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How to experience the new Who...

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The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff has regenerated, so what's it like now? We sent Kathryn Williams along to see what's different


IT may not be everyone's cup of tea, but after visiting the Doctor Who Experience I can certainly say that everyone should drink tea once in a while.

Not only do you get Peter Capaldi shouting at you - which makes me think we should start a petition for a Thick of It interactive experience - but there's also 3D, control-your-own Tardis and a cacophony of Doctor Who's finest monsters, aliens and other scary things which will make you jump and hide behind the eight-year-old from the school group you've tagged along with.

I was quite excited to visit the Cardiff Bay attraction. Not only was it my first visit, but the Experience also features a new mini-story from Capaldi, known for his affection and the time he has for fans of the hugely popular sci-fi adventure show.

So I felt hugely lucky to be invited to an early, behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the revamped exhibition - which was also, at the same time, being tested by local primary schoolchildren. Before we even went into the exhibition itself the bubbling excitement was palpable. At just the mention of "moving floors" and "strobe lighting" the kids looked as though they'd been told they were going to Disney World.

But this was a good thing. Their enthusiasm, of which there was heaps, is what this experience was created for.

As Paula Al-Lach, from BBC Worldwide, told me, the tour has been designed around what the visitors wanted: "We wanted to make it more immersive, definitely not just a walk through. And we looked at what the visitors wanted before we started building it. They told us they wanted the tour a bit longer and more frightening."

The latter request has certainly been heeded.

The tour is billed as a visit to the "Gallifrey Museum" and we are dutifully shown around by a host rather than monitored by a silent steward.

Excitingly, the host ushered us out of danger and directed the group to find important items to ensure a safe passage back into the real world at the end.

Along the way we were challenged by Daleks and stalked by Weeping Angels, the latter scaring me much more than the children who were happily giggling and waving their way through the section.

With everyone receiving a pendant on the way into the tour, you wonder what on earth they could be used for, but it's all part of the experience which really does make you feel part of the story, rather than just someone stopping by to look at exhibits.

At the end, there's a great display of the show's props, costumes, sets and, of course, a Tardis or two.

I had a wonderful time twiddling buttons on the famous console from the recreation of the first Tardis interior to the typically gadgety 1980s period, and of course I did a classic Doctor Who pose (arms folded, looking half cheeky-half smug) outside the blue police box. Well, when in Gallifrey...

Tickets for The Doctor Who Experience, open to the public on October 24, can be booked on 0844 801 2279.

GRAPHIC: The Tardis, Doctor Who's favourite mode of transport Ex-terrrrr-minate! A Dalek at the Doctor Who Experience Cybermen heads are among the scary exhibits at the new-look Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff

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  • APA 6th ed.: Williams, Kathryn (2014-10-18). How to experience the new Who.... South Wales Echo p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Williams, Kathryn. "How to experience the new Who...." South Wales Echo [add city] 2014-10-18, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Williams, Kathryn. "How to experience the new Who...." South Wales Echo, edition, sec., 2014-10-18
  • Turabian: Williams, Kathryn. "How to experience the new Who...." South Wales Echo, 2014-10-18, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=How to experience the new Who... | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/How_to_experience_the_new_Who... | work=South Wales Echo | pages=3 | date=2014-10-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=How to experience the new Who... | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/How_to_experience_the_new_Who... | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 July 2024}}</ref>