Peter Capaldi, The Doctor Who Experience and Alex Kingston’s Autograph

So the announcement came on Thursday evening that the Twelfth Doctor would be unveiled live on Sunday night. I was at a wedding in Wales for the weekend, and I thought I’d miss the show. As it turned out one of the best men and one of the ushers were fans too, so we sneaked off to a room in the hotel to watch Doctor Who Live. As luck would have it we made it back just in time for the bride and groom’s first dance.

And I couldn’t be more pleased (about Peter Capaldi being the Doctor, not seeing the first dance. Although that was nice too). I think he will be superb; a brilliant character actor who can bring a new dimension to the character. On Friday BBC Radio Cumbria had phoned and asked if I’d talk to the breakfast DJ about it on Monday morning. I was glad to agree and that section of the radio show is here:

I sound very tired, but I was as I say at a wedding the night before. Also, my mobile signal dropped out in a couple of places, so where I sound hesitant, its more just missing words. Where I was talking about the variety of story they can do I said, “funny ones, dramatic ones…” but that the latter was lost to the ether. I like the soundbite at the start from the lady who says Mr Capaldi will bring ‘gravit-ARSE’ to the role.

Funnily enough, I had posted this on Twitter in April:


After that I jumped in the car and headed to Cardiff Bay for a long-anticipated visit to the Doctor Who Experience. It’s a great place to visit. There’s a little cafe that sells tubs of jelly babies (and normal stuff too). The actual interactive Experience part is great for kids, as you participate in a Doctor Who adventure. The story goes that the Doctor has been imprisoned in a second Pandorica and visitors have picked up a transmission meant for Amy and Rory. The participants pilot the TARDIS, meet some Daleks and get 3D glasses for an encounter with various monsters in the vortex.

This part of the attraction already feels a bit dated. Amy and Rory are long gone, as is the Doctor’s tweed jacket and his shiny, reflective metal console room. By Christmas it will be positively nostalgic. The real draw for me was the exhibition, with tonnes of props and costumes from all eras of the show. I particularly loved the restored K1 Robot and the collection of all the Doctors’ outfits. The 1980s console room looks great, and the time rotor even rises and falls. Although for obvious reasons visitors can’t touch the exhibits, it’s surprising and welcome what great photos you can get standing near them.

The bride at the wedding I attended won the Teacher of the Year award in 2011, and as she uses Doctor Who to help educate her pupils, this was presented to her by River Song actress Alex Kingston.

When they met again at 10 Downing Street a few days later, Rachael very kindly got her autograph for me, and gave me it at the wedding. I’m very grateful, and this will soon be up on the wall in my study.

kingston autograph

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