E. Telegraph: Millennium Dome visitors will experience aliens, tornado and earthquake

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ISSUE 1553 Thursday 26 August 1999

Aliens will take Dome visitors on space ride By Nicole Martin

VISITORS to the Millennium Dome will experience the high winds of a tornado and the heat of an erupting volcano as they are taken by two animated aliens on a virtual reality ride to Earth from space.

Gaia and her son, Max, built by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, creator of the Muppets, will greet passengers in a blue and silver-glittered spaceport, called Intergalatwick, at the start of the seven-minute ride in the Home Planet zone, which was unveiled yesterday. A globe with a 12-yard diameter will hang more than 22 yards above the spaceport, directing visitors to the zone, one of the 14 themed exhibitions under the #758 million attraction in Greenwich, south-east London.

Once seated in one of the 18 "British Spaceways" capsules, visitors will see images of planets on television screens and come face to face with every type of life form from floating plankton to roaring lions. As the shuttle "arrives" on Planet Earth visitors will see 3-D landscapes and feel the special effects, simulating tornadoes, an ice cave and a volcano.

The ride will culminate with a short film, directed by Hugh Hudson, director of Chariots of Fire, that will "celebrate the diversity of human kind". Michael Grade, chairman of the Dome's creative review group and former chief executive of Channel 4, said the Home Planet zone, sponsored by British Airways and the British Airports Authority, was designed to give visitors a better understanding of Earth.

He said: "Home Planet will entertain, inspire and educate visitors of all ages about our world and the people who live in it. It will enable us to see Earth from a whole new perspective."

Sir John Egan, BAA's chief executive, said the zone would give visitors "an intriguing look into the future of travel". Henry Peplow, of Park Avenue Productions, the zone's designers, said: "This will be a physical experience as well as a visual one. All the senses will be involved."

One of Britain's biggest cleaning jobs was under way yesterday as parts of the Dome were vacuum-cleaned.

The underside of the roof had turned off-white after being covered in dust thrown up by building work. The Dome must be free of dust before any electronic and computer equipment can be installed.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 25, 1999


Probably don't need to visit The Dome to experience those things. Coming soon to a city near you....

-- Gia (laureltree7@hotmail.com), August 26, 1999.

Oops! Should have said "volcano," not "earthquake."

Looks as if we might have a hurricane experience here in the mid-Atlantic by the weekend and/or a little later; Dennis looking more and more likely. Three TDs and a TW out there--hope fellow east coast state residents are keeping an eye on the Weather Channel too.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 26, 1999.

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