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Dragged by Offspring to The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.

June 21, 2015


A few weeks ago I succumbed to a sense of parental obligation and condescended to take  the boy to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.  Being a dad comes with a price.


(Do you have any idea how weird and creepy I would have felt just going on my own?  I mean, I still would have gone – but the weirdness would have ruined things just a bit. Although only a bit.)

As a result of asynchronic half terms between adjacent polities, the place was almost deserted.  We queue up in the foyer staring by River Song relics – her shoes and notebook.  A guy in Gallifreyan costume comes out and tells us not to take pictures of the next twenty minutes or so.  No Spoilers.

So I can’t tell you what happened. Except that the boy was properly frightened.  One of those rite of passage transformative being really frighteneds that sets you up for the next decade.  As we stumbled out of our adventure, it was with a sense of relief and achievement and we both walked a little taller.

Then there was the museum itself, which was a calm and happy place.  Somewhere to just sit or stand and know that you are in presence of something.  To stand for a while looking at Bessie and know that it is Bessie.  To glance at a K9 (there were many).  To stand in William Hartnell’s console room.

Ascending to the second level, we wandered through a gallery of effigies.  Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans,  The Silence, The Face of Bo, The Silence.

In the middle of the room was a large scary depiction of “The Silence”.

My ideal intention would have been to have spent ages simply staring and meditating in front of each exhibit, but the boy’s patience was limited.  He found it all very enjoyable but I think he lacked the liturgical sense of the place – the sense of awkward yet spinetingly reverence required for the conscious proximity of relics.

But they should have had some kind of effigy of “The Silence”.

There was an area set aside to help the boy learn how to walk like a Cyberman.  And of course a Dalek to climb inside.  I haven’t had a Dalek to climb inside since I was a child in the late 1970s holidaying in Ventnor IOW.  (I wish they’d had something with “The Silence” though.)

Eventually we had to leave.  We had, after all seen everything, including The Silence.  But we been prayerful enough? Were we completely sated?  Hard to say, but the boy was already in the Gift Shop.

As we departed I was left with that crucial and holy sense that I’d missed something – that I’d done well, but there remained something beyond the reach of my perceptual range, something I hadn’t properly acknowledged or paid homage to.  And it wasn’t just The Silence.  Although they should have had The Silence.


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