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Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists

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1995-06-05 Western Mail.jpg

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THEME CENTRE: Toy factory has surprises in store for Timelord fans


A THEME centre with the largest collection of Dr Who props, costumes and memorabilia-opens this month to pave the way for what could become one of Wales's top tourist attractions.

Llangollen's best-kept secret will be unveiled on June 17 with the launch of the offical Dr Who exhibition by one of the actors who played the lead role in Britain's longest-running and most popular science fiction series.

The exhibition, which features props never previously on display since their appearance in the programme, is linked to the world's first open-plan toy factory where visitors can see every stage of Dr Who toys being made.

The managing director of Dapol Toys, David Boyle, said, "What we are doing is unique.

"We have moved our operations here from Winsford in Cheshire and we're combining our role as the only manufacturers of official Dr Who toys with this spectacular exhibition.

"It will be a total Dr Who experience. People will be able to come here and see all the props, the costumes, the monsters and the memorabilia and learn all about the history of the programme.

"They will then be able to tour the factory and watch the Dr Who toys actually being made.

"We estimate it will attract more than 50,000 in its first year and create up to 25 new jobs for Llangollen."

Mr Boyle said this was just the first phase of the project.

"We also make one of the biggest and best ranges of model railways in the world, and we will be opening up a huge model railway exhibition centre in August.

"The collection will have 80,000 exhibits featuring every manufacturer of model railways, their histories and products and we will even have working production lines using every type of model manufacturing technique used throughout history.

"It will be a complete hands-on experience for Dr Who lovers and model rail enthusiasts.

"It's an exciting project and I think the people of Llangollen will be surprised by the scale of it."

John Nathan-Turner, producer for Dr Who from 1979 until 1990, when the series was axed by the BBC, said, "I am excited by this collection because of the scale of it.

"It will be the largest exhibition there has been of its kind.

"We have run major exhibitions at Longleat House in Warminster, at Blackpool's Golden Mile and at the Museum of the Moving Image in London and these have been tremendously popular, but this one will be bigger and there are a few surprises among this particular exhibition that we want to keep secret until it opens.

"The whole history of Dr Who will be included, with props, monsters, sets and audio-visual experiences to take visitors on a journey through from the very beginning to the last episode and maybe beyond.

"The earliest exhibit will be part of the original Dalek from the second episode featuring the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell.

"There are Cybermen, Yeti, all the Doctor's costumes and those of his partners. Two of the big attractions will be Bessie, the Doctor's Edwardian roadster first used in 1970, a working Dalek which people will be able to sit in and a special machine will make them sound like a Dalek."


Caption: HOLD-UP: Dapol staff at Llangollen with a hostile Dalek — but they are not thought to have been exterminated


From first to last

  • THE first episode of Dr Who, starring William Hartnell, was screened on November 23, 1963, and the popular science fiction series ran almost continuously until the end of 1989.
  • There were six more television manifestations of the Doctor, played by actors Patrick Troughton, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.
  • One of the Llangollen exhibition's features will be a waxwork display of all seven Doctors in full costume and a screen showing each regeneration in sequence.
  • There will also be more than 40 different monsters including the Doctor's best-known enemies, the Daleks and the Cybermen, and the Master, a renegade Timelord who has crossed swords with Dr Who on several occasions.
  • Although the BBC has resisted the demand for a new series to be made, a video spin-off starring the Brigadier, a character from the Pertwee era, will be launched this year.
  • A new radio series is also being produced, with John Pertwee and Elizabeth Sladon, alias Sarah Jane, which will be broadcast later this year.
  • Dr Who fans are eagerly awaiting further news about director Steven Spielberg's interest in creating a full-length feature film, the first since Peter Cushing tackled the role in the programme's early years.


Spelling corrections: Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen

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  • APA 6th ed.: Carr, Stephen (1995-06-05). Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists. Western Mail .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Carr, Stephen. "Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists." Western Mail [add city] 1995-06-05. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Carr, Stephen. "Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists." Western Mail, edition, sec., 1995-06-05
  • Turabian: Carr, Stephen. "Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists." Western Mail, 1995-06-05, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_heads_for_Wales_with_a_giant_display_to_woo_tourists | work=Western Mail | pages= | date=1995-06-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 March 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who heads for Wales with a giant display to woo tourists | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_heads_for_Wales_with_a_giant_display_to_woo_tourists | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 March 2024}}</ref>