EVENT REVIEW: Day with the Doctor- Winchester Science Centre

Winchester Science Centre announced today that they had been invaded by Daleks. I, of course, went immediately to the scene to check it out.

Taking my four year old daughter was a risk given that there were full size Daleks wandering around on both floors but they were thankfully on their best behaviour and no one got exterminated.

This fantastic hands on planetarium and science museum welcomes scientists of all ages to experiment with physics and biology alike.

This was a great day to visit for this Whovian. While my daughter is too young to be excited by this, I walked in and immediately saw a Doctor and assistant harmoniously floating parachutes with The Master. I thought this was unusual but went over to talk to them. Richard Walters, the Doctor in full regalia had brought costumes from many regenerations and was to change throughout the day.

Looking cautiously over the balcony, I spotted them. A row of Daleks lined up with an audience obviously oblivious to their imminent danger. Beautifully crafted by the Charity Dalek Squad, these fully working Daleks were making tours of the floor and completely in character for the audience of all ages. Surprisingly most of their audience were unafraid and the Daleks played the crowd with their Doctor counterparts flawlessly. To put children at their ease during the Q&A show, they squirted water or ‘Dalek Wee’ at the children making any trepidation obsolete and leading to a very entertaining session led by one of the Doctors.

Chris Osbourne of the Dalek Squad led me through his painstaking creation of the Dalek which now proudly resides in his living room. Visiting many events from small to Con level, each Dalek is either remote control or manually driven and recreated in great detail. He let me know that the 2010 Daleks are rather frowned upon in this community and for the most part members tend to create the more old school Officer class Dalek. Throughout the years, blueprints have been created and it is now possible to obtain plans to create one’s own Dalek. Who needs a burglar alarm system when one can just exterminate intruders? Chris is now working on his own R2D2 to add to his collection.

There were various shows throughout the day using the Science Centre’s excellent facilities. In  a true small child obsessive way we spent at least half an hour on certain exhibits like floating parachutes high into the air and then creating our own tornado. I took in a toddler movie in the planetarium which took my daughter and I on a CGI journey accompanying two characters through the forest. This stunning and all immersive 360 journey was exceptional and put IMAX into the shade. I felt like I was flying and floating all at once and my daughter was spell bound. The staff were professional and friendly and the whole day ran like clockwork throughout.

A really excellent family day out and all the better for the Daleks and Doctors who made a great day an absolute Geek pleasure.

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