Tag Archives: doctor who

Montacute TV Radio & Toy Museum, Somerset – July 2014

Yep, this is the museumHello, ow be knackin vore?

I have said this because this post is from Somerset and it means ‘how are you doing?’ in Somerset dialect.

Yesterday I went to Montacute, a village just outside Yeovil in Somerset. First I visited Montacute House which is an Elizabethan Country House which has just been used by the BBC as a filming location for ‘Wolf Hall’ which stars Doctor Who actor and writer Mark Gatiss. But that wasn’t the reason I was there! I was in the village to check out a Doctor Who Exhibition. At Montacute House

I visited Montacute TV Radio Toy Museum, which is said to be like a TARDIS opening up to reveal a giant time capsule of memorabilia collected from the world of TV and Radio programmes.

When I arrived I saw the First and Eleventh Doctors in the window, hanging out together. I went in to explore the collection and saw millions of items such as toys, games, magazines, books and photos from shows and famous people including Mr Bean, Tommy Cooper, The Saint, Andy Capp, Spongebob, The Simpsons, Life on Mars, The Two Ronnies, The Wombles etcetera etcetera etcetera!  My companions saw things from their childhood memories and I found it all very exciting. My favourite was a ‘Hoff in my Pocket’. If you press a button it says ‘I’m The Hoff, ha ha ha. And you’re not!’ It was absolutely jam-packed full of memorabilia collected since the 1930’s by Dennis and Mauvyn Greenham, and their son-in-law Alan Hicken who now runs the museum.

Next I visited the exhibition ‘Step into the TARDIS’ which I entered by going into a Police Box. I was a bit worried as I didn’t know what was going to be through the door! The first thing I saw was an Ice-Warrior and then I saw a very loud and big pinball machine from the late 80’s, which showed Doctors 1-7. The room was stuffed full of  Doctor Who toys, and dummies of the Doctor’s friends and foes such as the Ood, The Sisters of Plenitude, a Clockwork Robot, Pigslave and Scarecrow. The worst monsters were behind glass, which was very very very lucky or we could have had a big shock! Trapped behind the glass were Davros and the Daleks, a Cybershade, Cybermen, Melkur and many other baddies. I also saw the real suit of armour worn by Christopher Bowen as Mordred in the episode Battlefield (1989), it looked shiny and very heavy. There were over 60 life-size Doctor Who characters to see.

Finally I went in the TARDIS room to see the Doctors hanging around the TARDIS console with some companions such as Donna and Captain Jack. I played with a Plasma-ball which I recognised from Remembrance of the Daleks (1988). I don’t think it was the real one but it was very hypnotic anyway. I then saw the actual costume worn by Dennis Chinnery as Professor Sylvest in The Twin Dilemma (1984). It felt quite weird to be in a room full of Doctors – but enjoyable.

The Montacute TV Radio Toy Museum is really good and a sensational place to go. If you do visit don’t be too shy to go into the TARDIS. I nearly didn’t as I was a bit scared but I’m really glad I did in the end!

See you next week, Bwye!

A surprise from Blue Peter! – July 2014

What do I have in my hands?Allo fellas!
Today I am talking about something very, very, very special. The photo will give you a clue. I hope you have guessed it. I have a (drumroll please)……………………. BLUE PETER BADGE!

Just to let you know, I didn’t buy it, I earned it. I have been awarded a blue Blue Peter Badge for this blog and had a letter from the Editor of Blue Peter, Ewan Vinnicombe , which said

‘it is fascinating to read about all the Doctor Who adventures you have been on! We thought it was so interesting, we’re awarding you a Blue Peter Badge which we hope you will enjoy wearing!’

Ewan Vinnicombe is obviously a fellow Whovian as he put a quote by the Fourth Doctor in my letter, from the episode Warrior’s Gate (1981).

‘One good solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties’.

A very good quote indeed.

Blue Peter Badge winners can visit a lot of fun places for free for example The Doctor Who Experience so I will use my badge to go there and to other adventures for fun and report back to my readers.

Blue Peter is even older than the Doctor Who series, there is a 5 year age gap and it started in 1958. It has supported Doctor Who for many years and has featured lots of interviews with the stars including the debuts of Peter Davidson and Sylvester McCoy. Peter Purves was one of Blue Peter’s presenters and he played Steven Taylor, a companion of the First Doctor, William Hartnell.

Did you know that Ace, the Seventh Doctor’s companion, wore two Blue Peter badges – a blue one, and a silver one that was awarded for heroic achievement? (Remembrance of the Daleks 1998).  They were both awarded to the actress, Sophie Aldred, in real life. Do you have a Blue Peter badge? Leave a comment to tell me how you earnt it.

To finish off I shall say THANK YOU to Blue Peter and the BBC for giving me this wonderful achievement, I feel very happy and proud!

I have more exciting Blue Peter news which I will share with you in a few weeks……. Bye bye fellas, see you next time!

East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire (The Village That Came To Life) – June 2014

Now for a War MemorialBlip bloop Blip bloop or Hello in Androidese.

Welcome to ‘the village that came to life’ – East Hagbourne in Oxfordshire, filming location for the episode The Android Invasion (1975). I went there as I was passing earlier this week on my way home from another adventure.

This episode is set in the village of Devesham, which East Hagbourne stands in for. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane arrive in the village which is always Friday 6th July, a day with no future. Luckily I went in June or I might have had to stay forever.

I parked my TARDIS near the Fleur de Lys pub and went to liven up the place, (well I tried to at least). The village was deserted just like in the episode! I wonder if the androids were still there? In fact the whole time I was there the only other person that I saw was a young girl wearing a t-shirt that said ‘ Keep Calm, I’m The Doctor’. Awkward but true!

I saw the war memorial in the centre of the road and set off down the road past the Fleur de Lys. The Doctor and Sarah hid in the pub and watched people who could not move and looked like they were statues filled with cement. They came to life eventually – when I watched the episode I tried clicking my fingers at the TV but actually it was the clock striking 12 that brought them out of their trance. I tried to go in the pub myself but it was shut for the afternoon, which was a shame as I wanted a beer. Fooled you!

As I explored I saw some goats and chickens in a garden and the paths were lined with hollyhocks. The weather was sunny and everything looked so summery it was a typical English village. This village is known for The Great Fire of Hagbourne, just 7 years before the Great Fire of London. It is also famous as the place where blotting paper was invented!

In a documentary about this episode ‘The ViIlage That Came To Life’,  Nicholas Briggs  walks around East Hagbourne and interviews some of the local people about what they remember about the filming in July 1975. One lady remembers that hundreds of children from all over the place descended on the village to see if they could get Tom Baker’s autograph! He was still a new Doctor when he filmed the episode.  One of the interviewees had his photo taken with Tom Baker for the local paper as his name was Colin Baker, but not THE Colin Baker! Another remembered his family selling beer from their front window to the crew.

The Android Invasion was the last episode that featured Benton and Harry Sullivan pops up for his last appearance. It is a fan-dabby-dosy story and everyone should watch it!

Do you have any facts about East Hagbourne? Let me know.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon! Bloop blip Bloop blip, Goodbye in Androidese.

 

Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset – February 2014

Can you see me?HELLO- hello HELLO – hello HELLO – hello

I am echoing because you find me in a cave for this next post – I am at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset, the location for two very different episodes – The Revenge of the Cybermen (1975) and The End of Time (2009).

I visited Wookey Hole in February 2014 and I stayed in The Wookey Hole Hotel which was unusual because it had a witch’s hat as a roof!  It was early in the day when I set off to explore the caves with our guide. The caves are a series of limestone caverns formed by the River Axe.  Humans lived in the cave up to 45,000 years ago and before that hyenas lived in the caves.

It was very gloomy in the caves and felt foreboding. The chambers were lit with multi-coloured lights so that you can see creatures such as the bats that still live in the caves.  You can also see the stalagmites and stalactites which have formed over thousands of years. How do you know which is which? One way to remember is that stalactite has a “c” in it for “ceiling,” and stalagmite has a “g” in it for“ground.” One stalagmite is the famous Wookey Hole Witch who was turned to stone by one of the monks from Glastonbury.  ( Maybe he was the Doctor in disguise).

I moved from chamber to chamber by ducking and limboing. I saw Voga where the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane met the Cybermen. I haven’t seen the episode yet so I’m not sure what happened but it’s on my list of episodes to watch! I also saw The Council of the Oods Chamber which the Tenth Doctor visited in The End of Time before his regeneration. The Ood warn the Doctor of a great danger rising from the darkness which will bring the end of time itself. AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I was freaked out when I walked over a high bridge between the caverns. The bridge swung like the Millennium Bridge and I felt nervous. I found the cylinders of cheese that are kept in the caves to mature, because it an ideal temperature and humidity. The cheese smelt awful as if it tasted like granite.

As I left the caves it was much better as I could breathe and the sun was shining.The garden contained models of dinosaurs like in Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.I hope they haven't escaped from The Invasion of the Dinosaurs

I then explored inside which was very interesting to me as I have a family link to Wookey Hole. There was a Victorian hand-made paper mill there which my Great Great Great Grandfather Mr Bookless managed, and other family members worked there too. I wonder if they lived up to their last names because they wouldn’t need any paper. I could see the machinery my family used and it smelt a lot like the mouldy cheese. Some of my ancestors worked here

I then played some games in the Penny Arcade which was fun and I had my fortune told – which I didn’t like and will keep a secret. There was also an exhibition about the circus which showed a circus character, an alien called Ynolab who was found near Lake Arizona. Is he real? The clue is in the name!The Ynolab!

 

I will be exploring some new places this week and I can’t wait to do posts about them.

Until next time,

GOODBYE – goodbye  GOODBYE- goodbye  GOODBYE-goodbye.

 

Life and Death in Doctor Who, Bournemouth University – June 2014

Hello Professor Iain MacRuryHello!

I’m sorry I’m a bit late with my post this week, I have been away with my school and it has been my birthday so I have been tracking a bit off schedule. I shall start by telling you about the lecture I went to this week at Bournemouth University called ‘Life and Death in Doctor Who’.  This was part of the University’s Festival of Learning which is a programme of exciting events for local people, now in its second year. 

I joined the audience which was full of fellow Whovians, all different kinds of people -young, old, men and women, boys and girls. I was the youngest but some people there remembered watching the very first episode when it was broadcast 50 years ago. The lecture was given by Professor Iain MacRury who is Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Bournemouth University. He is an expert on the Doctor and, along with Michael Rustin,  wrote the book The Inner World of Doctor Who: Psychoanalytic Reflections in Time and Space. Phew, that was a bit of a mouthful!

The Professor compared the TARDIS to a magic box, and the stories to children’s books such as Alice In Wonderland.  He talked about how Doctor Who is about growing up and becoming an adult and showed us clips of the companions to make us understand. One clip showed the Ninth Doctor holding on to Rose’s hand saying he could feel the world spinning. He said the latest Doctors are more caring towards their companions than the old Doctors, and he compared the Fifth Doctor after Adric died to the Tenth Doctor saying goodbye to Rose in Darlig Ulv Stranden. The Fifth Doctor just wanted to cheer his companions up by taking them to the Great Exhibition but the Tenth Doctor visited Rose in a parallel universe and burned up a sun to say goodbye!

Afterwards the Professor answered lots of questions from my fellow Whovians, but I was speechless. I met him at the end and he was very kind. Ace called the Seventh Doctor the Professor, maybe that inspired him to become one.

Just a quick news flash – I saw yet another blue box! The Professor told me to go to Weymouth House, part of the university and there was a TARDIS in reception. Not mine, I wonder which Doctor had stopped by for the Festival of Learning? I wonder if a future Doctor was in the audience but we didn’t recognise him?

It was so cool to be at Bournemouth University in the Media School because Richard Senior, the director of Let’s Kill Hitler, graduated from Bournemouth University in 2002. Maybe one day I’ll direct a Doctor Who episode myself, you never know!

See you next week, goodbye.

Masters Quarry – May 2014

I'm the king of the quarry!A dusty greeting to you all.

You find me in the Masters Quarry (why doesn’t the Doctor have one?) I found this location on my way home after a trip to Monkey World in Wareham a couple of weeks ago, in May 2014.  ( Big shout out to Jethro the Monkey!) This location features in The Caves of Androzani (1984).

Masters Quarry isn’t really named after The Master, it is the name of a quarry in Dorset that produces aggregates, which means things like sand and gravel for building projects. This is the first quarry I have been to in Doctor Who history, but I expect to see many more as quarries have often been used as locations as they can look like different planets.

It was a very sunny day when I visited, the sky was as blue as the TARDIS and it was so hot. The quarry was so quiet, there were rocks and stones as far as my eyes could see and everywhere was dusty. I could easily have believed I was on Androzani and not on Earth at all. I could only look, it wasn’t safe to explore too far.

The Caves of Androzani was filmed more than 30 years ago so the quarry looks very very different to the surface of Androzani Minor in the episode. More trees, less sand!!  This is a very popular story, and has been voted 4th best episode of all time by readers of Doctor Who Magazine, as announced this month. (The Day of the Doctor came top!).  The Fifth Doctor and Peri are captured on the mining planet Androzani Minor and are sentenced to death. Luckily there was no sign of the baddie Sharaz Jek but I still looked out for him!

This was the story in which the Fifth Doctor regenerated which I found very sad. The Fifth Doctor was a really good Doctor and I really liked his companions, especially Adric and Turlough.

I am going to a lecture on Doctor Who next week so I will be back to tell you all about it. Goodbye for now!

 

 

Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru / Wales Millennium Centre- February 2014

In these stones horizons sing

Helo a chroeso yn ôl!

That is hello and welcome back, in Welsh. I am speaking in Welsh because in this post we are travelling back in time a little way to Cardiff in February 2014. The location this time is Wales Millennium Centre or Canolfan Mileniwn Cymru in Welsh. This building is also known as The Armadillo. Above the main entrance are two poetic lines, written by Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis. The Welsh version is

Creu Gwir fel gwydr o ffwrnais awen

which means “Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration.”

The English is

In These Stones Horizons Sing.

I arrived via the entrance that was used for Vincent and the Doctor (2010). The Doctor, Amy and Vincent Van Gogh were filmed here rocking up to Vincent’s museum exhibition. The inside of the museum was filmed in another location which I will tell you about in another post.

The reception was the filming location for New Earth (2006) and was where the Tenth Doctor and Rose visited New New York Hospital which was run by the cat-nuns the Sisters of Plenitude. This episode was the first of the new episodes to be set on a distant planet (even though it is called new Earth) as all of the Ninth Doctor’s stories were set on or in the orbit of Earth! Luckily I didn’t bump into the cat-nuns as they were arrested by the New New York Police Department.

Next I walked down the stairs that the new Prime Minister Harold Saxon (aka The Master) stood on as he gave his famous speech:

This country has been sick, this country needs healing, this country needs medicine – in fact I’d go so far as to say that, what this country really needs, right now, is a Doctor!

Maybe people thought I was him, only younger! This scene was in the episode The Sound of Drums (2007) in which the Master plans some totally awful plans and the Tenth Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack have to stop him.

I explored all around the centre and visited an art exhibition of the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal winners which  included a mixture of jewellery, ceramics, installation, painting and photography. Finally I shot the breeze with a very chatty centre guide who was really friendly and told me lots of stories about when things have been filmed in the centre, and he said that the people of Cardiff are very proud that Doctor Who is filmed there and like to help and watch. He also said that the guides love to answer questions and not to be shy. I wish I could see them filming Doc Who.

To all my viewers from these different countries so far, thank you for looking – United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Russian Federation, Egypt, India, France, Belgium, Portugal, South Africa, Japan and Spain! I’m quite surprised about all the different places that people have looked at this blog from. I wish I could be truly international and have a viewer from every country in the world, but not every planet because aliens might not understand my blog! If you are viewing from another planet please do not, I repeat do not, delete my blog. If you are viewing from another country please leave a comment to say hello and tell me where you are from – I would love to hear from you.

Ffarwel!

A surprise in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – May 2014

The Ninth Doctor was right - not even Ghengis Khan could get through the door!
The Ninth Doctor was right – not even Ghengis Khan could get through the door!

Hello once again!

Here is another TARDIS which I found in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard earlier this month! It must have been the TARDIS of one of the older Doctors because it doesn’t look like the one in Boscombe. The chameleon circuit must have gone wrong because it didn’t look quite right! I couldn’t look inside because the Doctor locked it behind him.  Can you see the Doctor or is he playing hide and seek?

It was a very blowy day that almost took me off my feet so maybe that was the TARDIS materialising? The Sea Devils must have come to the dockyard with their cousins the Silurians to take over the world. ‘NOT THIS TIME! C’mon out, I’ll give you a taste of your own medicine!’ Maybe I saved the day, or the Doctor did. Either way is good!

I like going to the dockyard because it is full of historical ships and I like learning about Horatio Nelson because he is a hero of mine; he met with the Second Doctor in the book HMS TARDIS when the Doctor, Ben and Polly materialised on HMS Victory. I have been on the Victory lots of times, it is my favourite ship at the dockyard. There is so much more to see including HMS Alliance, the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior but I like the Victory the best.

Look at the Victory!

See you soon land lubbers.

 

Charlestown, Cornwall – August 2013

Up the lifeboat we goAhoy mateys!

Now for a new location for ye all to see. Yet again we travel back in time to August 2013 to see the location of Charlestown, Cornwall. This was the location for the filming of The Curse of the Black Spot (2011). This episode features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory who investigate the clues to find the missing crew of the Fancy, a pirate ship.

I travelled to Charlestown by TARDIS and I had some very special companions on this journey – my grandparents! The weather was very grotty (well,that’s how I say it) and wet even though it was summer.  Charlestown is a harbour village and is where people export china clay. Our first stop was the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre where we learnt about lots of shipwrecks including the RMS Titanic – not the interstellar cruise liner Titanic in Voyage of the Damned (2007)!  I also learnt about the history of the area  and got on a lifeboat.

We looked at the ships in the harbour which are used for films such as Great Expectations,  Apocalypto and The Scarlet Pimpernel and TV including The Curse of the Black Spot. The Phoenix (the Fancy in the episode) is open to the public and you can go on board where Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have walked and see where they have been swash-buckling!

After all this we went in an Inn and I ate maggots in my biscuits and drank revolting rum . Just joking.

I remember it as a fun day, as it was the first day of my holiday with my grandparents who I was staying with for a week. I definitely want to go again and you can go too.

Blast with ya all, ye scally-wags!  AARRR, time to walk the plank!!

Athelhampton House and Gardens, Dorset – May 2014

Garden of the year 1997My FAVOURITE way to spend a sunny day outside is go to places where they have filmed Doctor Who of course! So on a beautiful sunny bank holiday weekend I went to Athelhampton House and Gardens, location of The Seeds of Doom (1976).

The Seeds of Doom features The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane and Athelhampton is used as the house of eccentric millionaire Harrison Chase. He has a seed pod found in the arctic permafrost which contains a Krynoid…. OF DOOM.  The Doctor and his companion must stop Harrison and the carnivorous Krynoid from destroying the world.

In the 8 years of my life, this is only the second time I have visited Athelhampton. I used the chameleon circuit to disguise my TARDIS as a car and parked in the car park which was very busy because there was a plant sale. It is lucky there were no Krynoid pods for sale so I didn’t have to worry about fighting plants! First I explored the surprising gardens, one called The Great Court had pyramid shaped yew trees! There were spitting fountains and a huge pond – I couldn’t see any fish but I did see pond weed and pond snails.  I took a walk along the River Piddle and was very glad it was made of water! I then entered the whiffy Dovecote which was quite dark, cool and a bit smelly because it was full of doves.

Next I visited the house which was built in the 15th century – you can’t look in every room because people live there. It was quite dark inside and I had to be patient on the stairs as there were a lot of other visitors. Everything was very old but I felt very welcome there. On the top floor there were paintings made by Marevna who was an artist who once lived at Athelhampton. My favourite was one with a man and a goat – look out for it if you go there.

I left via the gift shop where you can buy Doctor Who stuff and all that jazz and I bought the book The Seeds of Doom and The Deadly Assassin.  The receptionist was very kind and said that I should read John Challis’ autobiography if I want to find out more about the filming at Athelhampton as he played Scorby in the episode.

Athelhampton was also the location for ‘From Time to Time’ (2009) and ‘Sleuth’ (1972). I hope you keep enjoying the locations in this blog  – which location do you think I should do next? Have you been anywhere that Doctor Who has been filmed? Please leave a comment with your answer to these questions, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!