Doctor Who: Time Fracture

‘What is unquestionably fabulous is the whole area of design’: DOCTOR WHO: Time Fracture – Unit Headquarters

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UNIT Headquarters in Mayfair, London

The TV show Doctor Who has now been around for nigh on 60 years and has become a global franchise/phenomenon. I well recall its rather humble beginnings as Saturday teatime entertainment and being miffed that I wasn’t allowed to see episode one because the adults wanted to watch something about some American bloke called Kennedy who had been shot the day before in Dallas.

With no second TV/video recording equipment/catch up/on-demand/YouTube etc, I looked doomed to have missed the programme except that the BBC took the unusual decision to rescreen it the following weekend ahead of part two. Even then the Doctor had the power to do the unusual. (Pop quiz – Many people think the very first storyline featured the Daleks, but they didn’t appear until the second adventure. So, what was the first about? – Answers in the comments below please).

Anyway, now let’s jump in the TARDIS and head for 2021 and the UNIT Headquarters in the back streets of Mayfair.

“The first rule of Time Fracture is that you don’t talk about Time Fracture”. So says Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor when she pops up at the end of Immersive Everywhere’s relaunched interactive experience, Dr Who: Time Fracture. That’s going to make for an interesting review then… To be fair though, I can absolutely see the point of the embargo as any spoilers are likely to diminish enjoyment.

In any case my experience definitely won’t be anyone else’s experience as this is the sort of theatre where you go to it rather than it coming to you; no two people are going to follow the same path throughout. And it’s not a passive event – to get the most out of it you have to pitch in and engage directly with what is part play, part museum exhibit, part theme park ride and part party – never fear, there are plenty of cocktails on sale to make time seem more elastic than it already is.

The premise (I think I’m allowed to go that far) is that UNIT have discovered a destabilisation point in time and been monitoring it for fifty years. A point of final crisis is approaching, and the Doctor has proposed the audience members as volunteers who will act to get everything back to how it’s supposed to be. Thus begins a race through space and time visiting up to seventeen locations in order to solve riddles, puzzles and games, avoid the monsters and interact with characters from the Whoniverse before a final confrontation on a planet that fans of the show will know all too well.

‘What is unquestionably fabulous’ about immersive #DoctorWho theatrical experience @dwtimefracture, says, @johnchapman398, is ‘the whole area of design’ by @RebeccaBrower. #theatrereviews #OffWestEnd #Mayfair

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John Chapman
John Chapman works as a freelance education consultant, writer and copy editor. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Headteacher specialising in English and Drama. John first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Latin frog. Decades later, he has been involved with 150+ productions, usually as an actor or director. He is currently a member of Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington, London. In 2016, he was in their “mechanicals” team that worked as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play For The Nation, appearing both at the Barbican and in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2004, he served as a panellist on the Olivier Awards; he is currently an Offies assessor. He reviews for a variety of websites, writes his own independent blog 2ndFromBottom about his theatrical life.
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John Chapman on RssJohn Chapman on Twitter
John Chapman
John Chapman works as a freelance education consultant, writer and copy editor. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Headteacher specialising in English and Drama. John first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Latin frog. Decades later, he has been involved with 150+ productions, usually as an actor or director. He is currently a member of Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington, London. In 2016, he was in their “mechanicals” team that worked as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play For The Nation, appearing both at the Barbican and in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2004, he served as a panellist on the Olivier Awards; he is currently an Offies assessor. He reviews for a variety of websites, writes his own independent blog 2ndFromBottom about his theatrical life.

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