Today I went to the new Doctor Who Experience at Olympia. It’s a two part exhibition, starting with an interactive walkthrough and then a more normal array of props and costumes to gawp at.
After being swallowed by a crack in time we’re taken to a museum on Starship UK (crammed full of all sorts of props – I spotted the ‘Schlechter Wolf’ bomb, a life belt from the SS Bernice, Yeti control spheres and a Dalek trooper helmet as well as the headline items pointed out in the dialogue). Whilst in the museum the Doctor contacts us, in specially recorded Matt Smith video clips, and reveals that he’s been trapped in the Pandorica again and needs our help to escape.
The TARDIS materialises and we (or rather any children in the group – once again, little blighters get all the best things) pilot it to the Doctor’s rescue. Until we crash on a Dalek ship. Ooops. Surrounded by new paradigm Daleks ready to exterminate us all. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of some old style Daleks – “The Children of Davros” – which may point at a new Dalek civil war in the forthcoming series.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire as the escape from the Dalek ship takes us through a corridor (lots of corridors in this, which is very appropriate) containing Weeping Angels. Rushing onwards we reach the Pandorica itself and the Doctor does something sonic to teleport himself into the TARDIS. There’s a cool 3D sequence of Daleks, Cybermen and Angels flying at us from the time vortex before the Doctor saves the day.
The second half is more conventional and packed with more goodies than any previous Doctor Who exhibit (certainly more than Earls Court a few years ago or Longleat a lot of years ago) – costumes from all eleven Doctors and all the twenty first century companions. 1980s and 2010 TARDIS exteriors, 1980s and 2005 TARDIS control rooms, six different models of Daleks from 1963 to 2010, three different Sontarans, the Giant Robot, the Face of Boe, and more and more.
It’s not cheap, £20 for adult tickets and an eye watering £12 for a photo of yourself in the Pandorica chair (I passed on that), but if you’re as much of a Doctor Who fan as me you’ll love every moment of it.