Friday, April 26, 2013

Geeking out at a professional level.

As the sun set on my short trip home to Australia, I geeked out like I have only geeked out once or twice before in my life. I went to the biggest Doctor Who convention in Australian history – ‘Lords of Time’ at Rydge’s Hotel on Exhibition street. What a day and an evening it was!
I feel bad because it all seemed a bit too geeky for me, despite the fact that I happily put my hand up and say ‘I’m a geek!’ Hell, I write and produce my own Doctor Who fan fiction! However, sometimes it is a bit confronting. When there was a costume contest at the event I went to in England back mid-2011, the contestants were children. This time they were, in the majority, adults. As someone said to me ‘nothing wrong with a bit of cosplay’. Hmmmm, living in Japan I’m not sure that I would class a forty-year old woman as participating in cosplay because she dressed up as the TARDIS.
A bevy of Doctors.
A fan made (?) TARDIS console

Anyhoo. There was a stage shared by the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Doctors – Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. Other guests included John Leeson, voice of K-9, Nicolas Briggs who does the Dalek voices but more importantly is the man behind the Big Finish productions – a series of audio stories that began back in 1999 when Doctor Who was not on the tele, and my personal favourite the feisty and very funny Janet Fielding who’s time on stage with Peter Davison was incredibly entertaining. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy also make for a very fun time when they are on stage.

Janet Fielding and Peter Davison
There were autographs, photo-opportunities and much more. Some people were prepared to fork out $650 for a VIP pass that got them a meal and cocktails with the stars and I think their own photo with them. At that price it seemed a bit over the top but if you’re a fanatic then you’d be saving your pennies from way back. Photos with the stars cost $40 each so that on its own is steep and if you want one with each person...
The stars themselves are very well behaved, and extremely friendly towards the fans despite some of the awkward questions they get. I found myself overwhelmed trying to think of something to say to Paul McGann and embarrassingly talked about the weather and daylight savings time. Better, I guess, than asking some continuity-based question about his 17th Big Finish adventure. By the way, the Big Finish adventures are excellent for any ‘Who’ fan out there reading this and hasn’t listened to a few yet!
Rob Lloyd and Vicki Kyriakakis in the improvised show 'Time Lord'
The second day was wrapped by the incredibly talented Robert Lloyd, a Melbournian (originally from Dubbo) who has his own Doctor Who themed one man show called ‘Who, Me’. It was perhaps the highlight of the entire day and a bit, a very funny show indeed. Rob is now touring it around in different conventions and festivals. In fact, later in the year it has its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Rob was also involved in an improvised Doctor Who show called ‘Time Lord’ on the opening night, where he played the Doctor! 
For more information on the shows and Robert, please visit his website :

The next day was awesome weather. We had a BBQ in the back yard enjoying a cloud-free day, friends and warmth. Before I could say ‘Jack Robinson’ my time home was over, and that evening I was on a plane on my way back to Japan. It had felt like possibly the shortest three weeks of my life...

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