National Media Museum exhibition details revealedBookmark and Share

Friday, 8 November 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The National Media Museum in Bradford has finalised details of its free exhibition showcasing Doctor Who fans' devotion to the series over its 50 years.

Following an appeal in the summer for items and stories, hundreds of personal objects were offered by members of the public for Doctor Who and Me: 50 Years of Doctor Who Fans, which explores what it means to be a devotee of the show in its 50th-anniversary year, bringing together items that people around the world have collected, created, drawn, assembled, and bought over the past half-century.

It resulted in hundreds of offers, and exhibition curator Toni Booth said:
Over the past few weeks it has become very apparent that the influence of the Doctor extends into many parts of people's lives - I have heard about marriage proposals at a Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool and another fan confessing to me that in life, "I often ask myself: WWTDD?" (What would the Doctor do?). The stories and objects in the exhibition will show just how intertwined into their everyday lives the Doctor has become for so many people.

We have visited a number of superfans at home and they have simply incredible collections of Doctor Who-related objects. We hope to give a real insight into this ultra-dedicated few, as well as display the objects that mean the most to them from the hundreds of items they have amassed.
In addition to a vast array of objects loaned from the public, the exhibition includes fans' stories and experiences relating just how much they love Doctor Who and why, how they have organised themselves, produced fanzines, attended conventions around the world, and now make use of the internet and social media to discuss the programme.

Among the objects on display are the following:
  • A model TARDIS made in 1978/9 by then schoolboy Mike Tucker for his own amateur movie - he went on to become a visual effects assistant on the show during the classic era and model unit supervisor when the programme returned
  • Rare, original artefacts provided by David J Howe and Colin Young, including the Servo Robot prop from the 1968 adventure The Wheel in Space, artwork from Doctor Who annuals and Target novels (including art by David McAllister and Andrew Skilleter), and authentic 1970s Palitoy and Louis Marx toys
  • Some of fan modelling pioneer Julian Vince's originals, including his first Dalek
  • Several full-size replicas from the show, including K-9, Daleks, the TARDIS, Cybermen, and various monster masks
  • A very rare 1960s Dalek Oracle board game
  • A newly-uncovered poster of Tom Baker and scarf demonstrating semaphore
  • A postcard from the BBC sent to a young fan in 1975 outlining the instructions to knit a Tom Baker scarf - the resulting scarf, knitted by the fan's mum, is also on display
  • Memorabilia from the Longleat 20th-anniversary event, including tickets and a programme
  • 1970s/80s collector cards from Typhoo Tea and Weetabix
  • An original script from Dragonfire
In a change to the original plan, the display will now run from Saturday 23rd November to Sunday 9th February, and the museum - which also has free entry - has organised a launch party for Friday 22nd November to mark both the exhibition and the show's 50th anniversary. Starting at 7.30pm and open to all, this free event will give people the chance to have a preview of the exhibition and will also have entertainment in the form of performance poetry from Rod Tame, music, and a flash open-mic event for attendees. There is no need to book for the party - just turn up.

Anyone wanting to take part in the open-mic event, in which they can read some of their fan fiction or perform a song or a poem - basically, anything family-friendly that has been inspired by Doctor Who - must let the museum know by e-mailing Sophie Loftus at by no later than Sunday 17th November. Names will be selected at random and people notified in advance if they have a slot. The open-mic pieces should last no more than three minutes.