Doctor Who Experience Launch Day approachesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The countdown is ticking for the grand opening of the Doctor Who Experience at Kensington Olympia Two in London, with pilot tests taking place this week, previews from next week, and Launch Day itself on Monday 20th February!

Work has been in progress over the last few months with props throughout the show's 47 years being assembled. In many cases, old props and costumes have needed extensive refurbishment or restoration, and visual effects designer Mike Tucker explains to SFX Magazine how he came to be involved in the project:
I was contacted by BBC Worldwide last year and asked if I would be interested in pitching for the refurbishment of some of the props from the classic era of the show that had been on display in various places like Longleat and Blackpool over the years.

So I went down to the store in Cardiff and took a look at some of the key items that they would like to refurbish. And I basically made the recommendation that the best way forward was to strip everything back down to its component parts and try to put them back together as close as possible to how they looked when they were last seen on screen.

Now, some of these things are 40 years old, and at the time they were designed to last for, what – two a half weeks of filming? So some of them were in a reasonably poor condition.

But obviously, with my background as a BBC visual effects designer and with a lot of my crew being ex-BBC staff, I was in a position to say to the Beeb, "Well, look, not only do I know how these things were put together, but in some cases I can use some of the designers and assistants who worked on them the first time around."

So they agreed to that. We came up with a list of certain items that they would like in this exhibition and we’ve been in the process of making them look better than they’ve ever done before.
Monsters have included an original Zygon and Ice Warrior, the latter of which Tucker explained to Cultbox:
It’s exciting to see such an iconic monster as the Ice Warrior finally restored to its former glory. For it to have survived since the mid 1960s relatively intact is quite an achievement and my team have done a really good job of restoring him.”

The bulk of the Exhibition has been in the hands of Design and AV specialist Sarner, who were reported back in November as taking on the design and handling complex sets such as the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS interior. The day-to-day management of the Exhibition is to be operated by the Brandnew Corporation, responsible for recruitment of staff for the exhibition and the Merchandise Shop.

BBC Worldwide head of UK retail Ian Wickham said:
We’re delighted to be working with Brandnew on this exciting project. Some of the innovative plans we have, in particular with regards to new technology being applied at the Experience, are state of the art.

This technological aspect of Brandnew’s capability made them a perfect fit for the Doctor Who brand and it was important that we took this into account when agreeing who to appoint for the Doctor Who Experience.

(quote/photo via Event Magazine)

(Matt Smith filming special inserts for the Experience. Photo released via the official Doctor Who Facebook Page)

"I've filmed some scenes for the experience. It places you, the fan, at the heart of the action and become the companion...there's a TARDIS, which you - the audience - can go on. The whole concept of the Doctor Who Experience, to give fans a chance to star in their very own Doctor Who adventure, is massively exciting. I hope as many people as possible enjoy boarding the TARDIS to embark upon an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying adventure through time and space." (Matt Smith)

FILTER: - Special Events - Exhibitions