Monday, 4 June 2012

Invasion! At Woodhorn Colliery

Today we took a trip up to the area around Ashington which was once known as 'the largest pit village in the world' (before the Tories decided to dismantle our mining industry).  We headed over to Woodhorn Colliery Museum, which is well worth a visit.  Today doubly so as they have 'Invasion!' an exhibition of sci-fi props and costumes.  

It wasn't overwhelmingly good, and I'm always struck by how rough actual props always look 'in the flesh' so to speak.  No matter, its always fun to take a look at these sorts of things.  The display is quite disjointed and eclectic, ranging from Robbie the Robot from The Forbidden Planet, to costumes from The Chronicles of Riddick, to Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dr Who.  There were also a few odd bits and bobs in there from a reproduced head of the ABC Warrior from Judge Dredd a costume from Red Dwarf.

Disappointingly much of it was reproduction material, but there were a few actual costumes/props which made the trip worth it, and unfortunately there was a 'no photography' policy in place.  We did manage to snap a few sneaky images though...

The Alien section was dominated by an actual costume from Alien.  Personally I reckon it looks a bit more like the design from Aliens but there you go.  There were also design 'tryout' casts of the 'chestburster', 'facehugger', and the smoother design of the xenomorph head from Alien Ressuraction, used to help the CGI chaps produce their images.  

There was also a cryo tube, but no explanation of which film it related too.  Given the dark, boxy shape i'm pretty sure it was Alien Ressurrection, probably a cryo tube from one of the unfortunate victims the Betty crew were bringing to the research station.

We also managed to get a few shots of the Star Wars section, although this was pretty poor really as it was all 'reproduced from original moulds / patterns'.  Still, Star Wars is Star Wars so here are our sneaky shots.

Apparently the stormtrooper outfit is reproduced from an original suit.  I'm not sure about the other stuff as I didn't get to read the plaques too closely.  Too sneaking the photos!  

The R2 unit was pretty rough and was a solid reproduction.  It was also much smaller than other R2 units I've seen at other exhibitions.
The Vader statue wasn't too bad (except the Doc Martens boots!), and there was his respirator noise dominating this part of the exhibition.

We also managed to snap a Red Dwarf costume, this one worn by one of the Holoship Crew, although the plaque didn't say who.

Overall, not a bad show but not good enough for a return visit.  If you're going, take a small sneaky camera!

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