2011 Excellence Awards Architainment Nominee
BBC TV’s Doctor Who is the UK’s longest running sci-fi series (since 1963) and features a Time Lord who travels through time and space in an old fashioned police box, the TARDIS, to battle intergalactic monsters and alien
BBC Worldwide wanted a Doctor Who exhibition where, for the first time ever, fans could become a part of the action. Research indicated that fans wanted to go inside the TARDIS, and this steered Sarner’s creative thinking towards an immersive experience delivering the TV show within a visitor attraction. Sarner embarked upon recreating the excitement of a theme park ride on foot and delivered an experience featuring powerful production sequences and spectacular set design, combined with the latest AV technology and special effects.
The Doctor Who Experience comprises two parts. The first, a 30-minute immersive dark walk, puts visitors at the heart of the action of their very own Doctor Who episode. This is where Sarner’s heritage is utilized to its fullest potential and, using a mix of creative thinking, spectacular set design, AV installation, and show expertise, the team transformed an empty 4,000sq-m. space in to an exciting and very unusual visitor attraction. Starting in a screening room, a 3.5m projection screen shows a compilation of series five, focusing on one of the main themes of the TV show, “a crack in time.” At the end of the sequence, a crack is projected onto the screen, it splits in two, and visitors are invited to walk through it and into the story to become the Doctor’s companion for the duration of the show.
Specially filmed sequences of the Doctor are seen in each of the sets, and, in the first, he uses his “Sonic Screwdriver” to summon the TARDIS, which magically appears behind a transition gauze. Visitors are invited to enter the TARDIS, the first time this has ever happened in the history of Doctor Who, where, in an exact replica of the current TARDIS, they experience a “take off” on a hydraulic platform and use controls to help fly the TARDIS.
Then visitors enter a Dalek Spaceship, where the set reveals a large space scene, seen through the portals of the spaceship, and guests are treated to a dramatic projected 7m CGI rebel Dalek battle scene set against a 24m painted backdrop before being guided to the finale, set in an abandoned archaeological dig, where a large ancient stone coin creaks and grinds open to reveal a spectacular 3D sequence featuring monsters from the TV series.
Following their adventure, visitors enter the free-flow part of the exhibition. The space is filled with original sets and costumes spanning 48 years of Doctor Who, as well as interactive areas including “Walk like a Monster” and “Talk like a Dalek.”
Sarner Design Team
Shane Winterbourne, Head Of Engineering
Michael Bennett, Creative Director
Emma Wells, Designer
Ross Magri, Managing Director
31 Peavey Amplifiers
52 Community Speaker
4 Veris Bass Speaker
14 Panasonic PT-DZ6700 Projectors
25 AV Stumpfl HD video players
AV Stumpfl Control System
7 SC-Masters 16
40 Axis TCP/IP Camera
23 LightProcessor Dimmer
16 Spot/Wash 250
2 Spot 150
79 LED Bar 100
72 PAR LED Zoom RGB