Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Doctor Who Festival: London - Review


Last weekend saw thousands of Doctor Who fans invaded London's docklands for 2015's Doctor Who Festival held at the ExCel Centre.

This was the third official BBC event since the programs reboot in 2005, following the Official Convention in Cardiff (2012) and the 50th Anniversary Convention in London (2013), all of which have been a massive success...

No Doctor Who fan could deny that there was always something to do or see during the course of the day, from props and costumes to look at, stalls to browse and talks/demonstrations to watch - there wasn't a dull moment, and it never fell silent (even at lunch).

Unlike the previous event held here in 2013, it was clear that this was solely focused on Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who era, with the costumes/props and promotional materials reflecting that. Items featured in the costumes/props square included the 12th Doctor and Clara's costumes from the the series opener 'The Magicians Apprentice/The Witches Familiar', Missy's iconic purple victorian outfit and the two Osgood boxes.

The BBC also brought across some of the iconic sets from series 9, including Davros's Sick Chamber (The Magician's Apprentice/The Witches Familiar), Ashildr's Viking village (The Girl Who Died) and Clara's living room (various episodes, including The Zygon Inversion).

Fans who had booked far enough in advance also had the opportunity to meet some of the cast and crew, including Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez, greeting attendees and taking part in photoshoots throughout the day.

It has to be said that the highlight for many at the festival (including myself) was the three panel shows that took part during the day - the most popular being the cast talk featuring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Ingrid Oliver and Steven Moffat. Hosted by Doctor Who fan Toby Hadoke, the panel answered various questions about their life on set and the impact the show has had, as well as the usual 'female doctor' and 'favourite episode' questions.

The fans involvement in the event was always going to be something the BBC wanted to push, seeing how much the fans enjoyed cosplaying their favourite characters at the previous events, it became a main focus this time around, with a cosplay showcase even taking place. Even the guests were surprised at how amazing the costumes were - complimenting them throughout the photoshoots.

The whole day (and rest of the weekend) was yet again another success from BBC Worldwide and BBC Events, perhaps...the same again next year? Pretty please.

Satellite Five's video overview of the event will be uploaded soon - keep your eyes peeled!

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