I had heard rumours, but was it true? I mean, you type it in that well-known search engine (that one that has too many gs and os in it) and it’s still difficult to track down. Could there really be a museum dedicated to a mysterious alien with no name? Does the Doctor Who Museum really, truly exist?
Yes, it does. Located just east of East London, just around the corner from the home of West Ham’s resident football team is that Mecca of geek-dom, The Who Shop, within which lies the mythical museum…
“Is this it?” I wonder, a little bit disappointed that there was only one Dalek and a couple of TARDIS’ on show. Making the most of it, I ask the member of staff if it’s ok to take a few pictures.
“Of course!” come the enthusiastic reply from the member of staff, “I’ll just activate him for you.”
To be honest, even if this was it, the journey (on a Match Day no less) would have been worth it just for this picture:
But, this was not ‘just it’. This was barely the beginning. Tucked away in the corner is a little sign that says “T.V. Museum”. To be honest, I would have missed it if it wasn’t for my plucky companion pointing it out and saying “THE MUSEUM IS THIS WAY!”
So I ask the member of staff, and he couldn’t have been more helpful. So, on with the adventure!
“Hang on, I’ll just get the key!” he said and, amazingly, you enter through a TARDIS. Surely it’s every fan’s dream scenario, to walk through those azure doors and declare “It’s smaller on the outside.”
Walking through those famous blue doors, you’re greeted by a Rogues’ Gallery. Starting with an original Cyberman and further along 2 more Daleks. The Museum owns 4 in total, but one is in storage at the moment.
“Which one of you is the Doctor Who fan?” asked someone from the shadows… my companion and I look around, trying to place the hidden voice.
“Erm, that would be me,” I say, explaining that I’m more familiar with the New Who, but one of my friends is practically an encyclopedia on the entire Whovian ouvre. I haven’t seen them all, but I feel like I have. That still counts, right?
The Gallery Attendant was really good at talking to us, he was clearly passionate about this topic. Isn’t it strange how you only really find this level of enthusiasm in small museums? If I were to express this in a graph format, it would look something like this…
I can’t stress enough that this is an approximate graph, based on my experience as a visitor. I often find that the truly mind-blowing, happy-making, advocate-creating levels of enthusiasm happen in the smaller places.
The Doctor Who Museum was one of those places that can’t help but create positive vibes. The staff were so helpful and knowledgeable and even remembered me from the Cartoon Museum’s Doctor Who exhibition… I think it might have been the Fez. Fezs are still cool…
If you liked this adventure, you might enjoy discovering the Doctor Who Badges over at the Museum of Museum Badges.