Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Sheffield Film and Comic Convention 2015

After last years first ever and successful Film and Comic Convention to be held in Sheffield, it was always going to be difficult to please everyone in its second year as the first year was so successful. Complaints of the guest list not been as good this year are to me a little harsh and subjective, as some guests may be top of one persons list and not even make another persons. For instance Game of Thrones had a big presence last year which did nothing for me or my wife, as we have never watched the show (I know there will be some gasps at this revelation). However this year both John Levene and Peter Purves were there as guests and as a Doctor Who fan I was over the moon, throw into the mix a Doctor in Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant his companion Peri and the con was a winner for me.

What really makes or breaks a convention for me is how well it is organised and the friendliness of the staff, and straight off the bat I have to say both were exceptional with some of the staff going that extra mile for us as we had an issues with our tickets. We had pre-ordered our tickets for both days and some photo shoots but unfortunately, one of the photo shoot tickets was missing and one of the Sunday tickets was for a child. Both these issues were sorted out in no time at all the Sunday ticket at the box office before the event started, and the photo shoot by the staff at Showmasters once we got into the event. I have to say a big thank you to the staff that allowed us to gain early entry, as the time for the missing photo shoot ticket was very close to our standard entry time of 11:00. This enabled us to sort things out and get to my photo shoot on time, I do after add here that I did nearly miss my photo with Nicola but that was my fault as I was wondering round the convention floor instead of keeping track of the time.

As with all conventions the cosplayers were out in force with a wide range and variety of costumes, some of which were out of this world and some not so much. I will however jump to the defense of anyone who goes to a convention in costume, as they are braver then me and secondly they are celebrating their love of a character or franchise and that should never be discouraged.

As I said at the start of this post there has been some complaint about the quality of guests, and while I think it unfortunate that Billy Dee Williams pulled out of the show. The inclusion of Michael Biehn and Robert Englund more than made up for his absence, and the ques to both those gentleman's table never seemed to go down. 

For me it was the Doctor Who guests that had my interest and I wasn't disappointed in any of them, as the fan boy in me excitedly talked to each of them as soon as I meet with them.

Nicola Bryant was very happy to talk as she signed my Peri figure and I almost missed my photo with her. As they had changed the area photos are taken from last year and I stupidly hadn't checked, but I made it in time truth be told I was the last one there but it all worked out in the end.

Colin Baker was unfairly treated during his time as the Doctor in my humble opinion, it was a time when the BBC wanted to end Doctor Who and put no money into the show at all. So it is to his credit that he has been and still is a fantastic ambassador for the show, we talked about his work on the Doctor Who audio adventures (Big Finish) and his Big Finish regeneration story that was coming out on the Monday after the con. We also talked about Timegate a convention in Atlanta that Colin attended a few years back and one I was lucky enough to go to this year, he was full of praise for the people of Timegate and the fans he met there saying that its a great convention to visit, a sentiment I agree with. Colin signed my figure of himself and happily shook my hand as I left his table, I later had a photo with Colin (on time this time) and it was great to see he was still interacting with the fans making each persons experience with him personal.

Peter Purves played Steven when William Hartnell was the Doctor and his love of the show still shines through today when he talks about the show, we spoke about the Time Meddler story I had recently watched, and his Big Finish story Secret History where Steven meets the 5th Doctor. Peter signed a photo of himself and the 1st Doctor shook my hand and also kissed my wife Helen's hand.

John Levene played Sargent Benton opposite two Doctors the 2nd and 3rd in his time on the show, John was an absolute pleasure to meet he talked to everyone regardless if they wanted an autograph or not. Sgt Benton was a stand out character to me and the little boy I was would never have believed he would one day meet him, a fact I told John who gripped my hand with both his and said bless your heart (I did get a little misty). John made the convention for me and when I met him for his photo shoot he immediately reconsidered me, and to be honest the photo i have of myself with John is one of the best guest photos I have ever had taken. So bless your heart John it was not only a pleasure to meet you, but a honor as well you sir a a true gentleman.

The Sheffield Film and Comic con has a lot to offer fans of a wide variety of shows and is very well organised, there are plenty of merchandising to spend your money on and to be honest I did as did my wife on things for me. I can only see the event going from strength to strength as its first two years have been outstanding, if you can make the event in 2016 you should come and check it out I don't believe you will be disappointed.

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