight. There were various Doctors consoles and Tardis’s and the history of elements such as sound production and design. As Julia and I were walking around we were asked to take a guy’s photograph as he was on his own. His name was Oggi and he was incredibly nice. We went through the exhibits and kept meeting with Oggi as he kept asking for me to take his photograph with the props. I did not mind as we got on, he was a big fan and knew detailed information. He said he was a student and his ambition was to work on a show like Doctor Who. He certainly has the knowledge. It all added to the glorious atmosphere of seeing props that appeared in adventures that, to me, are iconic within Science Fiction. The series has permeated through many cultures and can, importantly, encompass a multitude of locations, eras, historic periods and….well the list goes on. Villains and aliens are sometimes the main storyline; at others they are secondary to ongoing arcs. Sontarans, the K-1 Robot, Zygons, Oods, The Weeping Angels, Daleks, The Great Intelligence, Cybermen and Ice Warriers are just a few of these characters. Each has its own unique place in Doctor Who history. The adventure at the Doctor Who Experience was well worth it and I would go again tomorrow if I had the chance.
One of the favorite areas was seeing the Ben Wheatley directed episode sections. Deep Breath and Into the Dalek are superb stories and fine introductions to the new doctor, Peter Capaldi. Ben created a style that was different to what had been seen before, especially with Into the Dalek. The Dalek scene at the end where the ‘bad’ Dalek kills his allies is unlike any other-directed Dalek sequence I have witnessed before. Seeing the props was exciting as it brought them even more to life. The way in which they were grouped was perfect and the intricate details you don’t see on the airing are testament to the mighty skill that Dr Who attracts. My advice for any fan is to go see for yourself.


Half Face man from Deep Breath

Rusty from Into the Dalek. Look at my beaming face
Category: Interests | Views: 703 | Added by: James | Tags: DALEK, Tom Baker, Matt Smith, Tardis, cardiff, David Tennant, this planet earth, doctor who, Ben Wheatley | Rating: 0.0/0
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