The Exhibitionist

Good god, I’m a fanboy. 5 days in London and I was already at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre to check out Who’s At Earl’s Court.

Perhaps due to the midday weekday arrival time, the exhibition was pretty much empty, which, whilst giving some welcome relief from hordes of screaming children, did take away from the buzz a little bit. The lighting and sound effects were pretty impressive, though seeing David Tennant’s visage projected onto a faceless dummy with a wig was little odd.

The exhibition was planned out in order of broadcast, so you essentially walk through the seasons.

And there was some pretty cool stuff on show. Of note:

  • The Face of Boe (pictured)
  • A Slitheen, Sycorax and Clockwork Man
  • A Green Screen room which transposes you into the TARDIS console room – well… it sort of does… one slight move to the right and your shoulders disappear – think episode 4 of Robot.
  • K9 (of the ‘push the button’ display variety – tail wags, ears move, eyes light up, voice starts – brill).
  • The Cyber Controller (sitting), closely followed by the ‘Blink’ statues
  • No Season 4 exhibits at that stage, despite notices saying there would be. There was Kylie Minogue’s costume from Voyage on a rotating stand just near the extensive gift shop (Doctor Who gift wrap anyone?)

To be fair, some of the displays are pretty standard – great if you’ve ever wanted to see the model of Cardiff from Boomtown, or Peter Kay’s cane from Love and Monsters, but a bit ‘meh’ if you’re looking for something truly interesting from the show.

Of most interest though was how basic some of the props were when you looked at them up close. The back of the Face of Boe was barely painted, with wires and tubing just stuck on randomly. Also, the Trinny and Susannah robots from Bad Wolf looked pretty scruffy – damaged during transit? Or just not made to be displayed after being packed with explosives? And if you thought the Big Ben prop looked a bit fake on screen… The TARDIS prop looked great but made a very plastic sound when you tapped it (fibreglass if I remember correctly?).

That said, the Racnoss costume was pretty impressive close up, and long-held dreams were fulfilled when I was finally able to sit inside a Dalek, listen to the voice changer and extend the plunger (oh, sir!).

Only major drawback – the lack of old series props… a trip to Blackpool beckons. Hoo-ray….


2 Responses to “The Exhibitionist”

  1. jpreddle Says:

    Looks like some of the Earls Court props and costumes are from the Cardiff “Doctor Who Up Close” exhibit and the one at Land’s End.

    Land’s End had the Face of Boe, one of the Trinny/ZuZanns droids (I can’t tell which is which), and a Blink statue. Cardiff had Astrid’s costume, the Ann-droid and Slitheen.

    Both sites had a Slitheen Clockwork man/men, and K9!

  2. Paul Scoones Says:

    The Cardiff Up Close and the Earls Court exhibition both had Astrid’s costume, Slitheen, Blink statues, Clockwork Men, Trinny / Zuzanna droids, etc when we visited these exhibits a few days apart. It would appear that a number of the props and costumes are duplicated.

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