Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published May 9th 2019
Cybermen and Tardis in Dr Who Escape Room
Escape rooms can make you feel stunned at the best of times but when faced with orders from latest Time Lord Jodie Whittaker to save the world and the scary head of a Cyberman for company, it takes a games room to a whole new level.
Worlds Collide is the UK's first official Doctor Who live escape game that has been created by BBC Studios and Escape Hunt.
It is now available at the Escape Hunt in Birmingham at the top of Corporation Street but is it out of this world for Whovians or something lined up to exterminate?
Worlds Collide works on two levels. On one hand, it is a fascinating and well-decorated themed room for puzzle enthusiasts, while for Doctor Who fans, it allows them to achieve a dream of becoming one of the Doctor's companions... Well at least for an hour.
With just 60 minutes to escape, a helpful assistant leads the team of up to six people into what at first appears to be a normal looking study.
The background is filled via a video on a screen and explains that you have been transported into the future to the offices of ChronosCorp HQ. This room is where eccentric billionaire Alastair Montague has tried to develop commercial time travel but caused a tear in the fabric of space and time, which the Cybermen will use to attack Earth unless you can mend the seal.
A final quirky pep-talk follows from the Doctor as the excitable Yorkshire tones of Jodie Whittaker instructs you on what you need to achieve, which gives a sense of urgency and excitement to the proceedings.
There's plenty to find and solve over several rooms and there's some lovely detail in the artefacts associated with Doctor Who. Not just connected to Whittaker but with some of the Doctor's previous forms too.
And before you ask - yes, there is a sonic screwdriver that you use to solve one of the puzzles.
In terms of an arch enemy, this game focuses on the Cybermen and being locked in the same room as key body parts of these robotic beasts does send a little chill down the spine.
As Montague was dabbling with time and space, there is a scientific theme and some fantastic equipment to use and sci-fi effects.
The cosy welcoming lounge waiting area at Escape Hunt
While in terms of the puzzles, they offer a good range of options from easy to hard that suit various abilities and types of thinking too. It's not the most complicated or difficult of the games on offer at Escape Hunt, but I wouldn't say it's the easiest either.
The assistant told me that in the first few weeks, around 55% of groups were escaping within the hour deadline, which gives a reflection of how tough it is.
What's special about this escape game isn't so much the types of puzzles but the uniqueness of its theme with a well-loved TV show.
The tie-in with the BBC allows official Doctor Who material to create a world of adventure that thrill-seekers can get lost in for an hour.
This immersive adventure is now open in Birmingham at Escape Hunt as well as Bristol, Leeds, Oxford, Manchester and Reading. A luxurious, cosy and welcoming waiting room has a bar on offer.