My TARDIS tour, on Monday 26th March 2012. After the costs of the Convention ticket, photos, hotel and travel, it was nice to see that this was free. I was booked on the 10.15am tour. A coach collected us from outside the Millennium Centre, and we were escorted by enthusiastic BBC staff. Unfortunately it was a school coach, so the leg room was minimal to say the least. The journey to Upper Boat was mercifully brief (about half an hour or so). The TARDIS set is still here, shortly to be moved to the new studio complex in Cardiff Bay - a stone's throw from where the permanent Doctor Who Experience is being put together. There were about 55 of us so we were split into 2 groups. The first group went into the studio first, whilst the rest of us waited in the Blue Box Cafe and had a cuppa and a chat. We then swapped over. Time on set was just about half an hour.
It's one thing to visit a reconstruction of the TARDIS such as at the Experience, but this was the real thing, where Matt, Karen and Arthur - and many great guest starts - have worked for the last 2 years.
You climb up a wooden staircase and in through the familiar blue Police Box doors. The first thing you notice is how relatively small it is. Just shows what a great Director of Photography can achieve. The opening where the cameras normally have access has been replaced with the "New Wall" - which we were told about at the Convention. It is a coral-y, spider web design, totally different to the familiar coppery surfaces. You can just see it on the left in the photo below. We were allowed free rein, including manhandling the ship's controls. I particularly loved the pinball mechanism.
The amount of detail on the control console is incredible - see my Blog Title background image above. I even spotted a component made by Magpie Electricals.
Everyone got their photograph taken standing at the doorway. The crew certainly were "Here To Help" as it said on their T-shirts.
The time flew by, and suddenly it was time to go. The next coachload was arriving. A brilliant end to a fantastic weekend. I'm sure that, with the 50th Anniversary coming up, there will be a similar event next year. I shall be first in the queue if there is.