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Fans from around the world flock to Doctor Who show

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THE Welsh capital was cemented into sci-fi folklore yesterday as the spiritual home of the world's most famous Time Lord.

Hundreds of fans queued to get in to the Doctor Who Experience on its opening day at its new permanent home in Cardiff Bay.

Many had dressed as one of the Doctor's 11 incarnations to mark the opening of the exhibition, which has previously been on show at London's Olympia Two.

It is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Welsh capital each year, and could be worth up to £68m to the economy over the next five years.

The new attraction, which is run by the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide, is in a purpose-built 4,181 square metre building in Cardiff' Bay's Porth Teigr just a stone's throw from the BBC's Roath Lock studios where the series is filmed. The Experience offers visitors a "journey through space and time" as they enter an interactive exhibition where they get a chance to fly the Tardis and help the current Time Lord Matt Smith in a battle with the Daleks.

After running through the forest of angels, and a 3D show in the Pandorica Chamber, space-time travellers emerge into one of the biggest collections of Doctor Who props, costumes and sets anywhere in the world.

Never-seen-before props include the Silence Spaceship, the Doctor's Cot, and Matt Smith's sonic cane.

And the verdict from those first through the door was that Doctor Who had returned in style to its spiritual home. Among the first people through the doors was the Carrie family from Ottawa in Canada.

Father Jeff, 44, said he and his wife Danielle, 43, had been big fans of the show for years.

They decided to come to the UK for a week's holiday as a 16th birthday present for their daughter Julia.

"On the day that tickets for the opening were released Danielle and I woke up at 5am to make sure we didn't miss out.

"Us, Julia and our 12-year-old son Mark are all big fans of the show. We had a great time."

Seven-year-old William Francis, from Llanishen in Cardiff, came to the exhibition dressed up as Matt Smith, complete with a Sonic Screwdriver.

William said: "My favourite bit was when the Doctor said 'shut up' to the Daleks."

William's mum Sarah Davies said: "He's a massive Doctor Who fan so it's been brilliant."

Eddie Agin, 18, from Los Angeles, extended his trip to the UK especially for the opening.

He said: "I've been a fan for about a year. It's the sci-fi adventure that keeps on going. I thought it was incredible.

"If you like Doctor Who, this is the place to be."

Eight-year-old Elis James, from Blackwood, was chosen to cut the ribbon to officially open the Experience, surrounded by monsters from the show including a Cyberman, a Silurian and a Silence.

Elis, who was also dressed as Matt Smith, was joined by his six-year-old sister Seren - in costume as Doctor's companion Amy Pond - and two-year-old Iolo, who came as a mini Dalek.

Their dad Rhys James said it was a "fantastic experience".

He said: "Flying the Tardis was brilliant, and the forest of angels. Elis has loved Doctor Who since he was two, so for him to cut the ribbon was just fantastic."

Philip Murphy, managing director of live events for BBC Worldwide, said they had worked closely with fans to find out what they wanted in the Experience, with the most popular request being the opportunity to fly the Tardis.

He said: "The fans are so important to us and we will continue to change the content to reflect what the fans want.

"It's really important for us to be here in Cardiff. This is where the programme is made - it's the spiritual home of Doctor Who.

"It's amazing we have been able to find this piece of land right next to the studio as it enables us to work much more closely with the production team and designers than ever before.

"We hope for Cardiff to cement and promote the link between the programme and the city, and to be one of the best tourist attractions in South Wales."

Ticket prices are £38 for a family of four, £13 for adults and £9 for children, with under-fives free. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm seven days a week. To find out more visit www.doctorwhoexperience.com CLICK ON To see more pictures from the exhibition and video, go to...

WalesOnline.co.uk

GRAPHIC: Members of the public come face to face with one of the Cybermen, and far left, inside the exhibition Monsters and fans at the official opening of the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay yesterday

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  • APA 6th ed.: Best, Jessica (2012-07-21). Fans from around the world flock to Doctor Who show. The Western Mail p. 11.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Best, Jessica. "Fans from around the world flock to Doctor Who show." The Western Mail [add city] 2012-07-21, 11. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Best, Jessica. "Fans from around the world flock to Doctor Who show." The Western Mail, edition, sec., 2012-07-21
  • Turabian: Best, Jessica. "Fans from around the world flock to Doctor Who show." The Western Mail, 2012-07-21, section, 11 edition.
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