October - December 2023
During the past six months of administration, we have made arrangements with the National Lottery Heritage Fund which enable us to continue and complete key elements of our heritage project.
Cataloguing the archive collection with the help of our volunteers is continuing and we have also been making plans to deliver a variety of creative community workshops and public exhibitions in the coming months.
In late-2022, we had begun looking ahead one year to the 60th anniversary of the BBC’s iconic science-fiction drama Doctor Who. Having been filmed for a time at Riverside Studios (between 1964 and 1968) and due to our close association with the programme and many of its fans, we wanted to celebrate this milestone in our shared history.
We had worked closely and successfully with BBC History and the BBC Photography Archive on our 2022 exhibition celebrating the BBC’s centenary, so we proposed to them a new photography exhibition charting the six decades of Doctor Who. Thankfully, our friends at the BBC were keen and this summer our archivist Hope started selecting images from a wealth of material.
The thirty images Hope finally chose – capturing actors, make-up artists, props, sets and costumes throughout the years - were then beautifully restored by the BBC Photography Archive in preparation for being exhibited. We were also keen to bring some of Doctor Who’s iconography to life and managed to secure both the TARDIS (from Series 2, lovingly recreated by prop-maker Ben May) and a Dalek (owned for thirty years by the BBC’s John Escolme) for inclusion in the exhibition. Hope also created a mini set in our atrium representing a British living room from 1963, complete with wall-mounted flying ducks and a vintage television showing clips of Doctor Who.
The exhibition – ‘Regeneration at Riverside’ - was launched on Monday 16th November with guests including former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffatt, veteran camera operator Dudley Derby, First Doctor William Hartnell’s grand-daughter Jessica Carney and cultural historian Matthew Sweet. Dalek sliders were served and a TARDIS cake was also cut to mark the occasion.
The exhibition is free to attend and will run until the end of December.
In addition, we will be running Doctor Who-inspired creative workshops for local primary schools and hosting a rare screening of the Doctor Who origin drama An Adventure in Space at Time followed by a Q&A with the actor who plays William Hartnell/The First Doctor, David Bradley. This event has already sold out – providing more evidence of the continuing appeal of this seminal TV show.