Couldn’t leave London without stopping off at London’s Olympia and the Doctor Who Experience 2011. Carefully avoiding the crowds making a mad-dash heading east into the city for work, it was time to channel the inner-geek and hit the tube and head west and a date with the nearly 50-year history of the Doctor. This is a Who-fans dream experience, for both young and old alike. The tour begins with a few teases from the sets of the current incarnation of the Matt Smith era.
Exhibits and costumes are great, but what everyone is waiting for is to be transported behind those blue police box doors and the world of the Doctor. A rather lengthy video piece follows by Matt Smith welcoming those that have entered his world. The blue doors aren’t far away and you are transported through a crack in the universe and the TARDIS only to be interrupted by several pesky Daleks who seem set on “exterminating” all of the Doctor’s newest companions. I won’t even mention the Weeping Angels you need to avoid along the way (actually, a pretty cool portion of the video segment). Not wanting to give it all away, you then narrowly escape the Daleks clutches and find yourself at the helm of the TARDIS console attempting to save the Earth…I think.
While at the console, the Doctor leads you through a series of maneuvers that save the Earth from destruction only to land safely awaiting the next threat to the world. What may seem a bit ordinary, to some, becomes extraordinary with the ability of each long-time Doctor Who fan to suspend belief and let their imagination take over. After the Earth is safe for the time being, the Doctor congratulates everyone, bids you farewell, and you enter the 50 year history original props and costumes along with an array of sets, monsters and production props which had to be more than the law allows.
What followed for the remainder of ‘the experience’ was to be the largest single collection in one place of costumes from all eleven Doctors (including all companions, yes, even Captain Jack Harkness), a section showing the over the years evolution of Cybermen, a similar exhibition of the evolution of the Daleks, numerous foes that the Doctor has encountered throughout a lifetime of saving the Earth, a collection of genuine show artifacts, including the sonic screwdriver and, finally, a look at three generations of the TARDIS console, which was very cool.
All in all, definitely a Doctor Who fans vision of heaven and well worth the time for any aged fan of the Doctor. More photos here at the tellyspotting flickr page. See you back on the other side of the crack in the universe.