Reminding everyone of the charms of smaller conventions SFX have been blogging about Regenerations, the annual Doctor Who Con which took place over 22nd/23rd September in Swansea.
Naturally starting at the beginning of proceedings the Saturday line-up included an eccentric turn from John Levene – Sergeant Benton of the UNIT family – who topped off his panel with a heartfelt tribute to late Who producer Barry Letts, Terry Molloy who peppered his answers with a side order of snark before dropping the ‘C-bomb’ during an anecdote about a run in with some gangsters and an awkward turn from Angela Douglas – who seemed to feel more at home chatting about her Carry On… days rather than the one day of filming she did on Battlefield (which is hardly a surprise…).
Following on from that there was an intriguingly honest interview with former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel and Planet of the Ood screenwriter Keith Temple who admitted that he doesn’t think he got the episode right.
However, one of the highlights of Saturday was a live screening of The Power of Three, which led reviewer Will Salmon to neatly summarise the unique pleasures of smaller conventions:
A communal watch can be a wonderful experience, and everyone laughed along in the right places. And if there’s one thing I never expected to experience in my life, it’s that one day I would watch the latest episode of Doctor Who with John Levene and Anneke Wills in the same room…
Kicking Sunday off was perhaps the highlight of the day; a panel chaired by the indomitable Paul Darrow:
He’s hilarious, and doesn’t appear to have a good word to say about anyone – though it’s clear that this is (mostly) in jest. Darrow relishes playing up his role as a bit of a baddie, and that makes him hugely entertaining. His genuine affection for Blake’s 7 is also very clear.
Then it was back to the UNIT family as Richard Franklin and Katy Manning who were both good value – despite Franklin plugging his book one too many times, and then to top off the event, a double header of Doctor’s the good humoured Colin Baker and, fresh from The Hobbit Sylvester McCoy:
Colin Baker is on first, as charming and genial as ever. It’s great to see how much fandom has taken Colin to their hearts, despite the controversies of his era. McCoy, meanwhile, was still on a post-Hobbit high. Asked to run through his Doctor Who stories in order, he mixes up a couple of his anecdotes, but was as funny as we’ve come to expect. He’s a natural live performer.
For more on the events of Regenerations, head over to SFX.