Dr. Who, the BBC produced British science fiction television series, has produced hundreds of episodes since its premiere in 1963 and it is fair to say that there are fans that stretch from generation to generation. To cater to the Whovians (as fans are known), the handcuffs and wives team, Alexandra and Kevan Looseley-Saul opened a shop and museum in East London in 1984 to display memorabilia and accessories, as well as offer toys and merchandise for sale to the public.
The Who Shop
The Who Shop offers pretty much everything and everything related to the multi-faceted Time Lord that has ever been produced. In addition to the expected items for sale such as T-shirts, mugs, key chains, pins, and of course DVDs from each season, the store also has exclusive cast-signed autographs, such as Tom Baker, the fourth incarnation of good. Doctor in the original series and David Tennant, one of the versions of the 21st century who plays the title character.
Plus, supplemental memorabilia like an original script for the BBC’s 5-part audio series Doctor Who and “The Paradise of Death.” Aired in 1986 and signed by the main cast is another possibility that treasure hunters can pick up. The store isn’t obsessed with just supplying cannon options – the Dr. Torchwood spin-off series also has a section of gear for sale.
The Doctor Who museum
You can only get to the museum from The Who Shop, but good luck seeing a museum sign or front door as none exist. In order for visitors to enter the museum, they must go to the cash register and ask to buy a museum ticket; only then will they all be revealed. Once a ticket is in hand, the visitor is given a key and taken to a replica of the TARDIS. Insert the key into the phone booth door to begin exploring the museum dedicated to the world of Dr. Who.
As you might expect and hope, it is bigger on the inside. The one-room museum is the width of the store and has over 120 props and costumes on display and more regularly added. Most are from the Doctor Who TV series, but there are also artifacts from Torchwood , The Sarah Jane Adventures, and K9 dating back to 1964. There are also some articles from other TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Red Dwarf .
Visitors are always accompanied by a guide, be it one of the owners or a member of their team of experts. One of the largest items on display is the 1989 Doctor Who Stage Play console “The Ultimate Adventure,” but there are also original scripts and other production documents on display. Some costumes and accessories are in glass cabinets, but some are not. Photography is allowed and the staff are happy to lend a hand in taking pictures so that fans can pose alongside the exhibits.
Much of the collection is from the previous Doctor Who series, so the museum will especially appeal to those who have been following the display for a long time.
Store and museum Addresses and contact information
Shop and museum hours vary slightly, so please confirm before you leave to avoid disappointment. While the store is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the hours of the museum portion on those same days are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The shop and museum can be found at 39-41 Barking Road, Upton Park, London E6 1PY. The direct phone number is 020 8471 2356. Please note that museum tickets are cash only.
The closest subway is Uptown Park. From the station, cross the street and turn right. Continue on Green Street past West Ham Football Stadium and at the pub on the corner turn left. This is Barking Road and the store is next to the bus stop.