Saturday, December 24, 2011


WARNING: Contains no spoilers (well, except about the Doctor Who Experience, which is over now anyway)

For those of you who don't like Doctor Who, just don't read this one. You'll probably be bored.
I happen to really like Doctor Who, so I will keep reading after I finish writing this. I will proof-read it.

The Doctor Who Experience is probably named so because they really couldn't be more specific. People have asked me "So what IS it?" and I'd spend a silly amount of time trying to explain it. I should have just said "An interactive exhibition" but that's still not quite what it was like.

I don't know why but they put it somewhere in the middle of pretty much nowhere. Over near the Olympic grounds, and it took me ages to get there. London is really good with public transport. You almost never have to wait more than 3 minutes for a train going in the direction you're headed. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply for all parts of London. I had the great misfortune of arriving where I needed to, a few minutes after my connecting train departed. I had to wait 45 minutes for the next one. Thank goodness I was able to waste time consuming a salad. Not a very good one though. It was oil and pasta and basil and pine nuts and spinach and cherry tomatoes. Sounds good but it wasn't.

When I arrived at the building I was so stressed. I'd called in the morning to book a ticket (after calling 4 times throughout the week and being put on hold for way too long). I waited 20 minutes the last time and was finally put through to a lady who said "You can't book on the day." No doubt you can envision me imploding with frustration at being put on hold for 20 minutes to be told they couldn't help me. It was like a re-enactment of the destruction of the Witch King of Angmar (LOTR freaks represent!).

Super relieved when I learned there were still plenty of tickets. This cool as greeter-guy at the door was all, "Haha you look pretty excited." and we had a mini-discussion about how exciting it was and how stressed I was when I thought I wouldn't get a ticket. He said it was going to be awesome and I believed him.

The first part of it was just a mini exhibition with displays of various D.W. monster costumes and a dalek. You then continue into this small room with all these benches facing a wall. There was a video (you know, it was the Doctor speaking and all these little clips from Doctor Who and he was giving us some message about cracks in walls) and the video ended with a crack forming in the wall, through which we walked into a museum exhibition thingy on some sort of planet. There was one of those people with the bizarre faces from the Library episodes telling us about various objects in the room because it was apparently a museum tour. Then the Doctor sent out a feed and appeared on a screen. He was in a Pandorica chair and saying funny stuff about how it was the same colour as the first one - "BOR-ING! They're so unoriginal!" - and needed OUR HELP to get him out and save the world.


He did some sonic screwdriver thing and the TARDIS appeared. Yes, it's bigger on the inside. We got to push some buttons to help the TARDIS hone in on the Doctor's signal and some other weird stuff, but then we had to go out a side door into a dodgy hallway. I don't know why but for some reason I was always at the front of the group. I felt cool and manly for that. Being the brave one who isn't afraid to follow the Doctor's instructions. (I was actually pretty scared). We then got to a room with Daleks in it, and they were going to kill us but the Doctor sent out another signal feed thingy and told the Daleks not to kill us because we were "a very low-intelligent life form. A subspecies of human: shoppers." and threatened them with something or other. They let us through to a room full of weeping angels. No, I did not blink.

We eventually got him out of the chair and saved the world in doing so. You're welcome.

After that was a big exhibition of Doctor Who stuff. There were costumes (some originals), props (such as original sonic screwdrivers and a TARDIS used in the 70s I think) and original and replica sets. Videos from the choreographers teaching us how to walk like the Family of Blood scarecrows or cybermen. Information signs about stuff like the original theme song, how it was made, and how it's changed since. You could record yourself saying stuff and it would be played back in a dalek of cyberman voice. "Stop. Hammer time." has never sounded cooler.

And at the very end was a shop. I was pretty disappointed it wasn't selling life-size cardboard cutouts of weeping angels or scarecrows from The Family of Blood, but you come to accept these things. Eventually. Besides, I would have had no way to get it home. *wistful sigh* so I bought myself a 6 pack of Doctor Who pins instead.

I think they should have had Matt Smith and Steven Moffat there for every single group who went through. It would have been a lot more "Doctor Who Experience"y. But I had nothing to complain about. It was as great as David Tennant, and we all know how great HE is.


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