London-bound: Doctor Who Immersive Experience

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We haven’t been to London for nearly three years (because of you-know-what) and it felt slightly weird boarding the train. Some things don’t change though, and because of engineering works, we had to skip Kettering station and drive to Huntingdon to get to the capital on time. Again, ‘normaility’ meant the train was PACKED!

The girls got seats, but I opted to stand for the journey. Not one of my better decisions as I was within earshot of what sounded like The Annual Reunion of Macbeth Witches. Eight women with the volume turned-up to 12 for the whole of the journey. On the positive side, they did pack up all their empties before leaving the train โ€“ some 25+ cans of premixed G&Ts and Pimm’s (and the train only started at Peterborough!) ๐Ÿซค

After we left King’s Cross, Carol and Ann headed off to the Stonehenge Exhibition at the British Museum, whilst Jo and I did the really important stuff and jumped on the Tube for the innovative and one-off ‘Time Fracture’ Doctor Who event. Described as “a ground-breaking immersive theatrical adventure, [that} plunges you into the incredible universe of Doctor Who” we’d postponed this a while back, and so we were both excited was an understatement! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Located at UNIT HQ, Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB (nearest Tube is Bond Street, nearest Police-Box, somewhat closer!), there are 17 Who-worlds to explore and it’s as interactive as you want it to be. No seats are available, but you can stand and watch the story unfold or be an integral part of the plot as it unfolds before you. No photographs were allowed once we were inside – but we did manage to snap a few at the end. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was well-supported, and (maybe?) slightly surprisingly, I was the oldest person there by quite a margin!! I won’t give away how it all played out, for fear of spoiling some of the surprise elements of the production, but safe to say, it was well-produced, expertly organised, a little manic in places and as promised, totally interactive. We needed to keep our wits about us, listen well and be prepared to answer questions with virtually no notice at all. It helped to know your ‘Who-foes’ as well as your Who-history. Slightly surprisingly, there was also no need for VR goggles (We’d experienced these at the War of the Worlds immersive back in June 2019) as the action was played out through a series of mini performances. There was great attention to detail and the actors performed their socks off! Brilliant! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

My single claim to fame – in the spirit of immersion – was that I was in the final three to ‘wed’ Queen Elizabeth I – I failed in the last task where I had to describe her Majesty in terms of ‘a favourite dessert’. I chose ‘Angel Delight’. A bit spontaneous (not my fortรฉ) and not quite clever enough, apparently! ๐Ÿ˜‰.

As I mentioned earlier, all photography was banned, although they did allow it right at the end (which caught a few of us out). Still, thanks to Jo’s quick thinking, we did manage a few reminders of our experience.

Reflecting on the whole experience, it all felt exceptionally well organised with great attention to detail. Consequently, it was very enjoyable and certainly worthwhile. As a couple of confirmed Whovians it was a must, although I think for more casual viewers it probably wouldn’t have been such a valued ‘event’ and certainly not a production for those attending ‘on a whim’.

PS: And as I write this the day after, BBC News has just announced the actor who will replace Jodie Whittaker. It’s Ncuti Gatwa (nope, me neither) and there’s more information HERE.

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