The clock is ticking for everybody, even Time Lords. The Doctor Who exhibition at Earls Court has just three weeks left to run, so that trip I’ve been planning for months is suddenly urgent. The series four exhibits must all be in place by now, so Tara and I take a train over there on a drizzly Sunday afternoon.
The sign in the entrance says to allow an hour to see everything. We spend a leisurely three; in fact, we’re the last folk to leave. Officially, the exhibition closes at 6pm, but as the time marches towards 5.40pm, Tara tells me that staff keep casually popping up behind us, as if to shoo us onwards towards the exit. We’ve been round once already, but I’m still too engrossed in monster-spotting to notice.
It’s the biggest Doctor Who exhibition yet, positively dwarfing Brighton’s effort from 2005 and the Cardiff Bay one, which is still up and running. As with most exhibitions nearing the end of their run, some of the interactive elements appear to be broken – the levers allowing people to operate an Ood mask do nothing; one of the Daleks’ guns doesn’t fire its (genuine) green laser; and the Empress of Racnoss is static (the two red ’emergency stop’ buttons either side of it are the giveaway that all is not as it should be here).
Some of the signage could be better too – the punctuation isn’t too hot, and it mostly omits facts such as whether or not the props and costumes are screen-used or whether they’ve been made specially for the exhibition – but that’s not really what it’s all about it, anyway.
It’s a chance to bask in the world of Doctor Who – to bravely turn my back on a Weeping Angel; to appreciate just how small Sontarans actually are; to stand next to a Cyberman as he slowly raises his head and threatens me with deletion; and to watch Daleks suddenly springing to life and making small children jump out of their skin (the Dalek Encounter comes complete with a thrill-ride-style warning for the especially Dalek-phobic).
At £9.75 for adults and £7.75 for kids, it’s reasonably priced, and a souvenir guide costs just £3 from the gift shop – a better bet than spending three-pounds-over RRP for a 5″ figure (I might be silly but I’m not daft).
The exhibition runs until 19 September, so if you’ve been thinking of going, go!