Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weight Loss and Fanaticism

Last week went pretty well (back at WW), lost a pound and a half, bringing my total loss up to 1 stone! Finally, it's gathering momentum.

So, to the real news. Yesterday saw Ireland's largest Doctor Who convention, Vortex, run by UT Events. I volunteered to be a steward, which just meant standing at a door for a couple of hours. I met a few very nice people, one of whom was from Dublin, and also going to the same Uni as me! Small world...

Anyways, my camera was kaputt for the first part of the day, so I missed out on photographing some of the awesome items on display, including three Daleks (black, red and bling-bling), K-9, Casandra from The End of The World and New Earth, Davros' head, a nuWho Cyberman head, an Empty Child costume and the stage had been turned into a mini TARDIS interior.

The one display I did manage to get a picture of was the TARDIS which the event organisers built. It was perfectly to scale, and looked magnificent. The whole display was surreal for me, it felt wierd being in the same room as these wonderful things.

Walking around throughout the day was an Ood from The Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit and Planet of the Ood, a Clockwork Droid from The Girl In The Fireplace and the Black Dalek. The cotumes were amazing, and those dressed up happily obliged every photo opportunity.

The only store at the event was Doctor Who Gear dot com, who supplied a varied array of Doctor Who goodies, from books to toys, posters to t-shirts. I picke up quite a few things, mostly books, and a few little presents.

The event itself was well planned, and came together very efficently, perhaps a little more could have been squeezed into the day, as some parts went a little quicker than expected.

First on the schedule were Q&A with the guests, who were Paul Marc Davis- [The Trickster (Sarah Jane Adventures), Cheiftan of the FutureKind (Utopia, Doctor Who), Cowled Leader (Exit Wounds, Torchwood)], Chipo Chung- [Chantho (Utopia, Doctor Who) , Fortune Teller (Turn Left, Doctor Who)] and Gareth David-Llyod- [Ianto Jones (Torchwood)].

Paul and Chipo came out together, and had great banter between them. They discussed what it was like working on the shows, about the make-up/prostetics (Paul as The Trickster and Chipo as Chantho), about trying to choose between getting next weeks lotto numbers or meeting Jesus if they had a TARDIS trip and general Doctor Who questions about cast members. We even had the treat of a duet between the pair, of the Doctor Who Theme, they even managed to get the audience involved!

Gareth David-Llyod was a great presence, he kept a tight lid on the upcoming Torchwood: Children of Earth, but did reveal that we would find out much more about Ianto's past, such as meeting his family, and discovering the reasons he tore apart from them. There were a lot of questions from young children, whom I doubt ever saw an episode of Torchwood, and were curious about the whole show. Again, there were stock questions such as favourite alien/Doctor/companion, where would he go in the TARDIS etc etc.

Also at the event was PJ Holden, comic book artist on 2000AD and Judge Dread. He was a very nice man, and an amazing artist, I got two sketches from him, of The Trickster (who he had never even seen before, and considering that, the sketch was amazing) and of Chantho. My intention was to then get them signed by Paul and Chipo. The sketches are intended as a pair, with Chantho looking at The Trickster in a very fearful way.

Next on the schedule was the photo session, I regret now not purchasing a group photo with all the guests, as they were very nice people, but I did get one with Gareth/Ianto... In fact, I was first in line lol.

There was a short intermission for lunch, before Ianto's Coffee Club and the first game of Doctor Who themed Weakest Link started up.

The Coffee Club was an amazing treat. There were 4 tables of 9, and the guests moved from table to table in 10 minute slots. And while it was a great laugh chatting with them all, the time was so short. All three actors commented that they had just started having fun when they had to move. We discussed bras, long hair and bad movies with Paul, silly voices and shiny tops with Chipo and drinking brains, welsh curses and how toned down he'd been at the Q&A with Gareth. It was refreshing to meet these guys out of the Who-niverse context, and as real, down to earth people.

With being at the Coffee Club, I missed the first Weakest Link.

And then came my downfall of the day, which sucked up all my monies, the charity auction. The only plus side is that all the money I paid has gone to a great charity, The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice. After a little bidding, I won two signed books. A new series adventure with Martha and Tennants Doctor, Snowglobe 7, signed by Mike Tucker, and a Torchwood book, Twilight Streets, signed by Gary Russell.

The third item I bid on was a big one... An old style Cyberman head, signed by Colin Baker, the 6th Doctor (and my favourite old series Doctor). The bidding began at £100, and then the fierce battle began, I knew I could go to £300 and no higher, and fortunately I was on the even. Thankfully, the bidding ended at £300, and I sighed relief. I got talking to the guy I bid against later in the day, and he had also given himself a budget of £300. I got lucky.

With another brief interlude, came the Autograph session. With Ianto on the cover it seemed only right to get Gareth's autograph on my newly aquired Torchwood book, and I asked Chipo and Paul to sign the skethes from PJ Holden, which they were happy to do.

The convention closed down for dinner soon after the autograph session, which ended early. This gave me a chance to move all my purchases to the hotel room and have some dinner.

On return, there was another game of Weakest Link, which I got chosen to play in (it was pulled from raffle tickets). I was the 4th person knocked out, and for good reason, my knowledge was not as good as some of the other players, including a boy who didn't miss a single question through the whole game.

The fancy dress competition was mostly kids, and some of them were so cute, while others were very creative, including a very realistic (if a bit short) Dalek, and a TARDIS.

And with that, and a short closing ceremony (thank yous etc), that was it. Well, a disco ensued, but I didn't stay.

All in all, a great day, had such a fun time, met some very nice people and picked up plenty of great items.

The only downside was that it was a one day event, that the Coffee Club was so short and that there was only one vendor who didn't have any DVDs and a relatively small section of books.


  1. I wish I could have been there but I had to do something else,thanks for osting about this its great

  2. Hi! I followed your link on the UT event blog (I'm Tina Murphy/serenity79, posted above you on the blog and I think also on the Who forum) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the day, and your great photos. We were very impressed when you bought the cyberman head!

    If you're interested in my photos and thoughts they're at my lj