Dad and I had another guy’s day out. This time we went to Cardiff, Wales to see ‘The Doctor Who Experience‘! It wasn’t just awesome, it was awemuch! If you are even a tiny bit of a Dr Who fan, you must come check it out. I wouldn’t consider myself a Whovian, in fact several of my American friends are way more excited about the last of the Time-Lords than I. Despite that, ‘The Doctor Who Experience’ is pretty epic.
*Spoiler alert – skip down to the paragraph beginning “After that..” if you’d rather see for yourself*
The building is located in Cardiff Bay. Before you even get in the building, you can see a Tardis standing out in the bay on a slim structure. When you get inside there’s several daleks, including one built out of lego, another Tardis, and a couple on costume replicas in the lobby. You start out you’re in a Gallifreyan museum, in which a curator hands you each a pass and advises you not to touch anything ‘because we don’t know how your human dna will react with Gallifreyan technology.’ After a brief celebration of the Doctor and his many faces, they track the Tardis and bring it up on screen. We get to watch helplessly as the Tardis is attacked by space dwelling time-squids.
The interaction of these creatures and the Tardis causes a time-space rift to open in the museum. The curator is genuinely shocked to discover that we can enter the heart of the Tardis itself. The Doctor himself, his 12th regeneration, notices our intrusion. At first it seems he’d rather leave us trapped in the labyrinthian corridors of the Tardis, but he soon realises he could make use of us. We are to find time-crystals that have been scattered through time and space to strengthen the Tardis and stop the aliens.
The Tardis materialises within itself to allow us a way out, and we find ourselves in the control chamber. The Doctor talks us through working together to fly the Tardis to the site of the first crystal. It’s a bumpy ride, but we land safely on the Dalek’s home planet Skaro. The damaged and destroyed husks of Daleks are everywhere, and the first crystal is lodged in one of them. A brave volunteer removes the crystal, but the Dalek’s are alerted and we a forced to flee quickly to a time corridor to our next destination.
We emerged in a dark and heavily wooded graveyard. Tombstones marking the graves of Amy and Rory, and two of Clara’s stand amid several Weeping Angels. The second crystal is held in an Angel’s grip, and my Dad steps forward to retreive it! The Doctor contacts us once more to inform us that the aliens are causing the universe and time itself to fold in on itself. He gives the curator some instructions and we follow his lead, finding ourselves back in Cardiff.
Something’s different though, and it’s revealed that we’ve been transported back to 1963. Time and space are still overlapping though, so the dirty alley we’re in also contains a view screen from the Tardis and the device waiting for 3 time-crystals to be placed in it. Luckily we find the third crystal right there in a barrel of trash. The three crystals are set into place, and the alley wall explodes. Weeping Angels, Daleks and time-squid aliens tumble through the rift, lashing out at us as they go. Then the rift is closed, the wall restored, and we’d saved the universe!
Then the curator (who never broke character), leads us out of the alleyway, collects our passes and ushers us into the real museum. Starting with the control room set from the first ever episode in 1963! The place is a treasure trove of original props, sets and costumes from the series all the way through to present day. Several versions of the Tardis and it’s control room. Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, and many other classic and modern enemies of the doctor, along with costumes worn by companions and all 12 Doctors. It was amazing!
After that we went looking for somewhere to eat and found Demiro’s. They serve traditional Welsh food as well as Italian and Spanish inspired cuisine. We happened to be there while they were preparing for a 60th Birthday party for someone, which helped make the mood seem even more celebratory! I had Calimari followed by Spaghetti Carbonara, and Dad had Crabcake then Spaghetti Marinara (containing fresh mussels, shrimp and calimari), and it was all delicious.
Another great day with my Dad, with lots of good talk both there and back. One of the things we talked about was doing short stories. I know of several publications offering money for short stories, but so far I’m putting all my effort into this blog and (slowly) my two big story projects. If I put the big stuff on the back burner for a little while perhaps I could churn out some short stories and bring in a little money? Dad pointed out that Isaac Asimov, one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time, got his start with short stories in magazines too.
With that in mind I have a question for you. Should I switch my focus to short stories, at least for now?
I look forward to hearing your replies, and please follow me, if you haven’t already to be kept up to date on what I decide to do. Perhaps you’ll even get so see my first drafts and help me polish them up!
Have a great day.