Cardiff Breakfast Club 19th July – A preview of the Doctor Who Experience

Posted: July 20, 2012 in Business/Cardiff News, Cardiff Breakfast Club, Events
Tags: , , , , , ,

While the Cardiff Breakfast Club takes its traditional break until the autumn, there was one rather special event to end the summer season. Yesterday morning Sally joined members at Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay for an exciting preview of the brand new Doctor Who Experience

The interactive Doctor Who Experience opens today in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay.

Doctor Who first time-travelled his way on to our Earth televisions in 1963, and in 2005 the BBC revived the show to huge popular acclaim. The series is one of BBC Wales’ most-watched productions, and its relocation to the new state-of-the-art Roath Lock studios in March this year has firmly fixed its much-loved association with the city of Cardiff.

Who fans old and new have long enjoyed spotting locations around the city that they’ve seen on screen, and I even remember welcoming my parents to my old university lecture building with the words, “They filmed Doctor Who here!”. The opening of the new Doctor Who Experience in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay therefore feels like the final piece of the puzzle. As Kylie Lindsay of BBC Worldwide told me this morning, it has been a long time in the making, but the Doctor has finally “come home to Cardiff”.

The Experience originally opened in London in February 2011 for a year-long residency, and was incredibly popular, welcoming over 230,000 visitors through its doors before it closed in February 2012. I was lucky enough to join members of the Cardiff Breakfast Club on a sneak preview of the Experience this morning ahead of its official opening tomorrow, on Friday the 20th of July.

While I wouldn’t have previously considered myself an avid Who fan (though I will confess to owning a long stripey scarf not entirely uninspired by the kooky Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker!), walking through the darkened corridor to where the interactive part of the Experience would begin was really exciting. Especially when our guide warned us to expect smoke effects, flashing lights and uneven floors on the half-hour journey! The specially filmed adventure features brand new sequences filmed with the current Doctor, Matt Smith and some pretty impressive sets and props. I had a dispute with a Dalek and got to fly the TARDIS – but I don’t want to give too much away… you’ll have to visit for yourself!

A model of current Doctor, Matt Smith outside the famous TARDIS.

Kylie had told me that the amount of time it takes to go round it all entirely depends on “how big a fan you are”. The exhibition section of the Experience houses an incredible amount of original artefacts, sets and costumes over two floors, and could definitely keep even the most die-hard of fans happy for hours. Every exhibit is accompanied by nuggets of behind-the-scenes information. For example, did you know that there are two TARDIS sets? One for studio filming, and one built to be taken apart for filming on location.

As the Breakfast Club members that I spoke to afterwards agreed, the creativity and attention to detail that has gone into making not only the Experience but the entire Doctor Who world is truly impressive. The thing that came across most was the passion that the creators, designers, writers and producers pour into making the show – and in return, how much it is adored by its legions of loving fans. The new exhibition is not just a brilliant day out, but a thrilling reward to fans for their dedication to the series. It is sure to cement Cardiff’s association with quality creativity for light-years to come!

 

The Doctor Who Experience at Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay officially opens to the public today, Friday 20th July. For more information or to book tickets, visit www.doctorwhoexperience.com

The Cardiff Breakfast Club’s autumn season will start on the 10th of September with guest speaker Ann Beynon of BT. For more information on the Breakfast Club email Sally at sally@petersensone.com. 

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