London Study Abroad: A ‘Whovian’ shares her adventures

DSCN3289Note: This is a special column from a London Study Abroad student.

By Emma Allen

For those who don’t know much about Doctor Who or have never heard of it, Doctor Who is a British TV show that is about an alien called The Doctor. He is a Time Lord, the last of a race of Time Lords, who travels throughout space and time in a spaceship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which takes on the shape of a 1950s Police Box due to the Chameleon Circuit shorting out in the setting of the very first Doctor Who episode. Usually, wherever he goes, something bad is about to happen that’ll change history, leaving the Doctor and his companion and friends to make it right. Or try to. The Doctor has been an iconic figure since 1963, taking on 11 different faces due to the fact that Time Lords can never die; they regenerate, changing their entire face and sometimes, their personality.

Originally, the show didn’t start out to be a science-fiction show filled with aliens and running, but as a children’s history show. The writers wanted kids to learn history by watching it, sort of like Time Warp Trio mixed with Wishbone. The most current beginning of this everlasting series starts in 2005 with the Ninth Doctor portrayed by Christopher Eccelston and is still continuing with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, heading into the second half of Season Seven.

The word “Whovian” is slang for “Doctor Who fanatic”, which is now a real word for it’s been added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2012. Most people who run into a Doctor Who fan will probably think, “This person is quite mad.” Well, yes we are and we take it as a compliment. As the Doctor tells us, “Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another.”

DSCN3192I am a Whovian and I always will be. Ever since I saw my first Doctor Who episode, I instantly knew that this would become part of my life. It’s been five years since then and I’m still just as addicted to it since then.

When I found out that I would be going on the Study Abroad Program, my family started giving me a list of things to buy and do. My sister wanted me to go to Cardiff and visit the Doctor Who Experience, which is a museum dedicated to Doctor Who. This gives people the chance to see all the props, clothes, and monsters seen throughout the series. Realizing that it was open now, I knew that one way or another, I was going to the Experience.

After looking at my calendar, I traveled to Cardiff on March 1 to do only one thing and that was to go to the Doctor Who Experience.  By the time I got to the building, it was about twelve and I only had to wait fifteen minutes for the tour. Everyone assembled in front of the doors. There were only about ten of us all together. Our guide then opened the doors to begin out journey through the Experience.

Once inside, we were sent on a mission to help rescue the Doctor from the Pandorica, a box-shaped prison that sits under Stonehenge. We flew the TARDIS (his spaceship), ended up being captured by the Doctor’s archenemy, the Daleks, and had to walk through the Forest of Weeping Angels (a forest full of angel statues that kill by touching and sending people back in the past). After saving the Doctor, we were shown into a large, two-level room where all the props and clothes were displayed. We saw all the outfits worn by all eleven Doctors and props used in the series, like the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS.

DSCN3198 copyThey had the inside of the TARDIS used by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors displayed and set up for us to walk around. I was excited; I felt that I was actually in the TARDIS, waiting to travel with the Doctor. All of this was just the bottom floor. The top floor had the companions’ outfits and all of the monsters and aliens throughout the entire series and the different alterations that some went through in numerous seasons of the series. It was incredible seeing all of the creatures and monsters that I grew to hate and fear in the past four years, the memorable clothes of the companions we grew to love, and a wall collage with photos taken from the series. It was so incredible that I didn’t want to leave because I was worried that I’d forget about it all or that it was too good to be true. Luckily, none of those were the case. As I started walking away from the building, a bag from the gift shop in my hand, I turned around one more time and smiled, knowing that I would come back again.

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