Memories of the Doctor Who Experience

On the 9th September 2017, The Doctor Who Experience closed its TARDIS doors for good. After 5 amazing years of interactive fun, the adventure finally ended and the Gallifrey Museum ‘destroyed’, leaving us heartbroken. A safe and wonderful space for Doctor Who fans has left us. Here are some of our personal memories as well as some we’ve collected from fans all over the world to celebrate the Doctor Who Experience and what it means to us!



My whole world came to a halt the moment I stepped foot on the TARDIS. Every dream I’ve ever had came true and my heart leapt in amazement and wonder. In fact, thanks to the Doctor Who Experience,  I’ve had the chance to see several TARDIS’s, travelled with The 11th and 12th Doctors saving the universe several times, witnessed my favourite monsters in the flesh and had the chance to walk like one too. I’ve spent hours pouring over the costumes of my favourite characters and monsters in the safe and welcoming home of Doctor Who.

Through the Doctor Who experience, I’ve visited the real TARDIS set and opened the doors for myself. I’ve met friends and found somewhere I belong. I can’t begin to describe the loss of this wonderful place to me, but I can thank it. Thank you Doctor Who Experience, for being everything we could ever hope for, and for bringing joy and happiness to so many.

One day you shall come back… Please?!


I first visited the Doctor Who Experience in early 2015. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was, I wanted to see the magic of my childhood come to life. I had never visited Cardiff before, and just walking through the centre of the city made me feel like I was secretly Gwen Cooper. There is something magical about that place. For a second, you can pretend that Doctor Who is real. That the TARDIS really is just parked around the corner, while he’s running across the city – saving the day.

The experience was brought to life and not just by the interactive experience, but by the people. It was a place where you felt surrounded by the people who understand you the best. Even if they are complete strangers, they are the ones who understand why your heart leaps at the sight of that blue box or when you get your first glimpse at the Tenth Doctor’s pinstriped suit.

I visited the Doctor Who Experience on the last day of its opening. A bittersweet feeling seemed to hang in the air, as everyone dashed about the experience, taking photographs with beloved TARDIS consoles and the outfits of our favourite heroes.

The Doctor Who Experience was not only a place to be surrounded by the props, costumes and set designs. It was a place to feel accepted and to feel proud of a show that has impacted each of our lives in unique ways.



What an amazing place to be. It’s like Cardiff turned into the capital city of the UK for Doctor Who fans! People flocking out of Cardiff Central Station in long scarves and bow ties from all corners of the globe to jump into taxis and of all places to ask for… the Doctor Who Experience? The taxi drivers must have been baffled!

It was a place to truly be yourself and know that everyone in that building was as full of excitable glee as you were. Even just making small talk could turn into potential friendship… and I’m not sure if that affect it had on people ever truly came to light. I really hope that the people who worked on that amazing experience know that what they made wasn’t just an adventure with the Doctor, it was a trip of the lifetime for friendships made stronger, confidence grown and even romances blossoming. Thank you for creating such a special place for fans; as long as we had it, it was our utopia.



I’ve got too many wonderful memories of the Doctor Who Experience to fit into one paragraph… but seeing the towering Pandorica prop is up there. I remember seeing it for the first time and being dazzled. Seeing these things in person only makes everything feel more… real. You could touch the patterned surface and slide your arms through the manacles of the chair.

I could almost feel the Doctor’s enemies surrounding me…. hear their voices; “the Pandorica is ready!” “… ready for what?” “Ready for you.”

To engage with the main, iconic prop from my favourite Doctor Who episode ever was really special.



I walked into the Experience in August 2015, dressed in uncomfortable business attire and with a heavy bag full of children’s books – I was visiting Roath Lock for work, not expecting the treat of an impromptu first visit to the DWE.

On the walkthrough I was surrounded by kids whose faces lit up with wonder and joy when they saw the Twelfth Doctor appear in a projection, asking them to help him save the day – and then realised my face was every bit as lit up as theirs. I couldn’t for the life of me remember why I’d never made the trip to Cardiff to visit before. I felt like I’d been a bit lost, and had just arrived home.



What does it mean to me? Where you want to start? When I went t the Experience for the first time I had no idea what it would mean to me. I enjoyed myself, the tingle down my spine when I heard Romana’s voice for the first time, introducing me to my favourite Time Lord. I fell in love with the Experience and with the building. With Cardiff too, and did everything I could to move there in January.

It’s like the Doctor says about seeing the universe, seeing the DW Experience through someone else was always more exciting than seeing it on your own. In the end I saw it six times. My favourite visit included two American girls, one of which on seeing the First Doctor’s TARDIS burst into tears of joy that she’d be able to visit it at all.

It’s more than what people think it is, For me it’s a sanctuary, a safe haven. Just like I’ve always seen Doctor Who. For me, it will always be a place of wonder and inspiration and an absolute joy and I miss it more than I can put into words.”

Twitter Memories

‘Every time I watched the opening montage with Romana talking about The Doctor I would get goosebumps on my arms and tear up ever so slightly. It was such a powerful and moving montage that just showed why the show and fandom is so special to so many.’ – @Tom_Matt_Dix

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@BethanAppleArt beautifully drew her favourite DWE memories!


‘Honestly the moment you stepped into the Gallifrey museum & the screen-used TARDIS set, years dropped off your life – you were a kid again. The tactile props, costumes and awesome gift shop were within walking distance from the studios, Millennium Centre and Mermaid Quay.’

‘I went a few years back and my favourite memory was definitely a Dalek looking right down at me, there was something about how big it was and its voice that was just really deeply chilling and I finally understood why everyone in the show is so scared of them!’

‘I remember the first time I saw the 80s console. That was magical for me… It’s like seeing something that seems so unrealistic ACTUALLY be real – that’s part of what made the DWE special. You got to see the magic face-to-face.’


‘My favourite memory of the Doctor Who Experience was actually the last day, and therefore the last time I went. It was Beth’s birthday, I was surrounded by Whovians I’d met online and we were all filled with childlike wonder.

We knew the Experience and how it worked, and it wasn’t long before we noticed additions on the last day. These additions included an extra Dalek on Skaro. Now, I’d had a hunch, but there was a moment when a Dalek came to life and my friend Em freaked out big time.

I’ve always considered myself a lover rather than a fighter, but when one of your friends is being harassed by the most evil being in the universe, you have to do something. I jokingly put my fists up to the Dalek, but it was unrelenting. I had no choice – people were in danger! I had to literally push the Dalek, with the very real chance of being exterminated. I pushed the Dalek slightly too hard, and whoever was ‘inside’ got their foot caught underneath the casing. It was the last day of DWE, and I had to apologise to a Dalek.’ – @GallifreyRchive

‘Dying next to my son’ – @Phoebeb69


Thank you for sharing your Doctor Who Experience memories with us, the spirit of that very special place will live on through the fans.


The 13th Doctor, Our Reaction.

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock (how painful), you’ll have heard about the announcement of the 13th Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. That’s right, the first female Doctor has been cast! Read our thoughts below…


I became a Doctor Who fan at 8 years old in 2006. I fell in love with The Doctor and Rose as they travelled through space and time having exciting adventures. On the playground I would always be Rose Tyler, and as the years passed I was Martha and then Donna too. I never played The Doctor because the Doctor was never a woman, and I suppose it never crossed my mind that a woman could be a time lord too. As Doctor Who history has gone on, the role of the companion has been portrayed as just as important, and in some cases even more important than the role of The Doctor themselves. In terms of female representation, this is brilliant and has given young girls idols to look up to for generations. But it’s still. Not. Enough.

I’ve been deeply integrated into the world of Doctor Who and its fandom for some time now, particularly in the last few years. It’s given me hundreds of friends, memories and achievements and is my biggest love. But most of the time, I still don’t really ~fit. I’m rarely looked at as a ‘real fan’, or have particular labels stuck to me as a ‘female fan’ of the show. I feel left out. I feel pushed out. I feel like I don’t belong. No matter my efforts with this blog, my commitment to the fandom and my friends, I still feel something missing.

Until it was announced that the 13th Doctor would be played by a woman.

Just like that, I belonged. I finally have a place. A female actress is playing The Doctor, who for over 50 years has been played by a man. I feel accepted. I feel like I belong. To know that a woman will be playing a character who for so long has been male immediately made me feel like I was as important as all the male fans, the male actors and the male crew on the show. Of course not everyone needs something like this to know that they can be a hero, or to know their worth, but for me, it means everything. I have hope that hundreds of young girls and women will have their lives changed by this. No matter your opinion on the Doctor being female, you cannot deny that it is an incredible moment in not only Doctor Who history, but history itself. It will bring hope, it will bring change and it will bring joy. I can finally see myself in the main character of my favourite TV show, and it was the change I never knew I needed.


Doctor Who has been a big part of my life since I was 9 years old, and along with it the Doctor and whoever the companion may be. Despite the Doctor himself being the centre of the show, I was gravitated towards each of these companions, from Rose Tyler to Bill Potts. It was these women that I wanted to be on the playground and in real life, never the Doctor. Perhaps it was the way that the companions always felt kinder and more human than the Doctor, or maybe it was simply because the Doctor never felt accessible for me. He never felt relatable because he was a man. Growing up, I could never see myself in him while he darted across the television screen, saving the world in his wild and wonderful ways.

When I was a teenager, I started to consider the possibility of the Doctor being a woman. Was it possible? Is this how Time Lords and Ladies worked? However, once Missy appeared on our screens in series 8 I realised that the idea of a female doctor could no longer be dismissed by fans. It was possible.

When I heard the news of the new Doctor being a female, my heart jumped. I was suddenly 9 years old again, playing Rose Tyler on the playground because my male peers had already claimed the role of the Doctor because ‘they were boys and it made sense’. I was suddenly 11 again, and dreaming of becoming a real life Doctor just like Martha Jones, because that idea felt far more accessible than pretending to be a Time Lord, travelling throughout time and space. I was taken back to the time when all I wanted was Donna Noble’s dry humour and wit, because that was what shined and proved to be the most prevalent theme for me throughout the whole of series 4. Those bright and shining companions, that helped me grow and develop throughout my childhood and were my consistent role models.

I am delighted at the news Jodie Whittaker being announced as the next Doctor, because those little girls watching will no longer just have to relate to the female companions. They will no longer get tossed aside as playing the Doctor on the school playground. Most of all, they can dream of travelling throughout time and Space as a Time Lady themselves and never feel as if that idea is impossible.


I think like many Doctor Who fans, I didn’t realise how much I’d wanted and needed a female Doctor until I saw Jodie Whittaker pull down that hood and smile gloriously towards the TARDIS. Honestly, my heart leapt and I started tearing up.

Even just from that scene I found her Doctor inspiring, which sounds silly to say but from a female Doctor Who fan not so much. Like all my fellow Time Ladies I’ve grown up with Doctor Who and I can’t tell you how much it would have meant to me to have seen a woman in the lead role when I was younger. I’ve spent years defending the women in the show – Rose was ‘too common’ (honestly a comment that was said), Martha was ‘too clingy and try hard’, Donna was ‘trying to be a lad with her humour’ and Amy was ‘a supermodel and nothing more’. As much as fans say they love the women in the show, they’ve always been inferior to the Doctor because the whole show is driven by that character, they are the hero. Sure, the companion is allowed to play that part for an episode or two but for (nearly) 54 years of the show’s history the lead has been played by a man.

And what does that say to girls? That they’re not good enough? That they must always be resigned to play the sidekick? Because it certainly watches that way. We already know that there are Time Lords who are women and they are brilliant. Romana is one of my favourite characters in the entirety of the show and out performs the Doctor in so many ways, the manipulative, ultra-glam Rani and of course our favourite Master, Missy. So again, I question as to why those female Time Lords are only ever celebrated as companions rather than what the Doctor could be.

Basically, it’s not good enough.

So what is the Doctor? Kind, open-minded, eccentric, brilliant. All the things women and men can be. Let us think about what the Doctor would do, our hero. Would they care about this regeneration? Absolutely not. They would shake their hand to welcome them and say “still not ginger.”

We all feel extremely proud to be fans of a show which is taking such a brave and wonderful step forward in it’s history. We’ll be here every step of the way.

Look out tomorrow for our post on The Time Ladies press tour after the announcement of the 13th Doctor! We spoke on over 10 radio shows and had a television appearance, talk about girl power. Keep those eyes peeled.

The Importance of Bill’s Sexuality

I was nine years old when I started watching Doctor Who. I had yet to discover my sexual identity and all I knew was that I had a huge crush on Rose Tyler. Of course, this was 2006 and representation for gay women was pretty minimal. Heterosexual relationships took over the majority of television so much that it seemed as if it was the only acceptable relationship to have. Yet, I knew there was something that made me different and I was determined to get to the bottom of it. Truth was, it took me over ten years to really figure it out (in fact, I still am).

In 2017, we are much luckier than we were in 2006. Soaps have a constant representation of LGBT relationships and characters, we have television shows like Orange is the New Black and The L Word and musicians such as Hayley Kiyoko. Yet despite this, there is still a massive gap throughout the media in regards to the representation of the LGBT community.

Growing up, I searched for this representation wherever I looked. That’s why my heart soared when Clara Oswald hinted at kissing a girl. I clung to that possibility, the thought of one of the Doctor Who companions proudly embracing her sexuality in front of an entire class of teenagers without being afraid of the consequences. There is however, some controversy surrounding Clara Oswald’s bisexuality. Despite her hints throughout the course of her time in the TARDIS, Jenna Coleman referred to Clara’s bisexuality as something that was ‘down to interpretation’. This along with Oswin Oswald (one of Clara’s echoes) stating that she ‘went through a phase’ in fancying a girl further adds to the confusion and erasure surrounding Clara’s sexuality. Still, I tried not to let this get to me. I clung onto that interpretation because at that time, it was enough.

bill potts lgbt gay

For many, coming out is a difficult process. It’s about realising that often, the hardest part isn’t coming out to others, but learning how to find that acceptance within yourself. Over the past year, I have gone through this process and with it I have searched for LGBT fictional characters to help me get through. This is why when the BBC confirmed Bill Potts’ sexuality today, I found myself in floods of tears. The thought of the television show that I grew up watching, would be giving young girls the representation that I had always craved even when I didn’t know I needed it.  I want young girls to watch Bill in Doctor Who and realise that it’s okay to like other girls. I want them to watch Bill and feel proud of their sexuality.

By having Bill as an openly gay women, we are not only teaching older generations how wonderful women loving women are but we are also teaching all those young children, just like myself at that age, who can’t help but feel a little bit different. We are teaching children that identifying as a member of the LGBT community is not an awful or scary process. Bill will help to shape an entire generation of Doctor Who fans, who will finally be able to see themselves in a character. A character who will teach them that their sexuality is valid, just as much as anyone else’s.

With Bill in the TARDIS, we can help to create a world where we don’t need to fight for acceptance in who we love.


Written by Hattie