Doctor Who Exhibition Away Team - 9th July 2005

By Caz Rudd

Photos

Two days before our planned trip to Brighton, London was the target of a terrorist attack. For a short time, I did consider postponing our day out, but by Friday most of the tube apart from those areas directly affected by the blasts was up and running and so were National Rail services. Londoners have lived with the fear and reality of terrorist attacks since the 1970s, To paraphrase The Doctor in The Empty Child, This one damp little island, turns and says no to terrorism, we don't let it affect our everyday lives.

"1941 Right now, not very far from here, the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes. Nothing can stop it, nothing. Until one tiny, damp little island says 'No. No, not here.' A mouse in front of a lion. You're amazing, the lot of you. I don't know what you did to Hitler, but you frighten the hell out of me, go on, do what you've got to do, save the world." The Doctor

Twelve of us met at London Bridge station, plus Steve's dog Luke. The train journey down was fun, with the group discussing various TV shows and films. We heard later there'd been a security alert at London Bridge and the train was late arriving in Brighton due to another one at Gatwick Airport. Punctual trains are a novelty in this country on a normal day, so none of us were bothered by the slight delay.

We made our way to the entrance of the pier where we met up with the others that had made their own way down to the seafront by car and took some group photos in front of the TARDIS.

Brighton was quite busy, loads of people on the pier and many people on the beaches, though only a handful of brave souls in the sea. The weather was warm, but not too hot with the sea breezes.

There was a bit of hold up getting into the exhibition, buying the tickets with a group discount, didn't help that we couldn't seem to count how many of us there were! Though the noise from all the funfair rides was worse, made it hard to communicate with the person selling the tickets. Dave took charge and sorted us all out so in the end we all saved a couple of quid on the admission price.

I thought overall that the exhibition was very good. After passing the Trinny and Suzanne droids at the entrance, it starts with an introduction into the history of the Doctor. Four panels each one describing two of The Doctor previous incarnations with a hidden monster behind. This opened into a display of a TARDIS containing The Ninth Doctor and Rose's costumes.

The Autons next, a recreation of the shop windows from Rose with some of the shop dummies. We had some fun with the wheelie bin, Mark pretending to be sucked in while David tried to pull him off!

The Unquiet Dead section recreated the morgue from the episode, complete with a chill breeze! I walked over to the metal gate and Mark followed me, so I took his hand and intertwined my fingers in his, he didn't get the significance, but Cathy did! Seeing the look that passed between us and then it dawned that he'd been caught acting out one of the "romantic" moments from the show. "So glad I met you" I said and giggled.

The next section was The End of The World, a little disappointing as both Cassandra and The Face of Boe exhibits weren't there.

Then our favourite part, Dalek. Pressing a button made the Dalek's eyepiece turn and look straight at you and say "Doctor" and "exterminate" Sent a chill down my spine! Though the emperor Dalek model wasn't very impressive close up compared to the impact it had on the screen.

The Aliens of London/World War Three section had the model of Big Ben they used in the episode, the space pig, Margaret's head and a diorama of the Slitheen at number 10. The later complete, with a button, which produced the gas exchange noises! David, Mark and I posed in front of that pretending to unzip our skins!

A small display on The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances ended the exhibition.

Most sections of the Exhibition had display cases with various props or prosthetics from the show and wall displays featuring pages from Justin Richards's book Monsters and Villains

The shop was OK, plenty of merchandise specific to the exhibition, pens, keyrings etc. but not much general Who stuff, a few books and DVDs, but none from the new series. The glossy exhibition brochure was £3.

Some parts of the exhibition had big cooling fans making it bearable, but the shop didn't so I began to get very hot and uncomfortable and it was relief to get out in the fresh air so we could collapse on a bench and have our packed lunch. However, the noise from all the rides didn't make it a very peaceful one!

After a few more group photos outside the exhibition we split up into smaller group to explore the delights of Brighton. Mark, David and I wandered around The Lanes looking at all the gift shops, heading in the general direction of the station.

Eight of us plus Luke made the return journey, as a few people went home earlier and some were heading off to a laser tag game. We were back at the Horseshoe pub by six, glad of a refreshing cold drink and dinner!

Though I really enjoyed the exhibition, the one in Blackpool that Mark and I visited last year has a lot more, especially for fans of the old series and we spent several hours going round it. This one took over an hour and I felt was worth the entrance fee though probably not worth a special trip to Brighton unless you are going to make a day of it as we did.

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