Doctor Who at London Film and Comic Con

F and I went to London Film and Comic Con yesterday, despite some travel woes – our original accommodation plans for Saturday did not work out, and an appeal on Facebook brought a very welcome offer from A (who used to be on Livejournal) offering the use of her flat near Marylebone in her absence. So we arrived late-ish Saturday, ate, slept, and went by Uber to Kensington Olympia the next morning.

On the way we passed Grenfell Tower. A grim sight.

F spent most of his time gaming; I spent most of my time queuing for Doctor Who events. I had signed up for five different Doctors, unfortunately missing Tom Baker who was there on Friday only; at the last moment, both David Tennant and Peter Davison announced that they were coming, but I was in the midst of resolving my accommodation problems and unable to take advantage of their presence. (I met them both at the Hugo award ceremony in 2014, but only got a picture with one of them.) I did manage to take a picture of Peter Davison signing as I passed:


I’m presenting the pictures I got in order of Whovian continuity, as it were. So in fact the last photograph I got taken, but the earliest in terms of Doctors, was the only one that also included a companion: behold Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford.


Sylvester McCoy was absent due to filming commitments, but I had had pictures taken with him previously, both last year and in 2013. I had also had a picture with Paul McGann two years ago, but in for a penny, in for a pound:


LFCC scored a huge coup by getting Christopher Eccleston to make an appearance – his first convention appearance at all, as far as I know. He attracted immense queues and in the morning, I actually found it easier to get into the Capaldi signing than the Eccleston one; in the afternoon, I had to plead a clash with my shoot with Paul McGann to get in reasonably early. However, it was really nice to see him obviously having a huge amount of fun. He as the only one of the Doctors who spotted his name on my T-shirt:


Others in attendance caught Eccleston in friendly arm-wrestle with Matt Smith:

And actually embracing Peter Capaldi.

As mentioned above, I missed out on David Tennant – apparently tickets for his photo shoot sold out within an hour of their being announced – but was in full fanboy mode for Matt Smith, actually my first picture of the day.


The people in front of me in the Capaldi queue were a couple with a small child aged maybe ten or twelve months (and a little brother or sister imminent). As soon as the child saw Capaldi’s face, she started howling in terror, and would not be reassured; Capaldi did his best to help, but in the end they had to settle for a picture with the Twelfth Doctor and a small unhappy person. So I had a very brief chat with him as I stepped up to the camera myself, informing him of my family connection to the show.


I also went to his talk, at which he dropped the following jewels of insight which I recorded on Twitter:

(To expand a bit: he feels that his Doctor’s story is over, and the Doctor as such has moved on. Of course, people do change their minds sometimes.)

(His favourite biscuits, if forced to choose, are Blue Ribands, not well known outside Scotland.)

He also dealt very sensitively with an audience member who asked if the Doctor had been deliberately written as autistic. “It’s more that he’s not human himself, and has difficulty sometimes working out how to behave with human beings.” Another audience member credited Doctor Who, and the Twelfth Doctor especially, for pulling her out of suicidal depression. It was great fun, and I was sorry that when the family sitting next to us at lunchtime asked us when the Capaldi talk was, I had to tell them that they had already missed it.

So yeah, generally worth the (non-trivial) cost, but not fantastic information about the programme either before or during the event itself (though given my other problems on Saturday, I probably could not have signed up for Tennant or Davison). Thanks again to A in Marylebone for solving our accommodation difficulties. And now I am going to Norn Iron for the next three weeks.