Mission Statement

Come read my attempt to chronicle the 2.5 months of studying/traveling/learning/growing and all kinds of other verbs that end in "ing" I do while in London.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Doctor Who Exhibition

One of the things I was most excited to do in London, besides the typical touristy things, was to visit the new Doctor Who Exhibition.
For those who don’t know, I will give a relatively quick rundown, so this blog isn’t a total “what the heck” moment for you…

Doctor Who is one of my absolute favorite television shows.  It is made by the BBC and has been on the air since the early 1960s (with the exception of when it went off air in the 90s, only airing one movie). The plot follows around a time-traveling alien, who goes by “The Doctor”.  The show’s title comes from the fact that exchanges like,
“Who are you?”
“I am the Doctor."

“Doctor who?”
happen all the time.  He just goes by “the Doctor”.  He is an alien, but he looks like a human, and he travels around time and space, using his space ship, which is a 60s style Police Call Box.  It is called a TARDIS.  One episode he could be helping cave people sort out an alien encounter, and the next he could be in present day, foiling some alien plot to rule the world.  He can also travel to the millions of different alien planets that inhabit the show’s universe, and help out the people of those worlds.  He basically polices the universe, making sure everyone is playing by the rules, and no one, alien or otherwise, is trying to change history or dominate those who shouldn’t be dominated. 
He does this all with an incredible wit, and the stories, acting, and dialogue keep me coming back for more.  I have never known a character as charismatically clever as the Doctor.
Another thing to know is that his race of aliens don’t die, they regenerate.  If he gets mortally wounded, his body renews itself, he turns into a different man.  This means that if an actor wants or needs to leave the show, the Doctor has an event happen to him that causes him to regenerate, which then allows a new actor to play the roll.  The Doctor has all of his memories from his previous bodies, but his mannerisms, likes and dislikes, and even attitude, are different.  This is how the show has kept going for decades.
Right now they are on the 11th Doctor, so 11 actors total have played the role.
Before you go out and watch an episode, let me warn you: The special effects are awful.  Even at their best, they would never, ever hold up to a Hollywood film.  Us Doctor Who fans look past this however, as everything else about the show is brilliant.
So that brings us back to the Exhibition.  I learned shortly before coming here that they had installed this in a giant convention center in London.  It is basically a museum showcasing props and costumes from the show.  What makes this stand out, however, is that for the first 30 minutes of your visit, you are involved in an interactive journey with the Doctor.  After this is over, you are free to walk around and see the various items on display.
Sadly, I don’t have any Doctor Who fans with me here in London, and I was worried about having to experience this myself.  I pictured myself all alone during that 30 minute interactive part, running around with random families and helping fly the TARDIS with their children (as the adults looked on and judged me).
Thankfully, Ryan stepped up and offered to come with me.  A couple of his friends watch the show, so he thought it would be neat to check it out and take some pictures (that he could maybe rub in their faces later).
We bought our tickets online and headed down to the convention center.
Once inside, we were put in a holding room
which contained a few props and costumes to entertain us as we waited.

Daleks are my absolute favorite “alien/monster” of the show.

I took this time to answer a few of Ryan’s questions about the show.
This next part probably won’t be too interesting, unless you watch the show and we couldn’t take pictures here, so if you skip ahead a bit, I won’t hold it against you.
We were put in a small room with a large crack on the wall.  We were shown a video of some of Eleven’s greatest moments, and when it was over, the crack opened (which was a really, really cool effect) and we were told to step through it.
It led to this large room, filled with props from various episodes of the shows. A woman robot proceeded to welcome us to a futuristic museum of London, before the Doctor interrupted her feed and asked for our help.  He teased us about being nothing but “shoppers” but needed us to get him out of his latest predicament (he was stuck in a Pandorica box once again, and he seemed more agitated by the fact that it was the same color as the old one, than being unable to get out).  He made the TARDIS appear (which was one of the coolest things ever) and we got on board (another super cool thing to be able to do).
We were in the TARDIS and the doctor popped up on the screens littered throughout.  He explained to us how to fly it, and we were on our way.  Suddenly we got intercepted by something.  The Doctor freaked out, in typical Doctor fashion, and the feed cut.  We were ushered out of the TARDIS and into a Dalek ship!
We were surrounded by Daleks, they rolled around and threatened us.  They had finally decided to exterminate us (after all, they knew we were associates of The Doctor). Right as they were all screaming “EXTERMINATE!” in their lovely Dalek voices, the Doctor appeared on their screen and distracted them long enough to get them to start fighting with a different breed of Daleks (to those who watch, it was the colorful Daleks of Matt Smith vs the metallic ones yesteryear).  We ran out of there.
As we were leaving, Ryan told me I had the biggest smile on my face.  What can I say, getting captured by the Daleks was AWESOME.
Next thing we know, we are wandering through a forest with weeping angels.  I got a little jumpy at this point, which confused Ryan, but he doesn’t know what weeping angels are.  I won’t describe them, because there isn’t a way to that will do them justice.  If you don’t know what they are, they are one of, if not the, creepiest villains that the Doctor faces.
We were handed “brainy specs” which were actually 3D glasses, and watched a cool video time vortex with all kinds of enemies coming at our faces.  3D weeping angels? Not cool.  I almost squeaked in fear at one point.
We managed to get the Doctor out of the box, and he thanked us heartily as we were ushered into the exhibition room.

There was a TARDIS and a creepy Eleven mannequin.

I took pictures of every single costume of the Doctors throughout the years (which I'll put on facebook).  Here is 5.

And of course I needed to pose between “my” two doctors.

The Silence were just hanging out, waiting to say “hi”

And I made friends with a Cyberman

I almost fainted when I turned the corner and there was a wall full of Daleks.  Best thing ever!

No kid, I am not your mummy….ok please get away from me.

I don’t know why they put the Ood behind glass…oh, maybe because he is rabid.

Greetings from inside the TARDIS!

The Face of Boe wanted to speak to me.  He told me many things

The companions costumes were all in fine form.

I was especially excited to see Captain Jack’s costume. 

And K9, the Doctor’s most faithful companion.  Such a good dog.

I visited the inside of a retro TARDIS

And "Meatball" posed in front of a legit show TARDIS!

And of course when my two Doctor’s asked me to take a picture with them, I couldn’t refuse.  Somehow I thought they’d be taller in real life though..

Overall I was really impressed with the whole experience.  I can’t believe how much time, effort, and money they put into it, especially the 30 minute “experience” before the exhibition.  Most moments, it really did feel like I was in that world.  I felt like I was really walking into the TARDIS, and then once in, I was in the TARDIS.  The Daleks were just what I hoped they would be.  Ryan even enjoyed his time there, learned some things, and left wanting to see the show for himself (he especially liked the humor).
The experience is supposed to be ending its run here soon, and I am wondering if it is touring.  If so, I hope it comes to LA at some point, as I would love to do the whole thing again with my Doctor Who pals at home (shout out to you guys! I thought of you all every second I was there!)
I spent a whole bunch of money in their giftstore, then bounced my way back home, with Ryan in tow.

No comments:

Post a Comment