The World Museum in Liverpool has hosted the new Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder exhibition since 27th May 2022. Sadly the run in this venue comes to an end on November 6th 2022. So BlogtorWho was keen to check it out before the exhibition moves up to a new location in Edinburgh…
Keeping with the tradition of Doctor Who exhibitions of the past, such as the original Blackpool and Longleat exhibitions, visitors enter this new attraction by passing through the doors of the TARDIS. Inside is something a little bit different. Instead of being a typical showcase of the fictional world of Doctor Who, Worlds of Wonder attempts to combine science fiction with real science.
For instance, the chameleon circuit is supposed to blend the TARDIS into its surroundings, but rarely worked. That instrument has it’s roots in the ability of certain animals to blend into their environment. Alternatively, some species on Earth already have the ability to change their gender. For example, male Ocellaris Clownfish can change their reproductive system in later life to become female. For deeper scientific thinkers there is also a video where an astrophysicist discusses how one might achieve time travel. Theoretically. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is purely an educational exercise masquerading as an exhibition of Doctor Who stuff.
Worlds of Wonder
On entering the exhibition visitors are greeted by the sight of the original TARDIS console recreated for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Since appearing in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ it has since been used in the show proper, most recently with Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor. Writer, Actor, Doctor Who fan and all round good egg Mark Gatiss appears in multiple videos throughout the exhibition. Other videos available to view include Mat Irvine and Mike Tucker discussing visual effects and science in the making of Doctor Who. A very broad range of interests are covered by this exhibition.
If you are interested in the science and exploration of the cosmos, then that’s covered through interactive screens and information boards. You can also learn how Doctor Who is brought to our television screens, note examples of costume and monster designs, and see miniature models on display. Maybe you’re curious about the connections of Doctor Who alumni to the city of Liverpool? That’s covered too. There is also a video which demonstrates how real creatures inspired the designs and movements of CGI creations such as the Skithra and the Chagaska. Of course if you want monsters there’s plenty of those on display too!
The Monster Vault
It wouldn’t be a Doctor Who exhibition without a Dalek on display and accompanying the renovated Terry Molloy era Davros is a ‘Dead Planet’ style original Dalek. Alongside them in the ‘Monster Vault’ are various Cybermen helmets showcasing the many design tweaks over the years. The most recent redesigns of classic monsters were of course the Sea Devils for ‘Legend of the Sea Devils’ and the Sontarans from ‘Flux’ with both looking particularly superb in the flesh as it were.
Robots are also an attraction for science within Doctor Who and this means that the K1 Robot from 1974 ticks off yet another location as an exhibit. Also present is the Skovox Blitzer and everyone’s favourite dog-shaped AI computer; K9. Similarly, a quadruple of spacesuits provide an interesting example of various designs for television based on real space exploration. One particularly stunning exhibit is the refurbished Omega costume from 1983’s ‘Arc of Infinity’. Presented in a mirrored case the ensemble, complete with imposing helmet, looks hugely impressive. I don’t wish to give away everything but this is an excellent exhibition and well worth visiting.
The End of an Era
It is particularly poignant to visit at this time as we prepare to mark the end of an era and the departure of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. Her time on the show is of course well represented culminating in a display of the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume as the exhibition concludes. Other items from the Whittaker era include a Kerblam! man, Karvanista’s costume and a Dreg. However, it would’ve been nice to see one of the newer Cybermen designs from ‘Ascension of the Cybermen‘ or a defence drone Dalek from ‘Revolution of the Daleks‘.
A Little Shop – The World of Wonders
But of course there should always be a little shop at the end! Some unique designs have been created for the World of Wonders exhibition, including Gallifreyan symbols into the English alphabet and a composite of TARDIS console floor plans. My personal favourite was the Dalek image which reveals the extra-terrestrial creature inside. These designs are available on a variety of items so check them out in the shop, even if you’ve already been to the exhibition. Better still, if you can’t make it to the shop an online store is also available.
The World Museum in Liverpool also offers more than just Doctor Who with an Aquarium and Egyptology section, which I found particularly interesting. Although maybe skip ‘The Mummy Room’ if you’ve watched ‘Pyramids of Mars‘ recently! There’s also a nice cafe with some delicious treats. Overall, the World Museum in Liverpool is a wonderful attraction and well worth visiting, especially before the Worlds of Wonder exhibition moves on. BlogtorWho would like to extend our thanks to the staff of the World Museum for being so welcoming.