Cardiff, UK — At the brand new, regenerated Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff it’s not just the Doctor himself who gets to interact with a cool piece of technology (AKA the sonic screwdriver) as Sarner has invented a unique piece of wearable technology that each visitor gets given at the start of the attraction.
Throwing the visitor into their own episode of Doctor Who was a key ambition of this new storyline. So, rather than just letting them watch the action from a distance, BBC Worldwide wanted to be able to give each visitor a wearable piece of technology that would totally draw them into the adventure and react with the story along the way.
Ed Cookson, Sarner’s Projects Director, commented: “The wearable technology had to make sense as part of the story whilst adding to the visitor’s experience, but it became apparent to us that there was nothing on the market readily available so we had to invent our own.”
Ed continues: “There are LED reactive wristbands and other similar technology currently being used but because this whole new Experience was about creating a totally immersive new storyline, we didn’t want to shoe-horn a product that didn’t make sense as part of the narrative. The pendant was designed from the ground up as a creative solution, to make sense as part of our story. In addition, we wanted to add features like vibration to create a more multi-sensory experience, rather than just a visual one and you can’t buy those off the peg!”
Each guest is given a visitor pass on a lanyard at the beginning of the Experience, allowing them access to the sacred Museum of Gallifrey. As the story progresses it becomes clear that the Time Crystal embedded into the pass has a special connection to the TARDIS, eventually helping save the Doctor in the dramatic finale.
Visitors are guided as to when to use the Time Crystal throughout the attraction and it glows and flashes, and goes through a sequence of colours, throughout the journey, combining the latest in infrared, LED and vibration. This unique technology sets a new standard for theatrical experiences across the attraction and entertainment industries.
Time Crystal Pendant facts:
–The Time Crystal was based on a glowing crystal featured in the Doctor Who episode ‘Rise of the Cyberman’;
–300 have been produced for the new Doctor Who Experience;
–Each Time Crystal can each be used for 12 hours before needing to be recharged;
–The Time Crystals are fully DMX controllable, so they can glow any colour;
–Bespoke infrared control units are used to trigger the Time Crystals at specific times and places inside the Experience, making it possible to actively control them differently in various locations of the attraction at the same time;
–The vibration is strong enough to be felt by the wearer through layers of clothing.