The World of Tintin Exhibition - London

16 June 1999

Has anyone been to the World of Tintin exhibition at the Science Museum in London yet? If you haven't may I advise you not to bother.

Actually, that's not fair - it's an excellent museum, if you've never been, do visit it. But if you know it well, and the only reason you want to go is for the Tintin exhibition, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

The idea is that it's a Tintin trail, explaining the science of the Tintin books. For example, if you go to the space exploration hall you'll find lots of rather fantastic spacecraft like the Apollo 10 command module, and next to it will be a few colour photocopied blow ups from Explorers on the Moon, and a word processed explanation of the science of manned space flight as Hergé would have understod it in the early 50s. Interesting, certainly, but not worth six quid.

Hidden way way way back of the gas and agriculture halls on the first floor is a small Tintin exhibition, showing Hergé's working methods, a few bits of mountaineering equipment and a pencilled rough of a page from Tintin in Tibet, and an overview of the creation of Flight 714. Once again, interesting but not enough. I paid for a four course meal and got a Snickers bar in return.

If you're around London at all, see it, but wait till after half past four in the afternoon, as they let you in free for the last hour of opening, and frankly, it's only going to take half of that.

Maybe I was spoiled by the excellent exhibition at Chelsea Town Hall 10 years ago, but this was frankly a bit of a let down.