So, I topped off my visit to Cardiff (after seeing Ianto’s Shrine) with a visit to the Doctor Who Experience. It would have been rude not to! Why now when it’s been open so many years? Well the weather was nice, I fancied a break and it’s meant to be closing soon! Was it worth it? I’m glad I went but adding up train fare and entrance fee makes this a serious proposition. I can’t imagine too many families visiting on a whim.
What’s it like? Stay tuned…
The Doctor Who Experience
I don’t intend to give everything away, but I’ll cover four parts:
- The interactive part
- The exhibition
- The shop and café
- The goodie bag
The Interactive Part
The first part of the visit is a thirty minute adventure with the Twelfth Doctor, OK Capaldi is only on screen, but it works well enough. The story was written by Joe Lidster and initial narration is by Lalla Ward. There are Daleks, a chance to fly the TARDIS and it’s all fun even if aimed at younger visitors. If I ever went again I’d want to be able to skip this (not sure you can) and just visit the exhibition…
This stretches over two floors and is packed with various costumes, some monsters (lots of Daleks) and some TARDIS consoles. There’s also Bessie and some other bits, though not a lot in the way of props (the Moment and the book of the history of the Time War are elsewhere). The focus is very modern Who, and Clara costumes outnumber everyone else by a long stretch. For me this is the heart of the visit and I’d have been happy just to visit this. There’s plenty to photograph and it wasn’t too crowded even on a Saturday (and this is probably an indicator as to why it is closing).
There’s a nice touch in the row of Doctor costumes with a note marking a tribute to John Hurt. I also spent ages at the set from the UNIT photo-wall as used in Zygon Invasion/Inversion. All very interesting!
The Shop and Café
The shop has a massive range of books, DVDs, Big Finish and BBC CDs, T-shirts, mugs and everything else you can think of. Of course I got myself a(nother) mug! There’s also a small café on the way in, though you aren’t a long wall from the main bay area, which has dozens of places to eat. There’s also a place right opposite the Experience.
The Goodie Bag
I’d spent so much on travel I upgraded my entrance fee to include the goodie bag. Possibly not worth the money, I have an exclusive T-shirt, a TARDIS key (must find a blue box to try it on) and a guide book that on its own would have cost £7).
So, have you been? Did you enjoy it, was it worth the money or are you still planning to go before it closes? Let me know!