The Little Red Umbrella Goes to The Doctor Who Experience

Cardiff isn't just the capital of Wales, it's also the capital of Doctor Who. The science-fiction show is filmed at the BBC studios near Cardiff Bay and in locations all over the city. Even many of the scenes that claim to be set in London are actually shot here. A walk around town might bring you to Rose Tyler's apartment block, the church where Donna Noble (almost) got married, or the police station from "Blink". And as if that weren't reason enough for a Doctor Who fan to want to make the trip to Wales, now Cardiff is also home to The Doctor Who Experience. It's a big museum on Cardiff Bay that houses props, costumes and even sets from the show.

Since we're pretty big fans of Doctor Who ourselves, we headed across the Atlantic to visit Cardiff. There, we tracked down some of our favourite spots from the show — along with a visit to The Doctor Who Experience — all with our camera in hand.

We'll start with a visit to the museum, and then visit Doctor Who locations around Cardiff in our next post.

The Doctor Who Experience is on Cardiff Bay, which used to be one of the most rundown places in the city, suffering from the collapse of the coal industry. But over the course of the last 20 years or so, it's been revitalized. Today, the bay has been turned into an artificial lake by filling it with freshwater; the shore has been turned into a hub for tourists and locals alike, full of restaurant, shops and cultural icons. It's even got free wifi.

The Doctor Who Experience is partway around the bend of the bay, not too far from the studios where they shoot the show:

They've got costumes from all the Doctors (along with hand prints from some of the actors who have played them):

And companions as well, including Captain Jack and a few different versions of Clara:

There are plenty of villains, too, including some from as recently as last season (like Skaldak the Ice Warrior from "Cold War") and from all the way back to the days of classic Who (like the giant robot from Tom Baker's first episode as the Fourth Doctor):

There's a complete overview of the evolution of the Cybermen:

And some alien friends as well:

They've got plenty of props, including sonic screwdrivers and the Doctor's crib:

And even items from the most recent episodes, including The Moment and the bulletin board from the Black Archive — both from the 50th anniversary special which aired this past November:

Not to mention the TARDIS. Here are all three — the Tenth Doctor's, the Eleventh Doctor's and the War Doctor's — from the anniversary special:

They've got also got the very first TARDIS interior — recreated for last year's "An Adventure in Space and Time" BBC drama special:

And an another, more recent interior, from 1980s Doctor Who:

As well the reboot:

Outside The Doctor Who Experience, you'll find yet another TARDIS overlooking Cardiff Bay:

Read more our posts about Doctor Who here, including the Torontonian roots of the show, the punk band Peter Capaldi played in with Craig Ferguson and our thoughts on the Christmas special. 

Learn more about Cardiff's history and the role Doctor Who has played in the city's revitalization here.

Posted by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


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