14 May 2017

Golden Mile Years - The Blackpool Doctor Who Exhibition #4



By the early 1980s the Blackpool Doctor Who Exhibition had become established as a major attraction for the resort and a destination for fans from all over the UK who would badger their parents to let them go. Each year the exhibits would change so as to include costumes and props from that year’s series. By 1981 Doctor Who itself had changed with a refreshed look and a new Doctor in the form of Peter Davison. The final Tom Baker series though was in the spotlight for the 1981 displays with something from each story which you could see for the entrance fee which was now 40p! 




From `The Leisure Hive` there were Foamasi and Argolins standing in the Tachyon Generator Hall in a set that included the generator cabinet. Moving bell plants were included in the `Meglos` display that also featured the Gaztak spacecraft. A major section was used for a `Full Circle` set that was laid out as part of the Outler’s cave with Marshmen, Marsh spiders and some river fruit. Representing `State of Decay` was the model of the tower. From `Warrior’s Gate` there were some Gundan warriors which looked as good as they had on TV. The M-Z weapon was also present and had been modified so as to allow attendees to operate it by pressing a control button. The impressive Melkur statue from `Keeper of Traken` made for a memorable exhibit and for the fourth Doctor’s finale we had a scene of the Monitor. Of course the season finished with the fourth Doctor’s regeneration and this was playing on a loop on the monitor by the exit which until this year had played a message from the Doctor. The scene is one of those that is now so familiar to fans it has probably lost it’s impact yet there is something elegant and bittersweet about it. Of course there were still plenty of old favourites with tableaux involving Daleks, Davros and the Movellans which had debuted in 1980. K9 was still present as were Zygons, Sontarans and Cybermen.



In 1982 with the admission price now 50p the exhibition could now incorporate some Peter Davison stories into its displays. At the foot of the steps this year was the bejewelled android from `The Visitation` and in a separate set two Terileptils. There was the `Kinda` jungle with the large TSS machine and the trickster complete with war mask.  Two Urbankans from `Four to Doomsday` were next. Again there were a number of impressive models that always seemed to look great even at close quarters. This year included the `Earthshock` freighter and the Pharos Project dish.

In the main hall there was a suitably `excellent` Cyberman turnout with four of them standing around their Cyberscope. There were also some Castrovalvan warriors sporting their feathered helmets and a Plasmaton which looked better in this format than it had on screen. The Gundan set had been retained and now included a scared Lazlo whilst there were also Daleks, Davros and K9. The way out made for an encounter with a Plasmaton and here was one monster that could ever look better! While the focus was now firmly on the fifth Doctor the Exhibition remained a huge attraction for Doctor Who fans of all eras. 
More photos in the Blackpool Doctor Who Exhibition Gallery- link above


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