Saturday 24th March 2012 is a date that will be burned into my memory forever. It is the day that as a family we visited the TARDIS. That’s the real TARDIS, where they actually film Doctor Who, where The Doctor, Amy and Rory cavort with levers and bells and telephones. The build up to this visit was intense in the extreme, it was exciting anyway because we flew from Newcastle to Cardiff and flying always adds to the sense of adventure. We flew down on the Friday morning so we had a day to get our bearings. Our Convention day was the Sunday so we still had that excitement to come but the Saturday, well, the Saturday was TARDIS set tour day.
Our coach for the set tour was due to leave at 11.30am and we were there at 10.30am to hassle the lady in the yellow t-shirt and clipboard, waving our tickets in her face like demented lottery winners. She gladly gave us our wristbands and told us to return in forty minutes or so to await our coach. We sat outside the Millenium Centre to wait. What a wonderful place it was, we saw so many small Doctors with their Who goodie bags hanging from shoulders right down to their knees and Ood or Silurian lanyards swinging like pendulums from their necks, teasing us with glimpses of the Convention that for us was yet to come. As we walked back over to join the small queue that was forming for the coach I had that fluttering in my stomach that only comes with such quantities of excitement, were it alcohol you’d be poisoned.
Sitting on that coach was the most thrilling time, you could almost see the excitement crackling in the air, we were told that once at the BBC Studio we would be split into two groups, our group would be taken to The Blue Box Cafe initially whilst the first group went to the set. Then they put The Doctors Wife DVD on for the rest of our journey. I love this episode, I may discuss it at a later letter. Sitting in that little cafe with twenty or so other excited fans was a real buzz and as we were lead through the BBC centre, down a corridor covered in huge framed pictures of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane I thought my head was going to blow off. We were bundled into a room with a wooden ramp, at the top of this ramp was the door...that door...the BLUE door, then we were in. Inside the TARDIS. I really wanted to try and explain to you all how brilliant it was but I know I do not have the words. I can tell you this though as I walked through that door I got a lump in my throat and my eyes were prickling with tears such was the intense emotion I felt actually being there. I thought perhaps some of the pictures I took would make you understand.
Photos copyright Lisa Hazlegreaves
Even though I know it’s a television show, a production, a made up world in some clever writers head, there was a tiny part of me that expected to walk back out through that door on an alien planet or in another time, and I can tell you, I’m still a little disappointed that this was not the case.