One of my favorite parts of my England trip was my visit to Cardiff, Wales to go to the Doctor Who Experience. If you haven’t noticed or caught on yet, I am a huge Doctor Who fan…so naturally I couldn’t go across the pond and miss this. NOTE: If you plan on visiting the Doctor Who Experience and want the whole thing to be a surprise, don’t read any further. Ahead you will find, as River Song would say, “Spoilers!”
The Doctor Who Experience is located in Cardiff Bay…a lovely little spot. I enjoyed the ride there a lot (when I wasn’t geeking out). There was lots to see, including this castle:
The city was rather lovely as well:
Though the town was lovely, I was eager to get to the Doctor Who Experience, and was beside myself with excitement when I got there. After what seemed like ages waiting in line (when really it was maybe about ten minutes) I was taken inside with a group of people, my fellow companions. We were shown an introductory video to get us excited…when suddenly, a crack in time appeared in the wall. Naturally, being inquisitive companions, we stepped through…and found ourselves on the Starship UK in distant future.
It appeared we were in a museum of sorts – and we were. An automated voice came over the intercom, talking about the various items in the room – all of them recognizable to an avid Doctor Who fan – I was giddy over seeing items from the Doctor’s various travels through time and space. Suddenly, the voice halted and an alarm went off. Flashing red lights appeared and the screen overhead flickered and turned fuzzy. After a moment or two, the Doctor himself appeared on the screen, looking excited to see us – well, Amy and Rory. He was a bit confused not to see the Ponds, but decided us “shoppers” would do.
It turns out the Doctor had gotten himself locked inside the Pandorica 2 (silly name, right? Couldn’t they be more inventive?) and needed our help getting out. Using his handy sonic screwdriver, he directed the TARDIS (the TARDIS!!) to appear to our left and ordered us to pile in. I had to contain a squeal of excitement upon hearing the familiar vworp vworp sound and seeing the instantly recognizable blue box. I wasn’t the only one. An excited buzz swept through the crowd around me and we hurried inside. It was, of course, bigger on the inside.
Once everyone had entered the TARDIS console room, the doors shut neatly behind us and the Doctor once more appeared on the screen. He then directed the youngest companions in the group to step up to the control panels in front of us and door exactly what he said…and we flew in the TARDIS! It was a bit of a bumpy ride, which ended prematurely with smoke coming from the console, forcing us to leave, and step onto whatever world we had landed on. Unfortunately for us, we had landed smack dab in the middle of a Dalek ship and were immediately taken captive. The Doctor told us not to worry though, we would help us somehow. It was a bit hard to believe when you’re surrounded by Daleks poised to exterminate you. They might look a little funny at first, but it is slightly terrifying to have one screaming at you.
Just when we were just about to be exterminated, the Doctor appeared on the Dalek’s main screen and distracted them with some quick clever talk – and then BAM! A whole other Dalek army appeared….and the two Dalek armies begain arguing over who was the true Dalek race. Inevitably that led to the two armies trying to destroy each other and lots of screams of “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!” could be heard all around us. While the Daleks were distracted, the Doctor led us safely away…to a forest of Weeping Angels (okay, so not so safe).
The forest was cold and dark, with flashes of lightning illuminating the horrifying visages of the Weeping Angels. We ran, all of us thinking and chanting, “Don’t blink!”
We couldn’t get out of the forest fast enough. Once we did, however, we came to a stone chamber and given special glasses to protect ourselves against radiation. Inside, we found the Pandorica 2, waiting to be opened. With only a little fiddling, the Doctor was able to materialize back into the TARDIS, where he belonged. But the crack in time still remained. After dodging several of the Doctor’s foes trying to come through the crack, we managed to close it. Then sadly, it was time to bid the Doctor farewell (for now) and we stepped back into our time in Cardiff.
But the adventure wasn’t over. After our journey with the Doctor, we were able to wander through a huge exhibit of props, sets and costumes from the show, and read trivia about all of them. Paradise for a Whovian!
When I had finally gazed upon everything there was to see, I slipped off to the little shop (for what Whovian doesn’t love a little shop?) to spend entirely too much money on souvenirs. Two t-shirts, a DVD trivia game, a Dalek keychain, a tea cup and stylish bag to put it all in, to be exact. It was an extremely hard decision, let me tell you. Couldn’t I just have one of everything, please?
I definitely recommend any Whovian with a chance to visit Cardiff and this wonderful exhibition to do so at once! You won’t regret it. I wish I could go again…