Saturday, 23 November 2013

Special Post: Doctor Who Anniversary Special and the Bradford Media Museum


In 1963, on November 23rd, at exactly 5:23PM GMT, the BBC aired a cutting-edge new science fiction drama, you may have heard of it. Doctor Who has been on our screens for fifty years, and fans across the world have come together to take part in the Celebrations. Today, it's all about 50 years of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff.


If you have recently been bitten by a memory worm and haven't a clue what I'm talking about, Doctor Who is a British Science fiction drama starting a time-travelling alien from Gallifrey, the Doctor. Adventures in time and space are made possible by the Doctor's TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions In Space), a time-machine in the guise of a blue police box. For years the Doctor has battled fearsome aliens, met wonderful companions and visited not only alien worlds, but Earth's past and future.


Yesterday I went to the opening of the Doctor Who and Me exhibition at the Bradford Media Museum. Here, fans of all levels shared,donated and lent items to the museum to form a collection of home-made items, toys, collectables, knitwear and original props from the series of old and new.


My girlfriend's knitted TARDIS (left) and a tiny Dalek from
Pittsburgh (front right, on the blue sheet)

What amazed me was how many items were there. Over 600 items were displayed in their glory, from 1963 to today's contributions. It was a massive global effort. Some items cane over from a lady in Germany, there were foreign-language copies of Doctor Who novels. There was even a teeny-tiny Dalek sent over from Pittsburgh.

Daleks: originals, replicas, inflatables...

As well as the massive collection, people shared their stories of how the Doctor changed them, how they grew up as children with the many faces of the Doctors. Some of the stories are fascinating. As a guy who got into Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston's time as the time-lord traveller came to a close, it's fascinating to hear from people who were there at the beginning of it all, back when the BBC had no idea if it would even work. Fortunately for us all it did, and today we can celebrate what has become an icon of British television and an unmistakable sci-fi symbol.

Best socks in the universe.

The Exhibition is on until February 9th 2014, so you have plenty of time to get there. Entry is free, though there is a collection Dalek demanding donations on the way out. Make sure you also tune in to the 50th anniversary episode tonight, at 7:50PM GMT (on BBC iPlayer later on). Should you miss it, a DVD release is expected.

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