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Doctor Who Exhibit

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Annie Tipple ’16 loves museums and “Doctor Who,” making it easy to see why she jumped at the chance to mark the show’s 50th anniversary by curating a special exhibit in Armacost Library.

“Thanks to this experience in particular, I've been able to solidify my desire to curate museums professionally in the future,” the visual and media studies major said. “I could honestly go on for hours about why people should come see this exhibit, but ultimately it boils down to June Hudson's beautiful drawings.”

“Threads that Join the Universe Together” will run through Dec. 13, and celebrates the costumes of the BBC science fiction classic. June Hudson, the Ronald and Cheryl Lossett Visiting Professor at the University of Redlands, has been the costume designer for “Doctor Who” since the 1970s, and will teach the “Designing for Doctor Who” course as part of May Term 2014.

“Her designs, the framed images on display, are the perfect example of the beauty and creativity of costumes in ‘Doctor Who’ and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the process of designing and crafting costumes for a sci-fi television series,” Tipple said. “Her operatic designs marked the height in Who popularity and this exhibit really is meant to pay homage to her and her work.”

“Doctor Who” has long transfixed audiences with its changing Doctors, companions and adversaries.

“There are so many reasons why I love ‘Doctor Who,’” Tipple said. “I didn't actually know much about the show until I moved to England as a pre-teen, but once I had watched my first episode - I think it was 'The Unicorn and the Wasp' with David Tennant and Catherine Tate - I was definitely hooked. The show manages to encompass science fiction aspects such as time travel, strange alien species, and saving the earth from impending doom while also incorporating humor and wonderfully captivating characters. The show is so inherently British and it time and time again reminds me why I miss England so much. It's the perfect show to watch either with friends or by yourself eating jammy dodgers and nursing a good cuppa.”

Dr. Piers D. Britton, associate professor of Visual and Media Studies and author of “TARDISbound: Navigating the Universes of Doctor Who,” said that the show is of global significance and crosses national and international boundaries as a flagship show for the BBC and top-rated show for BBC America. According to Britton, the fact that the main character has changed 12 times throughout the years and been played by as many actors is part of the reason why the show connects with so many viewers.

“Change is essential to (the Doctor Who character’s) appeal,” Britton said.

Under Britton’s advisement, Tipple has worked as the Visual and Media Studies curatorial intern for several months. While this exhibit excites Tipple as a “Doctor Who” fan, it will also be enjoyable for those unfamiliar with the show.

“Whether or not you are fan of ‘Doctor Who’ shouldn't matter, the exhibit is meant to be enjoyed by everyone,” she said. “With its colorful images, information boards, and actual costume pieces, I think that people of all sorts will gain something from this show, be it an insider's look at the design process or a peek at the visuals of their favorite show. Its eye-catching nature is meant to please everyone.”

For more information on the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who,” please read this USA Today article featuring an interview with Britton.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia

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