On Easter Sunday Bill and I had tickets to the Doctor Who Experience. Doctor Who is filmed in the Cardiff BBC studio, a few blocks from Cardiff Bay. BBC leased out a big warehouse at the edge of the bay and turned it into the Experience, complete with loads of props and costumes from the shows many, many years.
|Millennium sculpture, Cardiff wharf|
Cardiff Bay also is the seat of Welsh parliament and home to the iconic millennium sculpture (as seen on the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood). The wharf was only a 25-minute walk from our hotel, but I'm glad at the last minute we decided to grab a taxi. Although only 25-minutes away, the walk would have taken us over a highway and through a rather sketchy industrial park that I'm really glad I didn't have to deal with!
The Millennium sculpture is a manmade, sleek waterfall. It was pretty, but when the wind blew, the water sprayed. We learned quickly not to stand too close!
Because we took a taxi instead of walking, we arrived in advance of the exhibit's opening. We walked around the wharf, got a lay of the land, and spotted the TARDIS. Yippee!
|Look! The Doctor is in!|
A few minutes before 10:00 we queued up in front of the warehouse, giddy with anticipation.
|Let's do this!!|
The first part of the exhibit was rather campy—I mean, c'mon, it *is* Doctor Who, after all. After the interactive portion of the exhibit (where you have to help find some crystals and escape the Daleks—no photos, please), we were able to spend as much time and take as many photographs as we wanted.
|We're big ol' goof balls!|
As you can see, we got into the cheesy atmosphere. I have only watched Doctor Who since the re-boot starting with Christopher Eccleston, so it was interesting looking at all of the props dating back to the '60s.
|Old school TARDIS control center (used by 5th, 6th, and 7th Doctors)|
|Old times Doctor Who car|
|Olden times TARDIS and K-9 unit|
And then I started to recognize some of the props! This one is from Matt Smith's TARDIS.
|A more recent version of the TARDIS control center (used by 11th Doctor)|
|The face of Boe (Doctor Who and Torchwood)|
The character I remember most from the picture below is the middle guy. I don't remember his name, but he was from a compassionate race called the Ood and they had weird tentacles hanging around what we would call lips.
|Various character outfits / masks from Doctor Who|
The Silurian were sometimes enemies, sometimes not. They first appeared in Doctor Who in the '70s, but since I haven't watched those episodes, I don't know their full story. In more recent stories, one of the human/reptile hybrids lived in Victorian (I'm pretty sure she was cloaked somehow, because no one cared that she had a reptile face) who helped Doctor Who save humanity… again.
|One of the Cybermen|
|Davros - evil mastermind of the Dalek|
|Creature from the Silence episode|
|Another creature from the Silence episode|
|DON'T LOOK - it's a Weeping Angel|
I had a bit of fun playing the Doctor well before the female actress was given the role!
I still find it hilarious that fans can believe a space alien travels through time and space, who can basically live forever and re-incarnate whenever it needs to, but find it far-fetched that this time he re-incarnated as a woman. Whatever. She's going to ROCK as Doctor Who!
|Doctor Who with her faithful companion|
|TARDIS tribute to Clara Oswald|
|The 12th Doctor's outfit (Peter Capaldi)|
|The 10th Doctor's outfit (David Tennent - my favorite Doctor!)|
|The 11th Doctor's outfit (Matt Smith)|
|The 4th Doctors outfit (Tom Baker)|
They also had one of the outfits for Captain Jack Harkness from both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Torchwood used to film at Cardiff bay and the characters often talked whilst sitting around the Millennium sculpture (photo at top of this post).
|Captain Jack Harkness' outfit|
Sadly, the Doctor Who Experience is now gone. The BBC leased the warehouse for 5 years, and the city of Cardiff would not renew the lease as they thought they could make more money using the space for something else. Honestly, I think the city of Cardiff really screwed up. This could have been an attraction for years to come… Oh well, I'm glad we saw it when we did!
And one more photo of Daleks before we left the Doctor Who Experience.
We walked around the wharf for a while afterwards. I had no idea Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, among many others) was from Cardiff!
|Cardiff's not just for castles and Doctor Who fans!|
Much like Clara Oswald's tribute TARDIS, a character named Iantos died saving the world on Torchwood. He was a much beloved character, and there is a fan-created shrine in Cardiff bay for him as well.
After our taxi back to Cardiff city centre, we had quite the time trying to find a lunch restaurant open on Easter Sunday. Don't worry, we didn't starve!