Yeovilton Air Museum was one of my favourite places to go as a kid. When I were young, we were lucky to get away with a beating, a rotten potato and a trip with a couple of friends for our birthdays. Yeavilton was one of my favourite go-to places. As was Cobbaton Tank Museum.
Last year, I decided that I would take my youngest to Yeovilton as I wanted to go and I thought it would be a good excuse. She loved it. Whilst we were I picked up a flyer which had a number of events listed, one of which was Dalek Invasion. Yes, you’ve read that right, DALEK INVASION. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a Whovian. I can’t tell you which finger Matt Smith used to pick his nose whilst uttering “bogies are cool” in which episode, but I do enjoy a good bit of acting, some great humour and daleks. Daleks are like orcs, everyone loves to hate them. Even those that don’t like Doctor Who like to hate them whilst acting all cool and pretending that they don’t.
Not only did I get my youngest to go, I also managed to get the missus and my eldest to come as well. Granted, they weren’t the most willing participants (to start with) but in the end we all had a bloody good time. To the extend that the three girls (girls including the missus) now all want to do weeping angel costumes so that they can enter the cosplay competition.
The day itself was a bargain at £40 for the four of us as it included entry to the event, as well as entry to the actual museum. Considering we were then for about 6 hours (24 man hours) that broke down to less than £2 an hour. Bargain.
However, I digress. There was a great programme of events, which unfortunately weren’t published on the site, as well as some Dr Who celebrities, again these weren’t published on the site so we actually missed out on a former assistant as she was there on the Saturday and we went on the Sunday. Capaldi didn’t turn up either which sucked. I’m writing a letter to my local MP about that.
What the event did have was actors. Lots of actors who had an amazing amount of energy. My two favourites were the Patrick Troughton and Peter Capaldi lookalikes. They got themselves into character and kept themselves in it for the entire day. It was marvellous seeing them going around and engaging with the attendees, as well as hosting shows and performing in plays (which I missed, kinda gutted about that to be honest).
The daleks were also brilliant. They were more than happy to explain, and demonstrate, how they went to the toilet (by squirting people with water from their guns), pose for pictures – “Cheeeeese, I’m smiling on the inside” – and engaging in some great banter with adults, actors and children alike. There were quite literally the stars of the show. Apparently, they were powered by electric scooters, unlike the official ones which are powered by slaves of the BBC.
The downsides were that the celebrities were very short on the ground, the lovely Jon Davey and Sarah Louise Madison were there, but that was it for the Sunday. There was no Dan Barrett – Exonian Dalek Operator – nor was Nicholas Pegg, another local Dr Whovian, both of whom I’m sure could have made the hour-or-so long journey up to the event. Considering the number of Dr Who members who attend other such events, I’m was surprised that there weren’t more. I’m hoping that next year will certainly have some.
Activities were good. Aside from the museum’s usual treasure hunt type thing, there was a ‘create your own monster’ which the kids and the wife all loved doing (with the wife taking much longer than the kids, I think I could have left her there all day).
The crafting didn’t stop there as the kids were also able to make their own daleks using yoghurt pots, dalekenium, and PVA glue. Pretty much the way they were made in the good old days of Dr. Who. The wife is a bit of a crafter and a bit of a perfectionist as well. I actually feared we might have a national yoghurt pot shortage when she started ‘helping’ the children with their works of art.
There were also a lot of props and I loved seeing Jon Pertwee’s car as, although I was too young to see him as the doctor, I always loved the photos I saw of him driving it. To summarise, this was a great event but it needs a couple of tweaks.
1) Publicise the event and the actual programme better
2) Let us know what celebrities will be there and when
3) Get more celebrities in, pack them in!
4) Let’s have even more monsters and stuff, including a walking Cyberman!
I can’t wait for next year, and I hope that I’ll see some more of you there!