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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tees > People > We Are Teesside > My visit to the Tardis

The Watson family with John Barrowman

John Barrowman shows the family around

My visit to the Tardis

Mark Watson from Teesside was the lucky winner of a national BBC Dr Who competition, the prize was a chance to visit the set of the programme in Wales and after meeting all the monsters he shared his story with BBC Tees.

We arrived at Cardiff castle at 9am, had a guided tour of Cardiff castle, and a number of rooms where Dr Who, Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood had been filmed.

11am - Taken over to the Red Dragon Centre, home of the Dr Who Exhibition.  The exhibition features props, costumers and memorabilia from recent episodes. The Dalek set was brilliant, very well constructed and a bit scary! In case we missed anything we went round twice!

1pm - After lunch, we were taken to the BBC Dr Who studios, a rather unexpected location, in the middle of an industrial estate! Upon arrival, we were given security passes and got some time to take a look at a selection of Dr Who related vehicles.

2pm - We made our way round to the where the Tardis had materialised! A couple of weeks prior, we had been set a key for it!!! We were invited to open the door... It really was bigger on the inside, as we found ourselves inside the BBC Studio!!

2.30pm - The fun really began.
We all counted down from 10… to 1… the lights faded out and we then watched a short film, featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, describing what we were about to see and do, after the film Phil Collinson took to the stage to greet us all.

Initially we were taken to the Torchwood holding pens. Three separate rooms, containing a Scarecrow, Cyberman and an Ood...  At first, they all looked like wax works, but then came too life! The scarecrow was going crazy, Cyberman was tying to break the glass window to get out and the Ood was very passive and copied your actions!


Time to move on, this time to the set of Torchwood. Our guide was asking us questions about Torchwood and out came John Barrowman!  He came over to where we were standing and asked a few questions.

I explained that my son had been a bit frightened by the monsters! John took him by the hand and explained that he would be OK now that ‘Captain Jack’ was around.

Before leaving I thanked John for making our visit so special, he’s a real nice guy, genuinely friendly and very knowledgeable about Torchwood and Doctor Who.

5pm - All of the groups met up once again. This time we were asked to switch off our cameras and phones as we were visiting the new Torchwood set, and were told all about the new monster for 2009. I can’t say anymore than that as we had to also sign a confidentiality agreement earlier! Let’s just say that it will be well worth seeing!!!

John Barrowman then came back out to talk about Children in Need and to say farewell to everyone. Johns closing comment was to wrap up warm as the weather had changed since we arrived,  we collected our Doctor Who goody bags and left… The BBC had arranged for it to be snowing as we departed through the Tardis’ famous blue doors.

Pudsey was on hand to wave us all off at the end of a truly unforgettable day – Thank you BBC!

last updated: 21/11/2008 at 12:22
created: 21/11/2008

You are in: Tees > People > We Are Teesside > My visit to the Tardis

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