Review: Doctor Who Experience

Take a trip onboard the Time Lord’s TARDIS at London exhibition

THE TARDIS is out of control, spiralling through the time vortex with only a handful of children at the helm, while the Doctor looks on helplessly from the scanner…

Visitors to a 29th century museum onboard the Starship UK have been recruited by the Doctor to help free him from a new Pandorica prison built as a trap by his enemies - “It’s even the same colour!” he reveals.

Entering the TARDIS through its familiar blue doors, the gathered throng find themselves in the full-size console room, with special low-level controls available for the younger visitors to operate.

And then with an explosion of smoke from the central time rotor, the TARDIS is launched into flight, with the Doctor barking desperate instructions on how to fly his ship and avoid total calamity.

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But their first landing point is far from safe, as the fledgling time travellers find themselves onboard a Dalek cruiser, caught up in a civil war between the new Dalek Paradigm and their bronzed predecessors…

If this sounds like an episode from the Time Lord’s latest series of adventures, you’re on the right track, as it’s actually the interactive aspect of the ongoing Doctor Who Experience at London’s Olympia, which offers visitors the chance to join the Doctor on his exploits across time and space.

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Coming face to face with Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels during the course of this 20 minute adventure is something which will thrill even the more mature fans, but adding in the sequence in the TARDIS console room itself is just the icing on the cake. If anything, it rushes by too fast, with some features passing in a blink (ironically the Angels themselves!), but you cannot fault the sheer enjoyment factor which comes from stepping personally into one of the Doctor’s escapades.

The rest of the Experience is a very high standard of exhibition covering the entire history of the show, featuring full-scale models of the earlier Chris Eccleston/David Tennant and late-eighties console rooms, original costumes for all of the Doctors and many of their companions, plus props and monsters ranging from a Zygon and Ice Warrior through to a host of sonic screwdrivers and evolving Cybermen heads.

Family-friendly fun can be found in the form of a Dalek you can climb inside, a step-by-step guide to walking like a living Scarecrow, the chance to be photographed inside the Pandorica and a modulator which will convert your voice into that of a Cyberman.

There are also more technical displays showing the special effects work which goes into making the series, including a look inside an Ood mask, the miniature used for the Dalek Emperor set in The Parting of the Ways, and various video shorts highlighting different aspects of high-tech jiggery-pokery.

The exhibition wraps up with a shop packed to bursting with merchandise ranging from T-shirts and masks to life-sized cut-outs and action figures. Prepare to feel the pain in your wallet afterwards.

For Who fans of any age, the Experience is something to savour, a celebration to the television programme which truly does justice to its source material. Out of this world? Not quite, but certainly the next best thing.

Tickets on sale at

Door Price / Advance peak / Advance off-peak

• Adult: �20.00 / �18.00 / �15.50

• Child (5 to 16 years): �15.50 /�14.00 /�12.50

• Under 5s are free

• Family of four: �62.00 / �52.00 /�46.00

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