After enjoying a successful year housed at the Olympia in London, the lavish, state-of-the-art Doctor Who Experience has upped sticks and moved to Cardiff. If you’ve seen it you’ll be able to testify that it’s much, much more than just a static display of props and costumes; it’s an immersive, fully interactive experience which puts the visitor right in the heart of the Doctor Who Universe. And today (14th May), Paula Al-Lach, Head of Exhibitions and Events at BBC Worldwide, along with the great and the good of Cardiff Council, announced in a special Press/Photocall that the Experience will be open to the public in its spacious new home in Cardiff Bay from Friday 20th July, with tickets being available from 14th June.
Working closely with BBC Worldwide the Council has built the cavernous 3000 square metre building in Port Teigr, right next door to the BBC’s new Roath Lock studio complex where Doctor Who itself is made. The actual structure of the iconic new building is now complete with interior fitments continuing across the next few weeks. Incredibly, a super-tough membrane just 1mm thick has been stretched across the ‘skeleton’ of the building which is expected to house the Doctor Who Experience for the next five years at least. Attendees at yesterday’s Press launch, many of whom arrived by boat at a newly-build visitors landing jetty with a TARDIS prop acting as a 'gateway' into the Experience itself, witnessed the ’arrival’ of the first costumes and props from the series - fifth Doctor Peter Davison’s costume, Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor costume, the TARDIS-blowing-up painting from season five and, excitingly, a wall panel from the TARDIS.
Both Cardiff Council and BBC Worldwide are understandably excited to welcome the Experience to Cardiff. “Doctor Who is a global brand and is something that has really helped boost the profile of Cardiff internationally,” says Ken Poole, Cardiff Council’s head of Economic Development, who also told his audience of his first “experience” with the Doctor, cowering from the Daleks when they clashed with William Hartnell in 1963. “This attraction will brings millions of pounds into the economy and the benefits to Cardiff will be immense in terms of tourism.”
“We’ve worked hard to create an outstanding visitor attraction with the Doctor Who Experience,” says Paula Al-Lach. “It’s the first ever interactive Doctor Who exhibition and for our Cardiff opening we have some exciting new exhibits to be displayed in public for the first time.”
Cardiff Council hopes that the Experience will attract some 250,000 visitors per year across five years - and Starburst can indicate that it appears assurances have been given that Doctor Who will remain in production for at least as long as the Experience is based at Cardiff.