October 2014~ Destination: Star Trek London 3

This hugely anticipated event was announced mid-year with the promise of reuniting the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge crew and have the chance to have your photo taken on a replica of the Enterprise-D bridge. As well as the bridge crew a plethora of other names were also announced. There were tickets available for all budgets and whilst many people complained, it was down to the individual as to how much they spent.

On the whole the event was an improvement on the first, though it was noticeable that the people crewing the autograph section had no idea what they were doing and were not Showmasters crew who, it turns out were only crewing photoshoots. Unfortunately, Jonathan Frakes cancelled which upset a lot of people and Patrick Stewart had to scale back what he would take part in due to him being unwell. Fair play to him as could easily have cancelled!

The event was laid out much more effectively this time and they even had a viewing area which I enjoyed very much. A trek museum was available for people to wander around and you could also have yourself turned into a Vulcan or Klingon as did my friend Mags. There were also 3 stages at which you could hear a variety of talks and displays.

I had a ticket for the first night official party on ‘Risa’ which took place at the Fox Excel bar next door. It was a big improvement and a couple of highlights were hearing The Enterprise Blues Band perform.

The bridge shoot was great fun and along with many of my friends we had a number of photos taken and had quite a crowd watching us.

Once again there were many great costumes on show, but unfortunately we did not manage to break our own world record for most people in Trek costume.

On the Sunday afternoon, a few of us (mostly members of our USS Iceni chapter) were interviewed by Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, for a documentary about fans and conventions that he was making.

As normal for me I had lots of professional photos taken with a variety of guests. See below!

Overall, I really enjoyed the event and am really hoping that another event is put on in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

 

 

July 2014~ LFCC ’14

Showmasters hit the ground running earlier in the year by announcing a big guest….Stan Lee. Little did they realise the interest it would generate. Ticket sales shot up so much that different passes had to be created. Comic and regular. Leading up to the show itself, many more big names were added including Carrie Fisher and John Hurt. The final guest count was near 100 I think!

As always I went for the regular gold pass. It was helpful as always but not as helpful as it had been in the past due to the sheer number of people that turned up.

I attended the preview night on the Friday and collected my Gold Pass. This saves time on the Saturday. My plan was to get three or four of my autographs and photoshoots out of the way to save me rushing on the Saturday and Sunday. I did this with no problem and was able to meet Edward James Olmos and Jamie Bamber of Battlestar Galactica and Robert Hays who was in Airplane, one of my all time favourite films.

I left feeling that everything was fine for the next two days…..boy was I wrong!

I turned up at 8.40am as I do normally with a Gold Pass to find the biggest queues I had ever seen! They seemed to stretch on forever! It didn’t help that all the Gold Passes (comic and standard) were in one line with the Silver Passes. Made getting in a bit more difficult.

The day began ok. I managed to see some friends, meet my cousins (who are big Firefly fans) and get most of my autographs done. But the crowds grew and grew to a point where I had to leave for a while, because I was either going to pass out or flatten someone. It didn’t help that it was the hottest day of the year so far!

The crew were getting stressed, and I had a run in with one at a photoshoot which really made me mad. Looking back though, the guy was stressed so I don’t blame him. I spent the rest of the day chatting with friends or wandering around buying merchandise and looking at Cosplayers.

I was hoping that Sunday would be quiet as normal! Yeah, right!!

Although it was quieter than the previous day, Sunday seemed a lot busier than normal. I met the few guests I needed to meet that were only there on Sunday and managed to leave by mid-afternoon. There were a lot of stressed, unhappy people. Mainly because of the sheer number of people trying to meet Stan Lee. I’m glad I chose not to now!

Even though it was manic, I believe Showmasters have learned from the experience and I’m already looking forward to the next event!

Guests I met: Edward James Olmos and Jamie Bamber from Battlestar Galactica, Robert Hays from Airplane, Summer Glau from Firefly and Kate Dickie, Sibel Kekilli, Ian Beattie, Finn Jones and Kristian Nairn (again) all from Game of Thrones.

May 2014~ Collectormania 21

I wasn’t planning to attend this time around as it normally means staying over and lots of cabs etc.

However, someone I know was announced as a guest, and as I was the one who suggested he hits the con circuit and I built his website I thought I should put in an appearance.

Whilst there my plan was to meet a number of Game of Thrones guests, plus a Star Trek guest. I also decided last minute to meet two others; one from The Walking Dead and the other Doctor Who.

My first port of call was to go and see DeObia Oparei. I initially met DeObia when he came to work at our school for a short while and ended up helping me with our production of West Side Story. He seemed to be enjoying himself and we had a good chat. Funnily enough, he was sat next to Noel Clarke of Doctor Who fame, who was an ex-pupil of our school and at one time was DeObia’s personal trainer before the acting bug bit!

Next up was to get some more signatures on my Game of Thrones canvas. It now has the following names on it:

Mark Stanley- Grenn
Luke Barnes- Rast
Alfie Alan- Theon Greyjoy
Charles Dance- Tywin Lannister
Gethin Anthony- Renly Baratheon
Nonso Anozie- Xaro Xhoan Daxos
Dominic Carter- Janos Slynt
Anton Lesser- Qyburn
Ross Mullan- Whitewalker
Joseph Gatt- Thenn Warg
Noah Taylor- Locke

Once finished, I headed over to meet Robert Beltran, who played Chakotay in Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Jeff Kober who has appeared in many shows including Buffy, Trek and The Walking Dead. Finally I went to meet Ingrid Oliver who appeared in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

Overall it was a very quiet Sunday and this made the guests very relaxed! I like the fact that Showmasters are using more space at Stadium:MK. It made it much nicer!

Roll on LFCC 2014!

October 2013~ Winter LFCC

This wasn’t really a new event, just an old event with a new name! In previous years it had been called The Entertainment Media Show but the name I think was a bit confusing.

It was a quiet event in comparison to the summer con. Nevertheless, it was a good event. It was also the first event that I properly helped out on the USS Iceni fundraising table.

Guest-wise I met the legend, Brian Blessed, Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), Garrett Wang, Joanna Cassidy and Nicole DeBoer (all from Star Trek), Hannah Spearitt (Primeval), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) and Lexa Doig (Andromeda/SG1). Again, all wonderful people (I very rarely meet a horrible one!)

There were some amazing cosplays on show. She-Ra was in attendance, various Trek uniforms plus many others.

Hopefully it will become a regular event!

July 2013~ LFCC ’13

The Whopper of all Showmasters events! So many guests, so little time.

As in the past two previous years this event started on a Friday with a preview night.

It was also the first big event where many of us who had met the previous year at DSTL were in attendance.

The USS Iceni fundraising table was also in attendance.

Guests~ where to begin! Sarah Wayne Callies and Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, Kristian Nairn, Lena Heady, Peter Dinklage, Joe Dempsie, Clive Russell and Richard Dormer from Game of Thrones, Bruce Gray and Armin Shimmerman from Star Trek and Danny Glover from the Lethal Weapon films. What an expensive weekend!

Again, some amazing cosplay from a variety of genres. My brother, sister-in-law and the kids came too. Jess and Charlie even dressed up!

To top it all of, a few of us went to the TexMex on the Saturday evening for a meal and some “soft” drinks!

May 2013~ Collectormania 19

My first visit to CM:MK for a couple of years and I had my brother Steve, Sister-In-Law Clare, niece Jessica and nephews Charlie and Lewis. It was Lewis’ first event at aged 8 months!

Lots of improvements had been made since my last visit.

Again, wonderful cosplays (including my niece and nephew) and great guests!

Charles Dance, Alfie Allan, Gethin Anthony, Mark Stanley, Ellie Kendrick and Luke Barnes, all from Game of Thrones. Henry Ian Cusick from LOST, John Rhys Davies from films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lord of the Rings, Torri Higginson from Stargate Atlantis and Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who.

One big step for my niece was her going up to get her first autograph by herself….a big step for her, She met Jenna Coleman and, being a big Doctor Who fan, she was very happy! We were so proud! (sorry about the blurred pic!)

Plus, the best father/son cosplay I have EVER seen. Dr Henry Jones Sr and Jr!

 

October 2012~ Destination Star Trek London

It was billed as one of the biggest Star Trek events to be held in the UK for many years. Naturally I had to be there!

I had been collecting Trek autographs for many years so did not see a need to pay out for the expensive tickets, so I purchased a bog standard weekend pass.

After a while I found out about a Facebook group that had been set up for the event by fans. I joined this group and made many new friends, some who I still see on a regular basis and consider them some of my closest friends.

Many plans were made for the event. To stay nearby or travel in? I decided to stay nearby. All that was left was the Aloft hotel which was amazing.

The event itself was pretty much what I expected…a cattle market. It was busy, queues were long, there was a lot of congestion. I know some people were upset, but that is the nature of the beast, especially on such a huge scale. I met all the guests I needed to meet…got plenty of autographs, took part in the Guinness World Record attempt for most people in Trek costume in one room, but most of all the weekend was about seeing a couple of old faces and making new friends.

I will say that the opening ceremony and the 5 Captains talk (hosted by John Barrowman) were both amazing! Robin Curtis, Sean Kenney and David Warner are just three of the guests that really made my weekend!

To me, it was an amazing event!