Conventions are nothing new in the world of film & TV, but lately they seem to be springing up left, right and centre. The newest addition to the roster is the Doctor Who Festival, which came to the ExCeL centre in London last weekend.
The cast and crew came out in force for three days of Q&As, talks and shows. Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez and Ingrid Oliver all made an appearance, alongside showrunner Steven Moffat and writers Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tregenna, Sarah Dollard, Peter Harness, Toby Whithouse and Jamie Matheson.
Aside from the Q&As, there were opportunities for photographs with the cast (which obviously sold out straight away), an interactive drama school where fans could learn how to direct an episode and even act like a monster, special effects demonstrations and – of course – plenty of props, costumes and even a set or two from the latest series.
On paper, it didn’t sound like there’d be enough to justify the £68 general admission ticket price – and it seemed even more disheartening when entering the small main hall, almost a quarter of which was reserved for the shopping village – but we managed to fill the entire day with only a brief stop for lunch.
Perhaps next year a two-day pass (at a reduced cost) might be a good idea, particularly if – as happened here – certain guests only appear on certain days (Jenna Coleman couldn’t make the Friday). There’s also plenty of different interactive opportunities to fill two days at this scale.
Of course, bigger is always better – next year, how about getting some past Doctors on board and opening it up even further? After all, it’s not their fault the Doctor Who Festival wasn’t around when they were in the show… (Okay, so maybe we’re just angling to get Matt Smith and Karen Gillen back into our lives, but you can’t blame us.)
Take a look through the images below to see what went down at the Doctor Who Festival 2015, and don’t forget to check out our Doctor Who Series 9 blog as we look forward to this week’s climactic episode, Face The Raven…