University Challenge

The Doctor Who Effect has been touted as a reason for the remarkable increase in tourism and industry in general in the South Wales area – and now a study by academics at the University of Glamorgan will set about exactly what the extent of recording Doctor Who, Torchwood and THe Sarah Jane Adventures has had on the area.

Unlike many higher eduction studies that concern pop culture, it’s a popular choice among those quoted. For instance there’s Peter Bell, a fan and podcaster from Cardiff:

“People are now more aware of what is going on in Cardiff than they otherwise would’ve been. Cardiff council and the Welsh Assembly Government should listen to the findings of this research with interest because there is a big market for tourism spin-offs from the show.”

The research began at the start of of 2009 with a final report is expected in September.

Researchers involved – Professor Steve Blandford, Prof Stephen Lacey, Dr Ruth McElroy and Dr Rebecca Williams – are will studying viewer attitudes via methods such as including face-to-face focus groups (Ithat seems a contradiction in terms to me) and online questionnaires.

They also hope to interview key production personnel as well as tourist industry chiefs with an aim to illustrating parallels with representations in television drama of other cities and region.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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