I've been regularly attending their conventions and signing days over the past couple of years, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Always well organised, relaxed and well attended - I keep an eye on what's next in their calendar.
The way things have panned out I've ended up with a big, last minute rush job to remake some costumes for a National Theatre stage production that's due to open in less than a week. More on that later. So having already worked to the small hours I dashed over to Slough for the convention as I really didn't want to miss the chance of meeting the guests due to attend.
Sadly it would seem this event has been plagued by a spate of last minute cancellations. I was hoping to meet the Meldrews (Richard Wilson and Anette Crosbie themselves) but neither are now attending - so I'll avoid the obvious 'I don't believe it!' puns which were flying around all day after the news broke.
On top of this William Russell and Janet Fielding have both had to drop out.
Due to the fairly steep ticket price of £100, attendance was distinctly down, with only 80 convention goers turning up for the chance to meet the remaining guests.
Of the dozen or so guests that are coming, I only need a quarter for my autograph book, as I've met the rest or they are not Doctor Who names.
First up was a group photoshoot with all attending guests - well those who had turned up at this point. I'm not big into endless individual photos with actors, aside from a few special stand-out opportunities (the Meldrews would have been one), but a shot with a dozen makes it a worthy memento of the days event.
|Back row: John Leeson, Jenny Hanley, Alexander Siddig, Lalla Ward, Richard Dawkins, Richard Franklin.|
Front row: Simon Fisher Becker,Garrick Hagon, Sylvester McCoy, ME!, Deborah Watling, Claire Bloom and Carole Ann Ford
I took the chance to get Lalla's husband Richard Dawkins, who as well as being a renowned scientist, had a cameo appearance in The Stolen Earth in 2008, despite not being a Doctor Who fan!
Sylvester McCoy, John Leeson, Richard Franklin and Garrick Hagon are all in my book from previous events ranging from Gallifrey One in LA to Timey Wimey in Brighton.
This left Claire Bloom, Deborah Watling and Simon Fisher Becker, all of whom I needed.
Getting Deborah completes my trio of all Patrick Troughton's companions, which alongside my complete Peter Davison page makes my book feel like it's filling up at last.
There were a lot of Big Finish CDs on offer, as well as signed photos and the occasional script.
The afternoon was given over to various panels and interview sessions, but given the work I have on at home I decided to make a sly exit and head back to finish the job in hand.
The job I had been asked to do was to rework two curious shaped fitted jackets made in Lycra and neoprene - not the best fabrics to tailor such garments from.
Suffice to say it was hard work, but the costumes were ready in time - just!
A few days later I was amused to see a report on Wonder.land on BBC Breakfast, as well as follow up stories as the production opened to mixed reviews.
BBC News - Damon Albarn on Alice in Wonderland
BBC News - Damon Albarn's musical will be 'a little controversial'
BBC News - Damon Albarn 'disappoints' with Alice in Wonderland musical
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