Doctor Who exhibitions

Since Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963, there have been a number of exhibitions of props, costumes and sets throughout the United Kingdom. Some have been intended to be permanent, and others seasonal; most have been staged at existing tourist locations.

Permanent exhibitions

Doctor Who Experience

Doctor Who Experience
Construction of the Dr Who Experience
Entrance to the Doctor Who Experience

An exhibition titled Doctor Who Experience, complete with a new interactive Doctor Who episode with the Eleventh Doctor, opened in London on 20 February 2011. The exhibition moved to Cardiff in July 2012, opening on 20 July and will remain there until 2017. The immersive exhibition was designed and installed by the UK-based theme park design and installation company Sarner Ltd.[1]

The exhibition begins with a short film and a walk-through adventure inside the TARDIS and in various locations. The group are lead through the experience by a guide and the Twelfth Doctor. Initially the Eleventh Doctor featured in the experience, but was replaced after he regenerated.

Following the adventure portion guests are free to roam two floors of exhibitions including original costumes from nine of the eleven Doctors (the first two being replicas as the originals were lost). Alien prosthetics, Daleks over history, Sonic devices, the interiors of the Fifth Doctor's and Ninth Doctor's/ Tenth Doctor's TARDIS and other show memorabilia and artifacts are also on display. There are also costumes from the companions since 2005 including: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness, Amy Pond, and Rory Williams. In 2013, props, such as Porridge's costume and the deactivated chess-playing Cyberman, from Nightmare in Silver have been added.[2] The costumes of the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald, along with the giant snow globe, from the Christmas episode entitled The Snowmen were also added to the collection in 2013.[3] In late 2014 props and costumes from Last Christmas were added.

Museum patrons can also take pictures in front of a green screen. There are multiple backgrounds to select from including Totter's Lane, from the Doctor's first adventure and inside the time vortex, as well as several props such as various Sonic Screwdrivers, and articles of clothing symbolic to several Doctors (e.g. Matt Smith's fez). Taking the pictures are free, but visitors must pay for a physical copy. They do, however, receive a digital copied emailed to them after purchase.

The Experience is located in Cardiff Bay, home to the BBC Roath Lock production studios, as well as locations from the Torchwood series.

Former permanent exhibitions


The first permanent exhibition was set up at the stately home of Longleat, Wiltshire in 1973, and ran until 2003. The site has also hosted annual Doctor Who conventions, usually in August.[4]

The twentieth anniversary convention was titled "Twenty Years of a Time Lord" and was held in April 1983. It featured appearances from Jon Pertwee (and the vintage car Bessie), Peter Davison, K9; props included the TARDIS, Daleks, and the set of The Five Doctors feature-length special.[5] About 40,000 fans turned up, many more than expected.[6]

In 2003, the annual "Doctor Who Day", to mark the 40th anniversary of the programme, featured an attempt to gather the largest number of Daleks ever assembled. Colin Baker, Sophie Aldred and John Leeson attended.[7]


The original exhibition on the Golden Mile, Blackpool, Lancashire, operated between 1974 and 1985.[8] It reopened in 2004 to coincide with the relaunch of the programme. The Blackpool Doctor Who Museum finally closed on 8 November 2009, the large collection of props, monsters and costumes being distributed to other exhibitions around the country.[9]


The "Dapol Dr Who Experience" opened in 1994 and was sited in Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales, under the auspices of the company that made Doctor Who merchandise until 2002. It featured many costumes and props, some dating back to the 1960s. It closed in 2003.[10]


Entrance to the Doctor Who Exhibition

The Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff was the only permanent exhibition in the UK. Situated in the Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay, the museum opened December 2005,[11] in the city where the series is currently filmed and produced. It was closed on 27 March 2011. In July 2012 the above-mentioned Doctor Who Experience opened in Cardiff.

Exhibits at the Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff
The Ood
Tarak Ital

Props on display include an Ood Elder from The End of Time, a fly-headed Tritovore and Lady Christina De Souza's costume from "Planet of the Dead", plus the 'Flood' monster and Maggie and Tarak Ital costumes from "The Waters of Mars". There is also a special display from the team behind the show’s monsters, Millennium FX, showing the production process behind creating an Ood. Costumes displayed include those worn by the characters Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Donna Noble and the Doctor.[12]

The Cardiff Exhibition had a complete refurbishment in October 2008.[13]

The Doctor Who Up Close Shop was stocked with items such as giant inflatable Daleks, sonic screwdrivers and talking bottle openers.[14]

Former temporary and touring exhibitions


  1. "BBC Worldwide Doctor Who Experience - A Sarner concept, design and build for BBC Worldwide". 20 February 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  2. "The Doctor Who Experience News". BBC. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  3. "The Doctor Who Experience News". BBC. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  4. "BBC – Doctor Who (David Tennant and Billie Piper) – News". BBC. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  5. "1983 convention". 3 April 1983. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  6. "Longleat". Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  7. "BBC – Wiltshire Days Out – The Daleks to invade Longleat for Doctor Who Day". BBC. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  8. Harper, Smyth (12 April 2004). "BBC NEWS – England – Lancashire – Blackpool rocks as Who goes there". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  9. "Blackpool Exhibition Closure". Doctor Who Museum & Exhibitions Website. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  10. "Dr Who Experience Llangollen". Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Doctor Who Exhibitions Cardiff, Earls Court, Land's End, Blackpool, Mersyside Spaceport". Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  12. Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: About". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  13. Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: News". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  14. Andrew Coldron. "Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff: Info". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  15. "MOMI". Dr Who Exhibitions. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  16. "Messenger Newspapers – Dalek invasion at Seacombe". 28 Sep 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  17. Murphy, Liam. "Liverpool Daily Post – News – Liverpool News – Daleks leave for good". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  18. "BBC – Manchester – In pictures – Gallery: Dr Who Up Close". BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  19. "Dr Who exhibition a hit – News – Days Out – Greater Manchester's CityLife". Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  20. "Leicester Space Centre". Retrieved 13 May 2009.

External links

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