The groundbreaking Doctor Who Experience, which was moved to Cardiff in July 2012, has been fully transformed by the team from international creative design and AV installation company Sarner who designed, created and installed the original attraction.
More than half a million people have visited the award-winning attraction since it first opened its Tardis doors in February 2011 at London’s Olympia. The brand new immersive show, featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, opens to the public today.
Visitors to the new experience will star in their own episode of the hit BBC show – written by Joseph Lidster (Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures) and directed by Paul Wilmshurst (Doctor Who, Da Vinci’s Demons) – which begins in the Gallifrey Museum and will lead them to the heart of the Tardis with powerful production sequences and spectacular set design, combined with the latest AV technology and special effects.
This time Sarner has created an immersive walkthrough experience that envelops all the senses. Sarner’s creative director, Michael Bennett, commented: “BBC Worldwide asked us to take fans to the heart of their own adventure this time round. We needed to take it up a notch on all levels – technology, story, creativity and visitor participation. We’ve tapped into current trends like the impressive lighting technology used at music concerts and festivals as well as some of the interactive thinking at other events in the UK and around the world.
“The biggest challenge for us was ensuring that the guest was participating in the Experience rather than being a passive bystander, as well as ensuring there is no barrier between them and the technology. Their senses will be tested as they feel, hear, touch and smell the journey through the six 360° sets. There are no sofas to hide behind at the Doctor Who Experience!”
Highlights of the attraction for fans will include references to classic episodes of the past, including the reappearance of Lalla Ward as Romana. The experience has a powerful new storyline which features Peter Capaldi appearing in five Tardis control rooms from the 1960s to the present day.
Even those less familiar with the history of Doctor Who will thoroughly enjoy all of the new additions and advanced immersive technology which include costumed hosts who interact with the Doctor and the visitors’ increasing hands-on participation; an exclusive and original Time Crystal that each guest wears which creatively involves them in the experience; brand new specially created monsters; an immersive Weeping Angels forest (pictured) that affects all the senses; a visit to the desolate planet of Skaro, where the remains of the Dalek race are entombed in a destroyed city; and, the culmination, a breathtaking 3D finale with brand new filmed footage of Peter Capaldi, which is exclusive to the Doctor Who Experience.
Stephen Davies, director of live events and entertainment at BBC Worldwide, said: “As with all of the best Doctor Who adventures, we’ve undergone our very own regeneration down at the Doctor Who Experience and we’re sure Doctor Who fans will be thrilled to take part in a brand new adventure with the Twelfth Doctor.”