Young fans get sneak preview of Doctor Who exhibition

DR Who fans are in for a treat after Daleks started their conquest of Tyneside.

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DR Who fans are in for a treat after Daleks started their conquest of Tyneside.

But they won’t be trying to exterminate as the Time Lord’s most infamous enemy has simply arrived in the North East to scare and delight fans in equal measure.

The highly-anticipated Doctor Who Exhibition opens at Newcastle’s Centre for Life tomorrow, and the finishing touches are now being added for the grand launch.

Youngsters from Ovingham Middle School in Northumberland became the first to see the collection of props, costumes and memorabilia at a special preview.

They were invited by the Centre for Life for a behind-the-scenes peak after staff found out they ran a lunchtime Doctor Who club.

Pupil Marcus, 10, said: “I’ve been a fan of the show since the series with Christopher Eccleston, but I think Matt Smith is my favourite Doctor Who. We are really lucky to see the exhibition before it officially opens. My favourite part was seeing the Daleks. I’d like to come back with my family during the summer.”

Classmate Robyn, also 10, said: “I’ve been watching Doctor Who since I was five and I’m a big fan.

“Some of the characters used to scare me when I was little, but now I just find them funny, especially the Daleks.

“My favourite Doctor Who is Matt Smith. I like his hair and he’s really funny.”

Their teacher, Neil Cole, is a self-confessed die-hard fan and even has a Tardis in his classroom.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see the exhibition. The pupils have been really excited about it. It’s good to see the props on display too, as I have bought quite a few myself.”

Schoolchildren from West Jesmond Primary in Newcastle and St Oswald’s Primary in Hebburn, South Tyneside, were also treated to VIP passes yesterday.

Asya Carlton, 10, from West Jesmond Primary, said: “My favourite Doctor Who is David Tennant, but my favourite characters are the Daleks. I enjoyed seeing them and the Tardis.”

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It has taken four weeks to get the exhibition in order and a 20ft wall had to be erected during the installation, so it could be kept a surprise for visitors and staff.

Martin Wilkie of Experience Design and Management, creators of the Doctor Who exhibition, said: “It’s fantastic to see the display come together over the last month.

“It can be quite tricky to keep something as big as this under wraps, but the staff at the Centre for Life have been brilliant.

“The exhibits were brought up to Newcastle from Cardiff on five 40ft lorries and this is the biggest Doctor Who show ever.”

He added: “I’ve always been a fan of the programme because my dad used to do the special effects on the show, so it was something I grew up with. I think the fans are in for a real treat.”

The Doctor Who Exhibition opens to the public tomorrow and will run until October 31, 2010.

The Centre for Life runs an exhibition every year, but this one aims to be extra special as the venue celebrates its 10th anniversary at the end of the month.

It is hoped the exhibition will not just attract families from across the North East, but from around the country, as countless tickets have already been snapped up.

Life’s chief executive, Linda Conlon, said: “We are expecting the exhibition to be very successful. We have already sold lots of tickets and the interest has been incredible.”

The exhibition will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sundays from 11am to 6pm.

Doctor Who tickets can be bought online at www.life.org.uk, by calling 0844 481 5880 and at Life’s reception on the day. Admission prices to Life are inclusive of the exhibition.

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