The rather self-explanatory Adventures In Time And Space – An Exhibition Of Doctor Who Memorabilia is currently on in the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries in the Scottish town of Paisley near Glasgow. Free to enter and running until Sunday 26 August, the museum is displaying a selection of props, merchandise, models, costumes and figures from the television series.
Paisley Museum has a surprising history of promoting the television programme. In 1988, as part of the celebration of 500 years of the town, they celebrated 25 years of the programme by presenting a similar display of items organised by the three central Scotland local groups of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, complete with an exhibition booklet with cover art by Raymond MacFadyen. The then Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, opened the exhibition and the museum even opened up their lecture hall on the Saturday of the exhibition closest to the actually anniversary date for a fan event which, while not advertised as such, was rapidly dubbed PaisleyCon.
Raymond MacFadyen would go on to organise Doctor Who exhibitions in Kilmarnock, Nairn, Forfar, Dunfermline, Stirling and Motherwell, while one of the people behind PaisleyCon, Stuart Halliday, persuaded the Museum Of Childhood in Edinburgh that the capital shouldn’t be left out. Their exhibition ran through the summer of 1990 and included a visit from Sophie Aldred who played companion Ace. The tour buses in the capital even began stopping on the road outside the museum so that their passengers could photograph the Dalek in the window.
Meanwhile back in Paisley in 1992 the museum brought the Behind The Sofa exhibition from London’s Museum Of The Moving Image north of the border and this time it was opened by the third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. The associated convention with the new exhibition was organised by ex-Who producer John Nathan-Turner who, under the banner of The Doctor Who Roadshow, brought the Brigadier, Nicolas Courtney, the Doctor’s grand-daughter, Carole Anne Ford, and the fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker, to a sell-out crowd.
It does leave you wondering though if that young Paisley Doctor Who fan, David McDonald, ever made it to any of those events back then. Perhaps, perhaps not. Maybe he was too busy listening to the Pet Shop Boys and changing his name to David Tennant.