Nestled just around the corner from Bond Street Station is an unassuming warehouse with only a few insignias to signify anything out of the ordinary. Within, however, is an exciting and engaging interactive experience for the whole family. I have in fact been to Doctor Who: Time Fracture twice now, once as a fan last May and again more recently. I can say that I had an almost completely different experience each time. This is a testament to the amount of experiential content that Immersive Everywhere, the production company the BBC partnered with for this project, have packed in. Having previously produced The Great Gatsby at the same location, this project seems even more ambitious in scope, taking on the 16th Century, the present day and multiple far futures, spaceships and planets.
After finding the place, which on my first visit seemed an adventure in itself, you file up while being brought into the world of Doctor Who by UNIT scientists and soldiers.
Now it is important to establish that this experience can be enjoyed on different levels, much like the programme the production is based on. For children, the zany characters, diverting visuals and the opportunity to live out the dreams of being the Doctor yourself will probably be enough. Similarly, if you have a basic knowledge of the programme, as my plus one did, you will be able to follow the plot and enjoy it, as it is explained on multiple occasions both through recording and the many cast members. As long as you go into it with a position to interact as much as possible it can be incredibly immersive and fun, if you just want to watch, there are regular places for refreshments to be purchased as well. For the committed fans of BBC TV’s Doctor Who among the audience, there is an inexhaustible number of references and callbacks in the plot, set dressing and through dialogue that can be enjoyed and shared to friends who maybe haven’t read all of the tie in novelisations for instance. The experience starts and ends with exposition and essentially more conventional theatre, and even a bit of pantomime, at the beginning and end, with interactive spaces to explore in the middle. Having done it twice, I had none of the same experiences within the ‘Time Fracture’ between both times and it is easy to split off from a group and explore.
I was also excited about my second trip. In between, the experience had to close twice due to the flooding but I can attest that aside from a few missing set dressing pieces, the quality of the experience is identical. It seems the team have really bounced back from a difficult few months.
The performers are completely convincing and will continue through thick and thin, a pigman on my first trip spoke well without acknowledging a corner of his mask had undone and revealed his very human flesh beneath. The audience can also very much take part in the action, carrying messages, making deals with ancient villains, I even accidentally got a cast member ‘killed’ by a cyberman!
After the main part of the Time Fracture, where you can enter different locations and places, there is a needed interval on a space bar with lively live music and space-themed cocktails. After this, a really terrifying ‘How did they do it?’ moment with another popular doctor who baddie and then on to the finale. Surprisingly, this conclusion for the most part feels like the audience has entered into a stage production of I, Claudius rather than Doctor Who, as senators debate constitutions but the real ending, which I won’t spoil, brings all of the elements together.
A few tips to get the most out of your experience.
Having gone to an earlier and later showing now, while kids are always allowed in, the earlier showings are unlikely to have them cross paths with the stag dos that also enjoy interactive theatre.
It is also better enjoyed in a group as you can work out theories of the plot and what to do next instead of moving in another group.
There is wheelchair access, but the experience is not all on one level so do take that into account as well.
Overall, Doctor Who: Time Fracture is as fun as it gets for in-person family entertainment and if you go into it looking to have a good time, you surely will.
Doctor Who: Time Fracture is available at
Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB