Feeling a bit nostalgic today and I was thinking back over the wonderful experiences I had last year. One of my favourite days was at the Doctor Who Festival in London. I got the ticket for my Birthday in August so it seemed like I was waiting aaaaages for this day to come around and at last it was here! Cyberman Sunday! Vicki and I collected our TARDIS tickets and headed straight into the main hall for our first talk. The hall was huge and jam packed!
We didn't have to wait long before the special effects talk started. Mark Gatiss and members of the Millennium FX team talked about getting the monsters from script to screen. Kate Walshe, who designs and creates the monsters we see on screen, talked about the process and challenges faced by the special effects department. From short deadlines to making the costumes wearable for actors it was a great insight into the creativity behind the show. Some of the monsters even appeared live on stage.
Before we knew it the talk ended and the whole hall stood up and left at once!! As Vicki and I shuffled out Julie wrestled her way through the crowd to us! Julie and I met through Twitter after attending An Afternoon with Mark Gatiss.... But that's a story for another time! This weekend was the first chance we had to meet up and chat properly. Meeting friends off the internet is so lovely. Especially when they are as lovely as Julie. It also helps that all the awkward first meeting stuff has been done over Twitter so when you meet you are just straight into normal conversations and that exactly how it was with Julie. The three of us headed off up stairs to meet Peter Capaldi! That's right the Doctor himself.
Butterflies were raging as we got our place in line and slowly made our way towards the 12th Doctor. The energy in the room grew as the line snaked closer to Peter. We could see him interacting and posing with the people ahead of us. He was so lovely with everyone and genuinely seemed to be having great fun meeting the fans. Then it was our turn. As tradition dictates I made Vicki go first and she got a brilliant picture. Telling him the next two girls are her friends and they want hugs too! Then I got my turn. I was introduced to Peter and he said "Hi Charlie nice to meet you" I think I squeaked some words... Then he "So a hug then" I said yes please and he wrapped his arm around me and I grinned for Britain! I told him he was a wonderful Doctor and he thanked me for the support and I left the room on a cloud. Julie went after me and got the hug she wanted for her picture and we were three happy Whovians!!
We headed down to the festival halls to let the excitement of what just happened sink in. We sat sipping our tea watching the festival which was a hive of activity with plenty of things to do. After we were suitably calm we headed off for our set photos in Clara's flat. Vicki let all three of us in on her picture and we chilled in the living room while Clara was making us a cuppa! I love this picture it's a great memory of the day!
We went to have our pictures taken at the special effect booth. We caused havoc throwing snow around which was hilarious and seemed like such a good idea at the time..... Except it didn't come off. At all. We were covered in it head to toe and we spent the rest of the day picking bits of fake snow off each other.
Next up was the meet the writers talk back in the main theatre. This time Steven Moffat, Toby Whitehouse and Jamie Mathieson were on stage answering fan questions. They talked about pitching story ideas to Moffat and how they develop the storylines. There were no hints about Moffat's departure at this time except the fact he got tetchy when fans asked about the scheduling of the forth coming series 10!!!
An excitable 30 minute wait in between talks as the 3 of us waited in our seat for the Meet the Cast talk. On the couch was Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Ingrid Oliver and Steven Moffat. Braver people than I raised their hands to ask the cast questions! They were all in great form especially Michelle Gomez who was sporting an epic Doctor Who themed Christmas jumper!
Below Peter answers a question about those 'Question Mark Underpants'.
At the end of our talk Peter presented Jenna with some flowers in this very sweet moment.
With big smiles and slightly misty eyes we headed up for our last picture of the day. Julie headed off to meet Missy and Vicki came with me to get my pic with Osgood. As much as they can be time consuming I love queueing up at a con. I love the atmosphere of excitement of all the people gathered together. We were prepped by the photographer to clap and cheer when Ingrid comes in As they have been having a bit of a competition with Michelle all weekend. We heard the crowd next door cheer for Michelle then Ingrid was announced into our room and we went wild! Much louder and noisier!!! Michelle's crowd tried again but we drowned them out. Suddenly Michelle burst through the door and ran round the room as we cheered and clapped and in a flash she was gone again! Such good fun!!I told her I approved of her change of footwear pointing out my own Nike's saying you only have to look good from the ankle up and she said 'Exactly, you can't see them in the pictures anyway!' she complimented me on my tee, from The Colorful Geek saying 'The Weeping Angels are my favourite monsters'. I asked if we could thumbs up in my picture and she very happily obliged saying 'Of course who doesn't love a thumbs up'. And with a quick goodbye I was done. Love her.
We collected Julie from her photo op with Missy, who said she was lovely and got a great pic with her, and headed back down to the festival halls to check out the stages and exhibitions. The stages held talks on production, special effects and a cosplay show case. Interactive session such as drama school, where you could learn to act like a monster or be a director. Everyone we saw seemed to be having lots of fun! The organisers really had thought about how to keep fans entertained. We headed off to check out the props and costume display which as a casual cosplayer was fascinating I took lots of pictures of all the costume details.
And with that it was the end of the day and we had to leave this haven of Doctor Who loveliness and head back into the real world. It was a truly brilliant day. The meeting the cast and seeing the live talks was amazing but I had the best fun hanging out with my friends. Spending quality time with my oldest fandom friend Vicki, it really doesn't happen enough and getting to know Julie in person, now I can imagine her tweets with her lovely Scottish accent!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at the Doctor Who Festival. I can't wait to go to my next convention but I think that will be well after little one arrives! Who out of the Doctor Who cast would you like to meet or have you met?