DOCTOR Who is as popular as ever.
And if there are any doubts about how well loved the world’s longest running TV sci-fi series is, they were blown away by the huge queue snaking 100 yards from the entrance to the Doctor Who Experience over the recent half term break.
Hundreds, ranging in ages from three to pensioners, waited patiently for their chance to help our favourite Time Lord get free from another Pandorica prison and fight some familiar monsters.
Previous exhibitions in other parts of the country have been impressive, but this has an added element — the kids (of all ages!) get to join in.
Groups of 50 at a time are shepherded into a room, where Matt Smith’s Doctor addresses the assembled from his “cell” on a big screen.
Then the TARDIS materialises and the group is ordered inside a convincing replica of the latest version of the spaceship’s console, where the Doctor gives instructions on how to fly the machine.
Where it lands and which famous baddies you have an encounter with are best not to be revealed, but the whole interactive experience is extremely impressive — and ends with an exciting film sequence, which sees Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels and other assorted nasties from the world of Doctor Who flying straight at the audience in glorious 3D.
Moving out of the “adventure” part of the exhibition, there is a huge area showcasing hundreds of costumes and props from the show’s 48-year history.
In a row are the costumes worn by all 11 actors to have played the iconic role on TV — William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.
There is also a replica of the 10th Doctor’s era TARDIS console, loads of monsters — including the different designs of Daleks that have plagued the Doctor over the years — a look at how the distinctive theme tune was created in the early 1960s and the chance to learn how to walk like some of the top enemies – including the Scarecrows from the adventure Human Nature/The Family of Blood and the famous Cybermen.
It’s easy to spend a good two hours in the Experience and as the festive holidays approach, it would be well worth a “Christmas shopping” trip to London — with a detour to the Doctor Who Experience.
Great fun for all the family, though very little children might be frightened by certain elements and there’s even ‘a little shop’ at the end so you can add to your toy/DVD collection!