Monday 17 December 2012

Midnight - nearing the end

The main event of Midnight really has to be the stage appearance of David Tennant and Billie Piper. This had been saved to the very end to give them star billing.

David has done a few events now, but manly just photocalls and autographs. This was Billie’s first, so she was a bit green to it all. You could see she was a little reserved and taken aback by seeing so many fans hanging on her very word, but she soon relaxed and got into the swing of things.

David is a lot more gregarious and outgoing, so he was able to carry stuff where Billie was less confident.

There was no interviewer or moderator - it was just an open mic for questions from the audience.
Before too long the questioning became quite probing - and I'm choosing my words deliberately there!

One person asked that if Rose had been a hooker like Billie’s character in Diary Of A Call Girl, how would The Doctor react? David said his character wouldn't judge her and would take her as he found her - which was an unfortunate turn of phrase!

Other questions included asking what they thought of the costumes seen at the event. Billie was very complimentary about the work that had gone into them and the originality of some (Dinner Lady Rose in particular).

Asked about the filming, Billie’s lasting memory was of long cold shoots on Welsh cliff tops and the friendliness of the crew she worked with.

Moving forward she acknowledged how working on it can at times dominate any conversation she has subsequently. It is something that follows her around, though she always looks back fondly and the biggest thing she misses about it is David!

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Sunday 16 December 2012

Midnight - photocall

Just to put it out there - here is my photocall with David Tennant and Billie Piper.

My other photocalls can be seen over on my Fourth Doctor blog.

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Midnight - costumes and cosplay

Something to look forward to at any Doctor Who convention are the cosplayers and their various costumes on show.

Many come with costume changes or just their one favourite they like to be seen in.

Personally I wore three costumes to Midnight.
On Friday I did my Eleventh Doctor; Saturday was the turn of my Fourth Doctor; and Sunday, when David Tennant was around, I did my Tenth Doctor.

I’ve surprised myself as to how much I like wearing the Fourth Doctor costume, and it goes down well with the fellow cosplayers at conventions.

Around the event there was a good contingent of cosplayers, wearing a good range of costumes.

One thing that struck me was the Amy cosplayers - I only really saw ONE. Has her ship sailed already? I do hope so.

I was quite taken with the Geordie girls who dress as members of UNIT. They were game for a laugh and happy to pose for the cameras.

There is a core group of UK cosplayers I have become aware of, who like to keep the classic series alive.
It was great to see good costumes of the Anthony Ainley Master; the Fourth and Fifth Doctors; and a great Sarah Jane and K-9.

There was an unsurprising turn out of Rose cosplay, with the 50s Idiot’s Lantern dress seeming to be the most popular. I did see one very original costume - Dinner Lady Rose from School Reunion! Not sure I’ve seen anyone do that before.

As you’d expect at an event with David Tennant as a guest, the Tens out numbered the Elevens for once. His star still burns bright...

One thing I did notice though was an interesting rise in the femme and crossplay costumes - that is to say either girls dressing as male characters, but with a feminine style; or guys dressed as female characters in full drag.
I’ve seen it discussed at American conventions and a little of it online, but this was my first UK event where I saw it first-hand.


The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Saturday 15 December 2012

Midnight - first night

I got to the hotel not long after lunchtime, so had the drop on most people and checked in quickly.
After a bit of time in my room unpacking my costumes and sorting out my WiFi, I went down to the lobby to register for the event.

By now the place was packed, and full of fans checking in and milling around.

The convention is taking place in the Hilton hotel close to Birmingham International Airport, so reminds me no end of the set up for Gallifrey One in Los Angeles.

On the way down to the opening ceremony I had one if those awkward yet flattering moments in the lift.
Standing next to some one, they looked at me, pointed, and said “You’re Steve Ricks!”
I always enjoy speaking to readers of my blogs as at least it proves someone is reading them! But it's un-nerving when you are recognised by a stranger.
Awkward introductions over we had a cool chat in the lobby, during which it emerged he had recently snapped up a pair of All Saints boots on eBay - the same pair a friend had spotted, but had missed out on when the auction suddenly closed early. Now I know why!

The main hall was filling up, so I found a seat in the gold ticketed area to wait for the opening ceremony, due to kick off at 8pm. By 8.30 I was fidgeting in my seat as it still hadn’t started.

The monotony is broken by a member of staff putting a Santa hat on a Dalek at the front of the stage. This prompts a flurry of flashes as a lot of people rush forward for a photo. Everyone needs to pace themselves me thinks!

It’s not even started and we’re running FIFTY minutes late.

I’m then subjected to the Midnight police, who not only want you to have phones on silent - but demand flight mode so no Facebook, Twitter or Internet! Bloody Kaleds!
Must say its taking the shine off the event already.

Finally we get going and after some introductions we get to see the guests who are already here (David and Billie are only here for the Sunday).

Here is the list of guests.

Friday 14 December 2012

Midnight - here I come!

This weekend is a convention in Birmingham called Midnight, and marks the first event appearance for Billie Piper, who until now has kept a distance from the fans.
Alongside her is David Tennant, who although he has attended conventions before, this is his first dedicated Who event.

The pairing of these two for the first time has caused a buzz, and I know of fans coming all the way for the US specially for the event.

Since there is the promise of a photo opportunity with the Doctor and companion together, I booked myself a gold ticket a number of months back when they convention was announced. It sold out soon after.

In hindsight it’s not the most ideal timing, as I’m attending Motor Mouth in January and Gallifrey One in February, making it three conventions in as many months! And all this while I’m in full-on work on my Six Frock Coat.
Luckily I have a slight lull in my schedule there, so a forced weekend away from the sewing machine is not entirely a bad thing.

I caught a train from London Euston - not the fastest of services, but I’m in no rush - and noticed we stopped at Matt Smith’s home town of Northampton along the way.

Bit of a grim journey though. Here’s the view from the train of the landscape en route.

Roll on the weekend!

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Thursday 13 December 2012

Original 10th Doctor items - on eBay!

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a small flurry of original Doctor Who Props and costumes for sale on eBay. It’s been like a mini Bonhams auction!

Here’s what’s been on offer for Tenth Doctor fans.


Doctor Who ORIGINAL magnaclamp as used in the Doctor Who (2006) story Doomsday featuring the Daleks and Cybermen.

The prop is used at the end of the episode where the Doctor devises a plan to suck the Daleks and Cybermen back into the void.

Only 2 magnaclamps were made, this has been screen matched to the one used by David Tennant, as both have unique weathering.

The magnaclamp features a Torchwood bar code.
The LED lights still work, but the red light doesn't.

The magnaclamp does show signs of wear and tear ,which obviously is common for screen used items.
This is a VERY VERY heavy( over 5 kg ) prop made of metal and vac form plastic.