Although the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff is due to close this summer, the attraction recently announced the next restoration project. Described as “the final chapter of the Classic Who monster restoration”, the public will choose which monster will receive repair and a new life on display.
Last year the popular Cardiff attraction promoted an online public vote with four pairings of monsters from the classic era of Doctor Who in need of restoration. On that occasion the victorious duo were the Morbius monster from ‘The Brain of Morbius’ (1976) and a Mandrel from ‘Nightmare of Eden’ (1979). Once restored they were unveiled over the August Bank Holiday and remain on display in the exhibition.
Restoration of these classic monsters was carried out by The Model Unit. Under the supervision of Mike Tucker the company have previously contributed to several stories including ‘The Parting of the Ways’ (2005), ‘Cold War’ (2013) and the BAFTA award winning ‘The Day of the Doctor’ (2013). Tucker himself worked in the BBC Visual Effects department during the original run of Doctor Who which concluded in 1989. When the Experience originally opened in Olympia London, Tucker and his team assisted in restoring a number of notable exhibits including the K1 Robot and Varga the Ice Warrior. Mike Tucker himself was in attendance at the Experience on Saturday 15th April to launch the next public vote.
The eight monsters announced in the vote were:
- Yeti (The Web of Fear, 1968)
- Silurian (Warriors of the Deep, 1984)
- Sea Devil (Warriors of the Deep, 1984)
- Tractator (Frontios, 1984)
- Drathro (Mindwarp, 1986)
- Vervoid (Terror of the Vervoids, 1986)
- Haemovore (The Curse of Fenric, 1989)
- Cheetah Person (Survival, 1989)
All of the monsters in their current state of deterioration are currently on display. Looking in particularly poor condition, the Sea Devil is missing both hands and both the Tractator and Vervoid appear to have had their heads detached from the rest of their bodies, for instance. The Yeti has been on display since the Experience reopened in October 2014. However it has been in need of restoration with claws and the right foot missing, plus general cosmetic work needed. Drathro is simply a collection of pieces. The Vervoid suit is in a box whilst the Silurian has disintegrated from the ankles down. All eight items are in need of attention but only one will receive the restoration. The future of the other seven will be thrown into doubt with the Experience closing soon so every vote really does count.
Which monster will ultimately triumph? Online voting closes at 5pm on Friday 5th May. Voting at the Experience in Cardiff then closes 24 hours later at 5pm on Saturday 6th May. The winning monster will be announced a few days later with the fully restored monster revealed in July 2017.