by Victoria Irwin
With 50 years under its belt, a celebration of mass proportions had to be prepared for Doctor Who in it’s home country of Great Britain. Fans from across the United Kingdom streamed to the ExCel Convention Center in London to celebrate the famous Time Lord and his adventures. With fans from Europe, and even some as far as Los Angeles and Singapore, celebrated with an expo that spanned from Friday November 22 through Sunday November 23rd.
The tube stations were loaded with young fans and those dressed in the Fourth Doctor’s trademark scarf or lovingly made cosplay pieces. As it was a cold day, many of these costumes showed the true dedication of the cosplayer. Small children pointed their sonic screwdrivers at the doors of the London Underground trains and smiling fans discussed their favorite episodes during the ride to the ExCel Center.
Despite initial problems with website registrations, a quick sell out of tickets, and initial problems behind the scenes, the celebration ran smoothly for visitors. Lines were long, but moved efficiently and one was never waiting for too long. Event volunteers were both passionate about the subject matter and highly informed.
A wealth of props and costumes were on hand, including a large collection of Gallifreyan clothing and the third Doctor’s bright yellow Roadster, Bessie. Models of Daleks and the console TARDIS were available. Nicholas Briggs, the current voice of the Daleks, bounced between several stages to introduce guests and host interviews. One particularly touching interview featured Caitlyn Blackwood, the actress known for her work as young Amy Pond in recent episodes of the series.
Audience participation was also welcome, with smaller stage shows featuring the 3D special effects team. On hand were the Dinosaur props from the episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, as well as a model of the robots voiced by David Mitchell and Richard Webb in the episode. A class on how to Walk Like a Monster from Doctor Who and a physical stunt show were also available.
Fans were able to take photographs with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, and most impressively in front of the massive console of the TARDIS from the episode The Angels Take Manhattan. The current filming console of the TARDIS is, of course, currently in Wales for filming.
Among the highlights were a series of panels involving the 2D special effects team, a revisit with some of the classic Doctor Who actors called Regenerations and a special goodbye with Matt Smith called The Eleventh Hour.