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Doctor Who exhibitions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Entrance to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff
Entrance to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff

Since Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963, there have been a number of exhibitions of props, costumes and sets throughout the United Kingdom. Some have been intended to be permanent, and others seasonal; most have been staged at existing tourist locations.

Former permanent exhibitions

Doctor Who Experience

An exhibition titled Doctor Who Experience, complete with a new interactive Doctor Who episode with the Eleventh Doctor, opened at London Olympia on 20 February 2011 after a number of test days and preview visits.[1] It closed on 22 February 2012.[2]

Construction of the Doctor Who Experience
Construction of the Doctor Who Experience

The exhibition moved to Cardiff, opening on 20 July 2012.[3] The new exhibition was housed in an unusual 3000 square metre building in Porth Teigr designed by theme-park company Sarner Ltd.[4] Due to the temporary nature of the exhibition, with a 5-year lease on the site, the building was constructed like a large tent, with a cover stretched over curved steel beams.[5]

Exhibitions in the Doctor Who Experience
Exhibitions in the Doctor Who Experience

The exhibition began with a short film and a walk-through adventure inside the Eleventh Doctor's first TARDIS interior and in various locations. Later, after the replacement of Matt Smith, visitors were instead led through the experience by a guide and the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi).

Following the adventure portion guests were free to roam two floors of exhibitions including original costumes from ten of the twelve Doctors (the first two being replicas as the originals were lost). Alien prosthetics, Daleks and Cybermen over history, Sonic devices, and the TARDIS interiors belonging to the First Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Fifth Doctor, and the Ninth Doctor and Tenth Doctor. Many other show memorabilia and artefacts were also on display, including costumes from the companions since 2005 including: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness, Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

Each year since opening, costumes and props used from new series were been showcased. In 2013, props, such as Porridge's costume, the deactivated chess-playing Cyberman (from "Nightmare in Silver")[6] the costumes of the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald, along with the giant snow globe from the Christmas episode entitled "The Snowmen", were also added to the collection.[7] In late 2014 props and costumes from "Last Christmas" were added.

Museum patrons could also take pictures in front of a green screen, with multiple backgrounds to choose from including Totter's Lane (from the Doctor's first adventure) and inside the time vortex, as well as several props such as various Sonic Screwdrivers and articles of clothing symbolic to several Doctors (e.g. Matt Smith's fez).

Cardiff Bay is home to the BBC Roath Lock production studios, as well as locations from the Torchwood series. The experience closed its doors on 9 September 2017,[8][9] due to the site's five-year lease running out. BBC Worldwide said at the time that they were "not sure yet" if it would reopen elsewhere.[5]


The first permanent exhibition was set up at the stately home of Longleat, Wiltshire in 1973, and ran until 2003. The site has also hosted annual Doctor Who conventions, usually in August.[10]

The twentieth anniversary convention was titled "Twenty Years of a Time Lord" and was held in April 1983. It featured appearances from Jon Pertwee (and the vintage car Bessie), Peter Davison, K9; props included the TARDIS, Daleks, and the set of The Five Doctors feature-length special.[11] About 40,000 fans turned up, many more than expected.[12]

In 2003, the annual "Doctor Who Day", to mark the 40th anniversary of the programme, featured an attempt to gather the largest number of Daleks ever assembled. Colin Baker, Sophie Aldred and John Leeson attended.[13]


The original exhibition on the Golden Mile, Blackpool, Lancashire, operated between 1974 and 1985.[14] It reopened in 2004 to coincide with the relaunch of the programme. The Blackpool Doctor Who Museum finally closed on 8 November 2009, the large collection of props, monsters and costumes (including the Doctors' trademark car, Bessie, and classic monsters such as Tractators, Ice Warriors and Yeti) being distributed to other exhibitions around the country.[15]


Road sign featuring a Dalek pointing to the Dr Who Experience
Road sign featuring a Dalek pointing to the Dr Who Experience

The "Dapol Dr Who Experience" opened in 1994 and was sited in Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales, under the auspices of the company that made Doctor Who merchandise until 2002. It featured many costumes and props, some dating back to the 1960s. It closed in 2003.[16]


Entrance to the Doctor Who Exhibition
Entrance to the Doctor Who Exhibition

The Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff was the only semi-permanent exhibition in the UK. Situated in the Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay, the museum opened December 2005,[17] in the city where the series is currently recorded and produced. It was closed on 27 March 2011 before, in July 2012, the above-mentioned Doctor Who Experience opened on the other side of Cardiff bay.

Exhibits at the Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff
The Ood
Tarak Ital

Props on display included an Ood Elder from "The End of Time", a fly-headed Tritovore and Lady Christina De Souza's costume from "Planet of the Dead", plus the 'Flood' monster and Maggie and Tarak Ital costumes from "The Waters of Mars". There was also a special display from the team behind the show's monsters, Millennium FX, showing the production process behind creating an Ood. Costumes displayed included those worn by the characters Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Donna Noble and the Doctor.[18]

The Cardiff Exhibition had a complete refurbishment in October 2008.[19]

The Doctor Who Up Close Shop was stocked with items such as giant inflatable Daleks, sonic screwdrivers and talking bottle openers.[20]

Former temporary and touring exhibitions


  1. ^ "Doctor Who Experience opens". Doctor Who News. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Doctor Who Experience: February activities". Doctor Who News. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who Experience opens at Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay". Doctor Who News. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  4. ^ "The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b David Prince (7 November 2016). "Cardiff's Doctor Who Experience will close next year". Wales Online. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  6. ^ "The Doctor Who Experience News". BBC. 25 May 2013. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  7. ^ "The Doctor Who Experience News". BBC. 1 January 2013. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Doctor Who Experience to close 9th September". Doctor Who News. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Losing the Doctor Who Experience is a sad day for Cardiff and not just the fans". Wales Online. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  10. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who (David Tennant and Billie Piper) – News". BBC. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  11. ^ "1983 convention". 3 April 1983. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Longleat". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  13. ^ "BBC – Wiltshire Days Out – The Daleks to invade Longleat for Doctor Who Day". BBC. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  14. ^ Harper, Smyth (12 April 2004). "BBC NEWS – England – Lancashire – Blackpool rocks as Who goes there". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  15. ^ "Blackpool Exhibition Closure". Doctor Who Museum & Exhibitions Website. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  16. ^ "Dr Who Experience Llangollen". Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d "Doctor Who Exhibitions Cardiff, Earls Court, Land's End, Blackpool, Mersyside Spaceport". Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  18. ^ Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: About". Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  19. ^ Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: News". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  20. ^ Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: Info". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  21. ^ "MOMI". Dr Who Exhibitions. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  22. ^ "Messenger Newspapers – Dalek invasion at Seacombe". 28 September 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  23. ^ Murphy, Liam. "Liverpool Daily Post – News – Liverpool News – Daleks leave for good". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  24. ^ "BBC – Manchester – In pictures – Gallery: Dr Who Up Close". BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  25. ^ "Dr Who exhibition a hit – News – Days Out – Greater Manchester's CityLife". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  26. ^ "Leicester Space Centre". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  27. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 27 March 2021, at 04:40
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