At the weekend I went to the official Doctor Who convention. It wasn’t like other conventions I’ve been to. It was expensive, activities were more prescribed and there was less time for socialising. But that was more than made up for by the talks and guests. Normally at conventions, you get to meet people who made the show twenty years ago. Which is great and they’re lovely, but this convention was all about the people who are actually making the show right now. It was as if everyone at the Upper Boat studio had taken a bus ride into Cardiff and started showing off.
Danny Hargreaves, who has worked on every episode of new Who, Blew Things Up right in front of us and made it snow indoors. Niell Gorton turned actress Raquel Cassidy into a fleshy ganger in 45 minutes. Producers, writers, directors, set and costume designers were all there, discussing how they make the show. The creative juggernaut that is Steven Moffat took part in two panels, ensuring nobody let slip something they shouldn’t and refusing to be drawn himself. The three stars of the show, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, exhibited all the camaraderie that we’ve come to expect thanks to their appearances in the late, lamented Confidential.
Then there was the set tour. The actual TARDIS set. Where they film the show. They drove bus loads of fans down there, let us pull levers, twiddle knobs and stroke the doors. Not that I did that. *ahem* The working set, which we were repeatedly reminded would have lights and wires, is due to be dismantled for relocation to its new home in a new studio complex so they bravely let groups of geeks have a go at dismantling it first. We got to have tea in the famous Blue Box Cafe too, chatting to our tour guides who also happened to be engineers and extras on the show.
I had my photograph taken with Karen Gillan, who looked stunning and seemed to be made entirely of long limbs. The security guard inspecting the bobble hat that another attendee had crocheted for her with a non-plussed look on his face was marvellous. Karen was very friendly and didn’t seem to mind having yet another fan putting their arm around her for the photo.
I finally got to meet Barnaby Edwards in person, and he gave me a big hug, which was lovely. All the crew were good humoured, professional and friendly the whole day. The event was very well planned and ran like clockwork. The process for distributing the photographs was the only thing that didn’t seem to be very well thought out. It involved the big burly security guards with their heavy welsh accents wandering around, trying to match the geek in the photograph with someone from the crowd.
It was also great to meet so many other podcasters in Eddie’s Diner (location for The Impossible Astronaut, you know), who were warm and welcoming.Pin It