So today I finally went to the BBC’s Doctor Who Experience here in Cardiff Bay. I stress the BBC part of it as it is clearly a product of the BBC for fans, unlike the original one (at the Red Dragon Centre), which (apparently) was by fans for fans.
While I would recommend a visit to any fan, casual or hardcore (Bessie!), I have to stress the major caveat that longtime or hardcore fans should not go in with too many expectations. While it is nice to be immersed in a mini adventure, courtesy of the BBC’s big purse, I can’t help shake the impression of a clean and sanitized, almost Disney-like establishment.
As a more geeky fan of the family of shows, I fully expected there to be at least some exclusive merchandise, i.e. autographs, rarities and strictly limited editions of artefacts. If record companies can compel their artists to sign a stack of autograph cards at regular intervals, the BBC should have no problem doing the same.
As I said, I’m sorted for autographs, but not everyone can travel or even fund projects to get them.
It’s good to see that the BBC are investing in the area and being honest about where the new generation Doctor Who’s real home is, I do wish they’d also cater to bigger fans, who (gasp!) might even return for more visits.