Wednesday, 25 November 2015
LIFESTYLE | DOCTOR WHO FESTIVAL
On Friday the 13th (oooh), my friends and I attended the first day of the Doctor Who Festival weekend. Held at Excel London at Victoria Docklands, Whovians united in all manner of cosplay and dress to celebrate their love for the show. Joining the fans was the Doctor himself Peter Capaldi, writer and producer Steven Moffat, co-writer Mark Gatiss, Michelle Gomez who plays Missy, and Ingrid Oliver who portrays Osgood (Jenna Coleman would be joining them on Saturday and Sunday). Before the talks started, we had a little wander around the Main Hall which was displaying many of the props and costumes used in the show. It's especially great to see that the Miss Patina pinafore worn by Coleman's character Clara Oswald in the show has become so iconic, they're one of my favourite brands that I've also had the pleasure of working with. I found it quite funny that one of Maisie Williams' costumes from the show is an intricate medieval gown, as it's the furthest cry from anything I'd associate her with, especially with her most popular role as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones.
The first talk was Meet the Writers with Moffat, Gatiss and Catherine Tregenna. It was interesting to hear from them, how ideas for episodes came to be and how they visualise the characters they write before the casting process. Straight after the hour long session was Meet the Cast with Capaldi, Gomez and Oliver. They told many anecdotes from their time filming the show and there were some hilarious stories involving the creative DIY props and special effects (as Capaldi put it, "We don't have the budget of Game of Thrones") and most of what you see on the show is actually made of common household materials (you might spot some IKEA cutlery in an upcoming episode) so things break quite easily. Capaldi also explained that he enjoys wearing the sunglasses now as the top of sonic screwdriver actually kept coming lose every time he flicked it, and he always got in trouble for hitting a member of the crew or losing the piece in a patch of bushes. My heart did a happy little dance when he mentioned Ben Whishaw and going back to work on Paddington 2 soon. Near the end of the hour they took the questions to the audience and it was particularly adorable to see the younger kids in awe over their Doctor in front of them.
After midday they had photo opportunities with the cast and lining up for them, it's always so amusing (in a good way) to see how others before you pose because damn, people come up with some creative stuff! There was actually a little toddler dressed up as the Twelfth Doctor complete with a miniature electric guitar that stole the hearts of everyone in the room, including Peter Capaldi himself. The staff managing the queue took your name just before it was your turn for a photo so Peter can greet you by your name which I thought was such a nice touch. Literally the first thing Peter exclaimed when he saw me was "You look amazing!" which was probably not the best move for me because I think I almost fainted and everyone in the queue turned to look at us. Anyway, seeing as I wasn't in cosplay, did this translate to a marriage proposal? Teehee. He was super nice as always and gave me a hug and thanked me for coming. I then waited for my friend who had more photos with the rest of the cast and Mark Gatiss.
After the photos we headed back to the main hall to look at the merch stalls, which is probably always my favourite part of any pop culture convention because let's face it any reason to shop is a good excuse for me and before we knew it, it was the end of the day. It was relatively quiet for a convention (maybe because it was still the Friday) and though I wished I had gotten weekend tickets so I could see Jenna, my friends and I had a blast. I've really been getting into all the pop culture expos this year, I'm going to Hyper Japan next!