Project Indigo 2nd Anniversary!

Happy birthday Project Indigo!

Today is the anniversary of Project Indigo – it is two years old! It has gone so quickly and the last two years have been fantastic.

This has been a very busy year! This year Project Indigo went international and I visited Italy for a change. It was stupefacente! I visited Cinecitta in Rome , Europe’s largest film studio where The Fires of Pompeii was filmed. I also travelled to Pompeii to see the town and Vesuvius.

In May I went to the Symphonic Spectacular at Wembley Arena – and once again I was in the same place as Peter Capaldi who had popped along to watch too. I also caught up with my friend, Jon Davey, who I interviewed all about being a Doctor Who monster actor!

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular TARDIS

Also in May I was interviewed for my local paper The Daily Echo, which was an amazing opportunity.

In the summer I went on a road trip throughout Wales. I visited the regenerated Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff for the first time and visited lots of Classic and New filming locations.

In October I was flung  a-sea to the land of No Man’s Fort in the Solent which was very luxurious. This was the filming location for The Sea Devils.

Commando's Leap on the Deck Level of No Man's Fort
Commando’s Leap

In November Peter Capaldi was on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw – and Nick asked him my question from Project Indigo headquarters – where would he like to film Doctor Who? Peter said Iceland – Planet of the Bjorks!

Later in November I went to the first ever Doctor Who Festival at London Excel. It was VERY big! I got to see a lot of talks and met up with Doctor Who stars including Jon Davey and Barnaby Edwards. Thank you to BBC Worldwide for my Press Pass!

Meething The Mire, Jon Davey at the Doctor Who Festival
I’ve been possessed by The Mire! Thanks Jon Davey.

In March I was invited to Dunbury Academy to have a lesson in a TARDIS classroom. I travelled very very far in time and space and met many historical figures along the way.

The Console at Dunbury Academy TARDIS
Allons-y!

I have been to many conventions throughout the year and met many amazing actors, Cosplayers and fellow Gallifreyans (shh, you’ll blow our covers!).

Thank you to convention organisers Nerdageddon, All the Cool Stuff, Pendragon Sci-Fi and Fantasy Club, Sci Fi South Collectors and Timeless Collectors. Finally thank you to Showmasters for letting me have Press Passes to report on the Film & Comic Cons in Bournemouth.

Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to me at conventions including :

Thank you to everyone who has featured Project Indigo this year including Whoogle , Robogals, Jump! Mag, Bournemouth Daily Echo, Kasterberous.com, Gallifrey Stands Podcast, Team Locals for Portsmouth and Southsea, Radio 1 and City Kids Magazine. Thank you especially to Chris at The Local Eye for letting me have my own Project Indigo column every month.

Tom Project Indigo by Ross Moorhouse
Tom Project Indigo by Ross Moorhouse

Thank you to my friends and family, my blog friends and followers and Twitter friends and followers (including Ross Moorhouse for making me the fantastic Project Indigo pic), all competition entrants and winners, and all the friends I have made at conventions.

Special thanks this year to BBC Worldwide,The Doctor Who Experience, Amazing Venues and Solent Forts, Kids Blog Club, Jon Davey, Dr Squee, Caitlin Marsh at The Daily Echo, Mango Frog, Mini Matt Smith, Mr Payne and the staff and children at Dunbury Academy and everyone who has made me welcome. I’m sorry if I forgot to mention someone!

I’d like to thank you all for reading and supporting Project Indigo – I love making new friends and sharing my adventures. I hope I manage to keep going for a third year!

Tom Project Indigo

 

I’m Tom. Join me on my adventure through time and space!

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Dunbury Academy TARDIS, Winterborne Whitechurch, Dorset – March 2016

The entrance of Dunbury Academy TARDIS
Welcome to the Dunbury Academy TARDIS!

Hello everyone and welcome to a new blog post. This time I am not visiting a filming location but rather an actual TARDIS – the TARDIS at Dunbury Church of England Academy! I read about the Dunbury Academy TARDIS in my local newspaper, the Daily Echo, and when I saw the article I thought ‘I want to go there!’. I emailed the school and got invited to have a trip through time and space on the TARDIS…

Dunbury Academy is in the village of Winterborne Whitechurch. It is a small school for the children of the Winterborne Valley in Dorset and the school’s motto is

Inspire, Learn, Empower.

I was given the opportunity to have the day off from my school so that I could visit the TARDIS and I travelled there last week by train and bus. When I arrived at the school I couldn’t help but notice how small it was compared to my own. I felt very welcome and I was immediately greeted by Mr Payne the teacher who made the TARDIS, who invited me to come and have a lesson. On Thursday night Mr Payne was awarded Nursery / Primary Teacher of the Year in the first ever Daily Echo School Awards. Well done Mr Payne!

Entering the Dunbury Academy TARDIS
Entering the TARDIS

I was greeted by some of the Dunbury students and got taken to the TARDIS which was materialised on the first floor. There was no key but I was allowed to open the door using a Sonic Screwdriver. I couldn’t stop saying ‘Wow!’ as I was so surprised – it was bigger than I thought it would be but then again, it is a TARDIS. I started exploring but suddenly Daleks appeared on the screen – we were under threat!

Daleks attack at Dunbury Academy TARDIS!
Dalek attack!

First we had to solve a coded message from Rassilon, the Lord High President of Gallifrey then we travelled around time and space meeting many historic figures. The pupils and I had to solve multiple puzzles to ensure we were safe from the Daleks, including maths, codes, Roman Numerals and Hieroglyphics. First we met Archimedes in 214 BC, then went to Egypt to meet Cleopatra in 69 BC. Next to Rome to meet Julius Caesar in 48 BC who sent us to see the Viking Explorer, Eric the Red, in 991 AD. We then went to see William the Conqueror in 1066 AD who sent us on our way to see the Doctor’s old friend (and mine!) Winnie Churchill in 1940. We finally solved the Tablet of Skaro but it was a trap – the Daleks had kidnapped K-9! After some timey-wimey stuff we found him and we were safe from being blown to space smithereens. Yay!

After all that excitement I had some time to interview the children about their time in the TARDIS. I asked them what they thought when they first saw it and immediately two of them said ‘Amazed!’ at exactly the same time. Someone else said ‘Speechless!’. It was built in the school holidays so when they saw it, it was a real surprise.

They have learnt all different subjects in the TARDIS but it was built as part of a Space Topic. For English they travelled to space to write a description of a planet. For Maths they have had tests and learnt about Roman Numerals. They have visited the planet Kepler 452B which is 1400 light years away. It would take 26 million years to travel there if you didn’t have a TARDIS. Kepler 452B is 60 % bigger than earth and orbits around a star. Like Earth it is in the Goldilocks Zone which means that there could be life on there. To sum it up – they have learnt A LOT of stuff! I also told the pupils about Project Indigo, especially the filming locations I have visited in Dorset which was a surprise for them.

Then it was time for Assembly and I went along to support the school and see how different it was to my school. The classes are named after trees and there were only two at the Winterborne Whitechurch base. Certificates were handed out and pupils were rewarded for their achievements. The new First Aiders got to use their skills to help out the Headmaster Mr Barker.

Mr Payne in Dunbury Academy TARDIS
With Mr Payne – look behind me!

After assembly it was home time for the pupils and I got to interview Mr Payne. He built the TARDIS because he wants to inspire children and the first time they saw it they flew through the solar system! He has also built Hogwarts and Narnia style classrooms before.

Mr Payne has been a fan of Doctor Who since he was three and his favourite Doctor is Tom Baker because he grew up with him. If you need any proof he is dressed as the Fourth Doctor in his first photo! He is also a fan of David Tennant – and if you need any proof of that he did a Magic Show with him once for Children In Need!

I asked Mr Payne where he would like to go in time and space and he said he is happy right here, right now. He really likes his class and the school and wouldn’t want to change anything. If Mr Payne had to go somewhere he would choose to see the future. He said to imagine what it would be like for someone waking up after 20 years in a coma. I think it would be very confusing to see new pieces of technology at work, and it would very sad if people in your family had passed away.

Mr Payne could design the TARDIS as he was a helicopter designer once. The TARDIS was made in his garage over two weeks – the hardest part was collecting all the egg boxes for the walls, it took him months to get them! A friend of his helped build the console and donated the Doctor Who cardboard cut-outs from work.

I asked Mr Payne if the Headmaster Mr Barker was hesitant in saying yes to having a TARDIS at school or was he quick off the bat? He said that Mr Barker said yes immediately and that the TARDIS has had lots of support from all the staff, parents and children.

The Console at Dunbury Academy TARDIS
Where to next?

After I interviewed Mr Payne I had one last go in the TARDIS before I had to leave. The TARDIS is just Wow! I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone at Dunbury Academy for their hospitality. I felt so welcome and the staff and pupils were all really nice. It is a very friendly, cheerful school and I had a fantastic day.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time at Dunbury Academy. In a few days something exciting is happening – Project Indigo is turning 2! I hope you will come back and read about my other adventures.

Goodbye!

Day 1, Film & Comic Con Bournemouth, Dorset – March 2016

Noel Clarke at Film & Comic Com Bournemouth
Meeting Noel Clarke aka Mickey Smith!

Hello and welcome to Showmasters’ second Film & Comic Con Bournemouth! This event was held on March 12th and 13th 2016 at Bournemouth International Centre. I was lucky enough to be given a Press Pass so I could pop along and meet the Doctor Who actors and report back to my Project Indigo readers.

I went along on the Saturday and the weather was very awkward – it was so misty that day that you couldn’t even see the BIC! Luckily I found the BIC eventually – the huge queue was a clue. After I arrived I got my bearings and explored. The layout was different to the last Film & Comic Con Bournemouth and spread over more halls so there was more space for everybody to enjoy themselves.

Noel Clarke giving a talk at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth
Noel Clarke giving a talk

First I went to see a talk by Noel Clarke aka Mickey Smith, companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctor. Noel was asked what his favourite episodes are and he said Dalek (2005) as it is the first time we see a vulnerable Dalek. From his episodes it is the ones that show the journey of Mickey’s character – Rose (2005), Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel (2006) and The End of Time (2009-10).

Noel says that he has written a ‘treatment’ of the story of Martha and Mickey just for fun. I would love to see that. Would you like a Martha and Mickey spin-off? Please leave a comment and let me know. Noel said that he would like there to be a Doctor Who Universe of stories just like the Marvel Universe.

Anneke Wills at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth
Meeting Anneke Wills aka Polly!

After Noel’s talk I went to meet Anneke Wills who played Polly, the First and Second Doctor’s companion. Anneke was very cheerful so I felt confident to ask her my questions.  I asked Anneke where she would like to go in time and space and she said she would love to go to The Globe Theatre in Shakespearean times. She told me that once Sylvester McCoy said exactly the same thing. I would like to see Anneke and Sylvester performing together on the stage at the present Globe Theatre.

Next I asked Anneke where her favourite Doctor Who filming location was. She told me that they were usually filming in the studio but did get out to some lovely locations including Frensham Ponds, Winspit Quarry and underneath the Post Office Tower. I went to Winspit Quarry many months ago at the blast-off of Project Indigo and would like to visit the other locations too. Sadly many of Anneke’s episodes are amongst the missing Doctor Who episodes, and I really hope they are found one day.

After lunch I explored more and played in the Gaming Zone. I also went to the Cosplay Zone and watched a very bizarre version of Blind Date! There were Cosplayers everywhere, apart from Doctor Who I saw many other Sci-Fi characters and this time there were lots of girls dressed as Rey from Star Wars. I also met my #T-shirtTwin Isaac!

Next I met Jemma Redgrave – otherwise known as Kate Lethbridge Stewart, daughter of the Brigadier and UNIT’s Head of Scientific Research. Kate was once blown out of an aeroplane but luckily she was caught by her Dad who was a Cyberman at the time! Jemma was very friendly and kind. She said her favourite Doctor Who filming location is The Tower of London, which is where UNIT’s Secret Headquarters are. She also liked filming in the Black Archive (which is really in the BBC Studio in Cardiff).

Jemma Redgrave at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth
Meeting Jemma Redgrave aka Kate Lethbridge Stewart!

I asked Jemma where she would like to go in time and space and she said she would like to travel near a black hole – because time goes more slowly there and when she came back she would be younger than me! I hope she doesn’t go too close, I don’t want her to get sucked in.

A few stalls down from Jemma was Noel Clarke who was a cheeky chappie and a lot of fun. Mickey is one of my favourite companions and it was a privilege to meet Noel. I told Noel about Project Indigo and he said I should go to Arizona (where Day of The Moon (2011) was filmed).  I will definitely go there one day …. Noel said that his favourite Doctor Who filming location was London.

I asked him where he would go in time and space and he said he would like to go to the future to check that all the people, animals and the world are ok. That’s a good answer Noel!

A pencil drawing of Matt Smith by artist Chris Baker
Photo or drawing? A pencil drawing of Matt Smith by Chris Baker

After all that I was very tired and decided to go home. As I was leaving I took a last look at the stalls and I bought a life-like Matt Smith print. It is a pencil drawing of the Eleventh Doctor by Chris Baker who is a very talented young artist. His drawings are so authentic that the people look like they could pop right out of the picture! I had a chat with Chris’ family and they told me all about watching the Doctor Who filming that has happened near their home in Cardiff. Chris and his Mum have even made cameo appearances in Sherlock. Please visit Chris’ website www.cjbart.com to see what he can do!

I had a lot of fun at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth- sadly I couldn’t go on Day 2 to meet up again with Simon Fisher – Becker and Iain McNiece as I have met them both before and they are both nice blokes. Thank you Showmasters for bringing these events to Bournemouth – I’m looking forward to the next one in September!

Thank you for reading  and I hope you’ll come back again next time when I tell you all about a special  trip I have just had in a TARDIS …..

Good bye!