Saturday 17 January 2015

Meeting Sylvester - Big Finish Day 6

This weekend I was off to sunny Slough again for the sixth Big Finish Day.

Organised by Tenth Planet Events, it’s a format of convention I’ve increasing enjoyed and been finding myself drawn to. So much so I’ve booked myself up for most of their events for pretty much the rest of the year!

The main draw for me today has been Sylvester McCoy who I have a reserved page for in my autograph book, opposite Sophie Aldred who I got at the recent Timey Wimey event in Brighton.

The day kicked off with Sylvester’s stage talk, hosted by Dalek voice Nicolas Briggs. After introducing the guest, Nicolas said “shall we sit down?” and after considering for a second or two, Sylvester pointedly said “No!” So the whole talk was done standing and moving around the audience, something I’ve seen him do before (in a motorised scooter back at the Time Quest 2 event in early 2010!)

Sylvester said, “You know, Peter Jackson owns one of my original Doctor Who costumes. He directed The Hobbit, y’know. Did I mention that I’m in The Hobbit?”, thus casually dropping it into conversation.

“You wait for a Hollywood film, and three come along at once!”, recalling his frustration in finding out he had been upstaged by a variety of CGI characters he had little knowledge of whilst filming.

After a relatively brief exchange, the questions were quickly opened to the floor, and it was Sylvester who took the microphone to the fans. You could see he was in his element.

Someone asked about Sylvester's meeting with Matt Smith for the anniversary. To paraphrase his reply, he described him as an "Afghan Hound puppy! He comes bounding up to you all excited, his tail waging and he's all over you, shaking your hand and licking your face. He was delightful!"

Next up was my photocall with Sylvester, for which I had brought along two books to use as props. In Dragonfire The Doctor is seen browsing Doctor’s Dilemma by Bernard Shaw, and in Remembrance Of The Daleks he is reading Doctor In The House, by Richard Gordon.

He's always enormous game, so I happily took the book from me when I offered it to him, asking if they were the original screen used - so he clearly remembered having them in the series.

In a room closely was Ellis George, the girl who played Courtney Woods in several episodes of the latest series. She didn’t have much of a queue, so I took the chance to chat to her a bit before moving on. She was quite excited to have got the part in Doctor Who, and beyond her first read through which she found intimidating by the number of people in the room, Ellis thoroughly enjoyed her time on the show.

She revealed that the intention was for her to only appear in the brief flashback scene in Deep Breath, but they kept asking her back to do more and more scenes, until finally she featured extensively in Kill The Moon.

This was one of her first conventions, and she's looking forward to doing more in future. Her eyes lit up when I told her about Gallifrey One in LA. She would like the organisers to know she awaits their call....

I don’t think it was anything to do with me, but four days after the event, Ellis was announced as a guest at Gallifrey One - in LOS ANGELES!