The USA Tour brochure

HISTORY OF THE EXHIBITION:

In Autumn 1985 Julie Jones, who was the person overseeing the Dr Who Exhibition's at BBC Enterprises, and several other key figures representing the corporations interest in America, mainly Monarch International and its programme distributor Lionheart Television, developed the project into reality. Popular Dr Who artist Andrew Skilleter was contracted to produce the exterior decoration designs for the trailer which composed alien landscapes and the Dark Tower of Gallifrey.

 

The USA Tour Trailer sets off

The Exhibition interior was designed by BBC Designer Tony Burrough to accomodate as many items on display in the confined space. The Exhibits included a Silurian, Sontaran, Cyberman, Dalek and K-9 together with a mock up side of the Tardis console.Some of the characters were animated to make the Exhibition more interesting for visitors. The brochure reproduced on this page gives you an idea of the items on display which were set up behind plastic display glass.There were two police boxes at either end of the trailer to allow visitors to enter and exit the Exhibition while a merchandising area was set up to the front together with Bessie which accompanied the tour. On completion the Dr Who USA tour was given a grand press launch attended by Colin Baker in costume as The Doctor, Nicola Bryant and Janet Fielding all menaced by a Cryon and Cyberman !
The Trailer today,  the distinctive artwork still visible
The launch was featured on John Cravens Newsround which showcased the Trailer and contribution from Colin Baker who said of the Americans - "They'll adore it. They get the chance to see and almost touch the actual props and costumes from the programme."The forty eight foot long trailer (too large to be legally driven on Britain's Roads) finally left Liverpool for New York in May 1986 where it received its official American launch on 9th attended by Peter Davison and Michael Grade. Once in the states the Trailer was to be on the road 3 days a week driving between venues to give as many fans stateside the chance to view the Exhibits.
However, the Trailer suffered some damage while being loaded/unloaded at Liverpool dock and on returning to the U.K the interior was stripped with many items finding their way into the 'Space Adventure' Exhibition on Tooley Street. What happened to the Trailer itself became something of a mystery with the popular belief it had merely been sold for scrap. However, quite by chance I was visiting New Mills in the High Peak in December 2001 when I spied the USA tour logo on the back of the Trailer in a scrap yard !
USA Tour logo still decipherable !
Sure enough it was the remains of the very Exhibition which had journeyed overseas and found itself in this unlikely location. How it arrived there is anyones guess but it just goes to show that you never know what you may find on your travels ! Kevin Taylor