Category Archives: Fun stuff

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay – July 2015

Tom outside the Doctor Who Experience
Welcome to the Doctor Who Experience!

Welcome! Croeso!

We are travelling back in time to my summer holiday in Wales. Today we are at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, this time in July 2015. I was very excited to go to The Doctor Who Experience again as it was the first time I had been since it was updated with the new Doctor. In August 2014 I was stood outside the closed Experience whilst Peter Capaldi was inside filming the new interactive story so I was looking forward to seeing the new adventure!

When I arrived there was a giant queue as it was the summer holidays and Whovians had come from everywhere to experience the experience! As soon as I arrived I went into the interactive adventure with the other fans. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who is planning to go but I will tell you that I entered the Museum of Gallifrey expecting to learn about Timelords and the history of Gallifrey. Instead I embarked on a journey when the Twelfth Doctor transmitted a message saying he needed our help – and we had to grapple with a threat which could destroy the universe……..

The First Doctor's TARDIS at the Doctor Who Experience
The First Doctor’s TARDIS

It was very exciting helping the Doctor and some of the children were a little scared, but we survived. The Doctor didn’t quite return us to where we started though so I never got to look around the Museum of Gallifrey! Maybe if you visit everything will go a bit smoother for you!

After I made it back to Cardiff 2015 I had my photo taken in a green screen TARDIS. I chose to wear a Fez , which was cool, and I chose to be in the Twelfth Doctor’s TARDIS because that is my favourite TARDIS in the history of Doctor Who! I look quite perplexed in my picture because when I was posing in front of the green screen I didn’t know how the background would look. When Peter Capaldi had his photo taken he couldn’t choose so wore the Eleventh Doctor’s Fez and the Fourth Doctor’s scarf!

After my photo I went upstairs to The Exhibition Hall to revisit ‘the world’s most extensive collection of original Doctor Who props and artefacts’. This is my favourite part of the whole Experience because all the suspense from the interactive part is relieved from you and you can relax and look at all the items from the series! Since my last visit the hall had regenerated and moved around and there were lots of new items from the Series 8 (2014) episodes! Here are some of my favourites:

From my favourite New Who story Deep Breath – the hot air balloon made of skin that Half-Face Man tried to escape in.

Balloon from Deep Breath at the Doctor Who Experience
A balloon made from skin!

From Mummy on the Orient ExpressThe Foretold. If you can see him you only have 66 seconds to live!

From Robot of Sherwood we can see a knight’s armour and the Sheriff of Nottingham costume worn by Ben Miller.

The Sheriff of Nottingham and Robot of Sherwood at the Doctor Who Experience
The Sheriff of Nottingham and Robot of Sherwood!

From In the Forest of the Night – a lion from Trafalgar Square. This giveaway told the Doctor he was in London and not a forest.

A lion from 'In The Forest of the Night' at the Doctor Who Experience
A lion from Trafalgar Square!

From The Caretaker – the Skovox Blitzer which was a danger to Coal Hill School and one of the most dangerous weapons ever created!

The Skovox Blitzer from The Caretaker at the Doctor Who Experience
The Skovox Blitzer from The Caretaker

I didn’t have enough time in the exhibition because I had to leave Cardiff at lunch time to go to another part of Wales and carry on with my holiday. Sadly for me I had hurt my back too so I couldn’t join in with everything, for example, learning how to walk like a Doctor Who monster.

Finally I visited The Official Doctor Who Shop. The shop is giant and full of Doctor Who merchandise – it is the only official Doctor Who shop that you can visit in the whole world! Maybe there is one on another planet though..… Anyone can visit this shop; you don’t need to pay for a ticket. I bought a new Doctor Who T-shirt because my old one is getting smaller and smaller by the minute. I will be wearing my T-shirt in lots of future posts, it is in the style of a comic – I hope you will like it.

The regenerated experience is better than ever, I’m really glad that I got the chance to visit it before I left Cardiff. No-one should leave Cardiff without having a Doctor Who adventure. And I’m glad to report that my back is better too! Have you been to the Doctor Who Experience? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think about this amazing Doctor Who attraction.

See you soon for a new Doctor Who location report – next time I will be reporting from Mars, I hope you will come back and read all about it.  

Disclosure: Thank you very much to the Doctor Who Experience for allowing me free entry to report on my adventure. All opinions are my own!

 

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Day 1, Film & Comic Con Bournemouth, Dorset – August 2015

Tom with Sylvester McCoy
Hello Sylvester McCoy aka MY Doctor, the Seventh Doctor!

Hello and welcome to another post.

Today I am writing what will be a very long post about Film & Comic Con Bournemouth because it is JAM PACKED with Doctor Who actors. This was the very first Film & Comic Con in my home town of Bournemouth and the organisers Showmasters were very kind and gave me a Press Pass so that I could interview all the Doctor Who stars for my Project Indigo readers!

I was very excited and knew that I would ask everybody my three Golden Questions:

  1. What is your favourite Doctor Who episode?

  2. What is your favourite Doctor Who filming location? and

  3. If you could go anywhere in time and space where would you like to go?

As soon as I arrived I went to meet the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, because he is my favourite Classic Doctor and I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time! Sylvester was just as I imagined and he was incredibly cheerful and was pleased to answer my questions.

I asked Sylvester my questions. He said that his favourite episode ever is the first one he saw, a Patrick Troughton episode but his favourite Seventh Doctor episode is possibly The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988) – my favourite Classic episode. What a co-incidence!

Sylvester’s favourite filming locations are both right here in Dorset! He enjoyed filming The Curse of Fenric (1989) at Lulworth Cove and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Survival (1989) in a sandpit in Dorset (Warmwell Quarry which I visited in October 2014). Later, in a talk that Sylvester gave with Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred , he said that he liked filming Survival in the sandpit because there was a heatwave and one of the ladies overheated in her cat costume and stripped off and ran away!

Bonnie Langford, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth
The Doctor Who talk at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth

If Sylvester could go anywhere in time and space he would like to visit America before the Westerners arrived to see what is was like. He said that as the Doctor he would not want to change anything he would just like to observe.

I felt so happy to meet Sylvester and relieved that I had finally met him as I tried once before but had to leave before I got the chance. He is the Fourth Doctor I have met and I feel like Project Indigo has been given a real boost by meeting him!

Next I met Terry Molloy (Davros), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Sophie Aldred (Ace). I have already asked them my golden questions before when I met them at the Timeless Collector’s Fair and The Bournemouth Invasion so I just had a little chat with each of them and welcomed them to Bournemouth. It was Sarah’s first visit to Bournemouth but Terry used to live in Bournemouth when he was a teenager. I spoke to Sophie about her new audio drama Strangeness in Space which is for anyone aged 8-80 to enjoy! It sounds really fun and I am definitely going to listen to it soon.

Tom and Bonnie Langford
Hello Bonnie Langford aka Mel!

After Sophie I met Bonnie Langford aka Mel Bush, companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors. Like everyone else she was very kind and answered my questions. Bonnie can never remember any titles of episodes but her favourites are the ones with Daleks in them.

Her favourite Doctor Who filming location is anywhere indoors! She said it would always rain on location – except for when they filmed Delta and the Bannermen (1987) on Barry Island. It was really sunny then but everyone got sunburnt!

If Bonnie could go anywhere in time and space she would like to visit Hollywood in its heyday and dance with Gene Kelly.

Tom and Matthew Waterhouse
Hello Matthew Waterhouse aka Adric!

Then I went to talk to Matthew Waterhouse who played one of my favourite ever companions Adric , the companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctor, from Alzarius. I really hope the Doctor will have another alien companion one day as it was always really good when the companions were from another planet. Please make that happen Stephen, if you’re reading!

Although it is many years since he played Adric Matthew still looks like him. Matthew’s favourite episode that he was in was Keeper of Traken (1981), but other than that it was Spearhead from Space (1970) which was an episode he watched when he was 7 and he was very scared by it! His favourite filming location was Tunbridge Wells as the crew stayed in a hotel for a week and had lots of fun.

Matthew liked the idea of pressing a button in the TARDIS and landing anywhere but if had to choose he would love to go to Elizabethan England and see Shakespeare’s plays performed by his original players. That is just like the Tenth Doctor and Martha in The Shakespeare Code!

I was very pleased to meet Matthew, it is always good to meet someone nice but even better when you admire them. My companion bought a copy of Matthew’s autobiography ‘Blue Box Boy’ so we could learn all about his time in the TARDIS!

Tom and Dan Starkey
Hello Dan Starkey – aka Strax!

Next to Matthew was Dan Starkey who plays the Sontaran Strax who is part of the Paternoster Gang. It felt very strange looking at him as his normal self and looking at him as Strax but I recognised him as I have seen him in Wizards vs Aliens and on University Challenge. Luckily he doesn’t have the attitude of Strax because Strax is VERY weird!

Dan’s favourite episode is The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977), but out of the episodes he is in it is The Snowmen (2012). His favourite filming location was filming The Snowmen at Treberfydd House as he was able to stay at his Mum and Dad’s!

If Dan could go anywhere in time and space he would like to see Stonehenge being built. I wonder if the Pandorica is still there?

Tom and John Leeson
Hello John Leeson – the voice of K-9!

When I met John Leeson who is the voice of K-9 he was a very polite gentleman. He told me, in the voice of K-9, that his favourite episode is The Sun Makers (1977) by Robert Holmes.

John’s favourite filming locations were anywhere not far from home as he doesn’t like driving for miles. If he could go anywhere he would love to go to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and have a very nice lunch. He says he has never been there before but would love to go there one day, I hope that his dream comes true.

Tom and K-9
The original K-9!

John was sat with Mat Irvine who was the Visual Effects Supervisor and he had brought along K-9 himself! It was great to meet K-9 and his voice – a double whammy.

Tom and William Russell

Next I went to meet William Russell who played Ian Chesterton one of the first companions who accompanied the First Doctor, William Hartnell, and he was first seen in the very first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child (1963). There was a long queue to meet William.

William said that his favourite episode is The Aztecs (1964) and he told me all about filming a fight scene for the episode. He didn’t have a favourite Doctor Who filming location as in those days it was mostly filmed in a studio.

William said that if he could go anywhere in time and space he would choose to be right here as he was happy at that moment. Isn’t that lovely? It was a special honour to meet William and I feel so happy to have met him.

Tom and Camille Coduri

After William I met Camille Coduri who played Jackie Tyler – Rose’s mother. Camille was in the very first episode of New Who Rose (2005) and appeared many times until The End of Time (2010). Camille loves lots of episodes – including Blink (2007), Doomsday (2006) and The Christmas Invasion (2005). There were too many favourites to choose from.

Her favourite filming location is the estate where the Tyler’s lived because she said it was always a lot of fun filming there. If Camille could go anywhere in time and space she would like to go the Sixties as they seemed good fun – just like Camille who was a lot of fun herself!

Tom and Rusty Goffe
Hello Rusty Goffe aka Little John!

From Camille I went to see Rusty Goffe – the United Kingdom’s No1 Dwarf! Rusty appeared as Little John in Robot of Sherwood (2014) and that is his favourite episode. He liked filming on location at Forest Fawr and Caerphilly Castle and said that the Merry Men were having so much fun in the forest that they didn’t want to leave!

If Rusty could go anywhere he would go to Samui in Thailand – and he said he would go there right now in a TARDIS if he could as he has been before and loves it there! Rusty was a very nice chap, I hope he gets to go again soon.

Tom and Doctor Squee from Gallifrey Stands Podcast
Hello Doctor Squee!

My final interview of the day was with Katy Manning who played Jo Grant, the Third Doctor’s companion. I met up with Doctor Squee from the Gallifrey Stands Podcast who was waiting to interview Katy too and he let me go first. Thank you Doctor Squee!

Tom and Katy Manning
Hello Katy Manning aka Jo Grant!

Katy had been flooded by fans all day and I was lucky to get some time with her. Katy’s favourite episodes were Terror of the Autons (1971) because that is where she met her Doctor Who family and also The Green Death (1973) – she told me how Jo and Cliff went into the Amazon looking for a magical fungus and that story predicted Quorn! Thank you Jo for discovering Quorn as I am a vegetarian and I eat A LOT of Quorn.

I asked Katy what her favourite location was and she didn’t have one because she was always filming in a cold claypit! Even when she filmed The Sarah Jane Adventures it was freezing. If she could go anywhere in time and space she would go ‘EVERYWHERE because she is greedy and loves adventure!’ Katy was very cheeky and it was great to meet her.

Day One at the Film & Comic Con Bournemouth was very tiring but it was an honour to meet so many stars. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic day and especially to Showmasters for making this happen. Soon I will be able to tell you all about Day 2, I hope you will come back soon.

Goodbye!

BBC Make It Digital Tour, Bournemouth – August 2015

The Make It Digital Tent at Bournemouth Airshow
The Make It Digital Tent

Greetings!

Yesterday I went to Bournemouth Airshow and had a Doctor Who adventure! The BBC Make it Digital tour was on the beach – a free, interactive experience for everyone to enjoy.

Welcome to the BBC Experience Igloo
Welcome to the BBC Experience Igloo

First up was The BBC Experience and I went into the igloo-shaped tent. Inside I saw a BBC Timeline and I watched part of the Doctor Who Pilot episode which was included because the beginning of Doctor Who was a legendary time for the BBC!

Watching the legendary Doctor Who pilot episode at Make It Digital tour
Watching the legendary Doctor Who pilot episode

Next I came to a chair from ‘The Voice’. I had to sit in it and press the buzzer – just for fun!

The Voice Chair at Make It Digital
I am one of the new judges for The Voice!

Beside The Voice Chair was a green screen. I had my photo taken against the screen and had to pose pointing at nothing. It felt weird pointing at a screen but when I saw the photo I knew why!

Green screen at Make It Digital
What on earth am I doing?

I had been pointing at the Doctor and Clara by the TARDIS. I was given a copy of the photo to take home to remember the time I saw the Doctor and Clara outside the TARDIS!

The Doctor and Clara at Make It Digital
I know you from somewhere!

After that I had a go at presenting the weather – I wasn’t very good! I had to stand in front of another green screen and point at certain bits on a map. I could see where I was pointing on the monitor in front of me. I had to make up the words and it was very hard to talk and point at the same time. I definitely wouldn’t want to do it on live TV!

Presenting the weather at Make It Digital
Scorchio! (not)

Next I went to the Make it Digital area. First I went in the Doctor Who tent where there were games to play which are designed to help people learn to code. I tried out ‘The Dalek Maze’ with the help of the Robogals. There was a battery controlled Dalek and I had to plan a route to the centre of a maze plotting the course on a computer. Forward Left Forward Left Forward Right Forward Right Forward! I was successful!

Afterwards I played ‘The Doctor and the Dalek’ on a tablet. This is a game where the Doctor and Dalek are helping each other and teaches you about sequencing. I completed my levels easily and am going to continue at home and see how far I get.

Oh, and I took a #Dalekselfie as well. There was a captured Dalek in the corner, but luckily he was deactivated!

In the next tent I did some proper time travel of my own – well Tech Time Travel anyway! There was a display of old computers and I played some retro games including Pong and Pac-Man. It is amazing how quickly computers have evolved – I can’t wait to see the different things they will do in a few year’s time!

After a short break to watch The Red Arrows I went back to the tent and made my own animation! First I designed some aeroplanes on paper then cut them out. Then with the help of BU VFX Team I put them on a background and used stop motion animation to animate my planes. I watched my piece of art and was really happy that it was good. I really enjoyed making an animation and would love to do that again at home. I could write and animate my own Doctor Who stories. I could even enter the Mission Dalek competition!

The Make It Digital Tour continues throughout the summer – you should definitely check it out and have a go for yourself! I didn’t do everything as I didn’t have time but there is lots more you can do including playing Uptown Funk on vegetables. You will have to go and find out what I mean!

Have you played any of the Doctor Who games online? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Thank you for reading and see you soon for my next adventure through time and space.

Good day!

Bellini’s, Cardiff Bay – July 2015

Slitheen at Cardiff Bay
Slitheen Stop this Stealing!

Croeso!

Today we’re in Cardiff just like the Ninth Doctor who visited Cardiff in Boom Town (2005). The Doctor was in Cardiff because there is an invisible rift running through the city and the TARDIS was soaking up the radiation from the rift to use as fuel. I was there for a different reason – the first day of my summer holiday in Wales!

Although the Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Captain Jack thought they could relax and have fun the Doctor soon discovered that Blon Fel Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen was still posing as Margaret Blaine and had been elected Mayor of Cardiff! The Doctor and his companions knew they had to stop her plans for the Blaidd Drwg Project to save the planet….

Although it was my summer holiday it was a rainy and misty Sunday evening. I explored Cardiff Bay and saw where the Doctor parked his TARDIS that night– close to the Millennium Centre and above what would become the Torchwood Three Hub. I also passed Cadwaladers where the Doctor and co went to hang out until the Doctor saw Blon on the front of the paper! I hope to go there another time.

Cadwaladers - Doctor Who Boom Town
Cadwaladers where the Doctor went with his companions.

When Blon was caught she knew she would be executed if the Doctor returned her to Raxacoricofallapatorius so she asked for one last meal. She asked to go to

‘A little restaurant around the bay …it became quite a favourite of mine.’

And that is where we are going now – Bellini’s at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay! I was hungry after my journey to Cardiff in my TARDIS and I wanted to go to the same restaurant the Doctor took Blon for a treat and where Blon asks the Doctor to spare her life.

Mermaid Quay - Doctor Who Boom Town
Welcome to Mermaid Quay
Bellini's - Doctor Who Boom Town
Do you recognise this restaurant?

I climbed the stairs to Bellini’s and asked to sit at the table where the Doctor and Blon had their meal. The Doctor ordered ‘steak and chips’ but I don’t eat meat so I ordered a Margherita Pizza from the adults menu with a lemonade to wash it down. The pizza was as good as the pizzas I ate in Italy. I could have eaten more than one as I am a Pizzaholic!

 

I was interrupted by a greedy Slitheen who kept trying to eat my dinner but I didn’t give any away. Perhaps Raxacoricofallapatorius had been invaded and the Slitheen had invaded Cardiff again?

Bellini's pudding - Doctor Who Boom Town
This is good and you know it!

For pudding I ordered a Coppa Gelato – chocolate flavour of course. It was yummy and tasted like heaven. I moved to sit by the window – the same window that exploded when the rift started opening. Blon had tricked the Doctor. Luckily that didn’t happen when I was there and I got to finish my pudding.

Although the Doctor went when it was dark, Bellini’s was light when I was there and as I ate pudding I enjoyed the changing view of Cardiff Bay – misty, rainy, sunny and misty again.

The staff in Bellini’s were very friendly. I told Mehmet about Project Indigo and he told me that he remembers the day of filming well – he was there as a waiter 10 years ago and you may see him serving in the episode! The dinner scene was filmed in January 2005 when Bellini’s was called Bistro 10 and Mehmet met Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor, and Annette Badland who played Blon. This was before New Doctor Who was aired on TV so no one knew how popular it would be again.

Mehmet at Bellini's
Meeting Mehmet who served the Doctor and Blon

I had a lovely evening at Bellini’s and would give my meal 10 out of 10. If you go you should definitely have the Coppa Gelato – but watch out for a greedy Slitheen.

Thanks for reading my first Ninth Doctor adventure – I hope you enjoyed it and will come back and join me very soon to read about more of my Doctor Who adventures in Wales this summer. My holiday was FANTASTIC!

Goodbye.

Slitheen at Cardiff Bay
Aaaagh – small Slitheen Invasion!

Pendragon Charity Fun Day, Southampton – July 2015

The Fourth Doctor, me and K-9

Hola amigos!

Welcome to Waterstones at West Quay for the Pendragon Sci-Fi and Fantasy Club Charity Funday! This event was organised by the club to raise money for the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton which helps many sick and premature babies, so I wanted to show my support. This was held on Saturday – I wish I could have gone all day but I was a busy little Timelord that day and could only pop along towards the end.

When I arrived I was greeted by Brian – he was rocking a Fourth Doctor Cosplay and had his companion K9 with him. I met Brian at the Comic-Con 2 in Totton and it was nice to catch-up and Brian told me about the other Cosplays he is planning.

Taking K-9 for a walk

I went downstairs to where the action was and met my new friend Matthew Dale aka (big) Little John from Robot of Sherwood (2014). It was quite late so the other celebrity signers had left, but Matthew was the last man standing. I was looking forward to meeting Sergeant Benton, John Levene, but he left just before I arrived. I was sad that I missed the opportunity to meet him. The other celebrities were Richard James from Space Precinct and Brian Wheeler from Return of the Jedi. I believe Matthew was having a great time as he was very chuckly. I hope that the Doctor will go back to Sherwood someday to meet Robin and his Merry Men, it would be nice to see Matthew in another Doctor Who episode!

Nice tie, Matthew!

Next I tried my luck at some games. First was the Tombola, and I won a smashing travel game of Battleships which I can keep in my TARDIS. Then I played Pick-a lolly and won a mystery prize. I later found out that the mystery super surprise prize was a reporter’s pen and notebook which will help me when I am interviewing Doctor Who stars! The last game I played was a treasure hunt and I won a Batman Comic. I was very lucky because I won a prize at every game I played.

I spent the rest of my time talking with the Pendragon Club and other visitors and learning all about the club. Someone gave me a Classic Doctor Who quiz and I got all the answers right – even when he tried to catch me out! Everyone was very kind and it was lovely to spend time with them and make friends. There were lots of great Cosplays to admire too.

The Fourth Doctor and Romana

The Pendragon Sci Fi and Fantasy Club raised £205.24 for the Princess Ann Hospital – well done Pendragons!

As I was leaving West Quay I stumbled across an exhibition of paintings by Adam Barsby and I saw a fantastic picture of the Doctor and the Doc! This picture showed the Fourth Doctor and Doc Brown from Back to the Future swapping Time Machines – can you imagine the Doctor in a Delorean???

Swapping Time Machines by Adam Barsby

Thanks for reading and Adios! 

Comic Con @ West Quay, Southampton – July 2015

Me at West Quay

Hello!

Welcome to my latest post which is all about my visit today to Comic Con @ West Quay. This is the first free to enter Comic Con in Southampton, presented by All the Cool Stuff and Nerdageddon and I decided to check it out!

On my way in I had my photo taken with a jeep from Jurassic Park and played peekaboo with a dinosaur!

Peek-a-boo

The Comic Con was held on the lower floor of West Quay, a shopping mall in Hampshire. So much fun was packed into such a small space in the middle of all the shops.

Ross Mullan

First I met Ross Mullan who played The Teller in Time Heist (2014). Ross has also played a Silent in The Time of the Doctor (2013) and was The Numbercatcher in Numberjacks (which was one of my first scares when I was little!) and he is a White Walker in Game of Thrones.

I was expecting Ross to be English but when I met him I found out that he was Canadian – and kind too! I asked him my Golden Questions – plus one more. I asked him for his favourite Series 8 episode and he said that apart from his own episode, Mummy on the Orient Express (2014) was his favourite one. One of Ross’s friends played the Mummy (The Foretold), which was a part that Ross really wanted himself but he was pleased for his friend as he did a great job.

I asked him where he filmed Time Heist and he said he filmed mostly in a studio and a warehouse, and the end was filmed in a park. He said that the warehouse was VERY cold for the other actors but that was good for him; he was wearing his Teller costume!

If he could go anywhere in time and space Ross would like to go to London in the 1960s. Groovy!

Ross doesn’t know if he will appear in Doctor Who Series 9 yet but he hopes to work on the show again in the future.

Ross Mullan The Teller

I told Ross that my nickname for The Teller is ‘Soupy’ because he turns people’s brains to soup. Ross then signed his autograph on a picture of him as The Teller – and signed it from ‘Soupy!’ I had my photo taken with him and he was very tall indeed- 6ft 4 inches.

Spencer Wilding

Next to Ross was his White Walker friend Spencer Wilding who has appeared in Doctor Who lots of times, most famously as The Minotaur in The God Complex (2011) but also as Skaldak and the Wooden King.

I asked Spencer what his favourite episode of Series 8 was but all his answers were from the era of his favourite Doctor Matt Smith. The God Complex, Cold War (2013) and The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (2011) – co-incidentally all the episodes he appeared in!

The God Complex was filmed in Cardiff in the studios before the move to Roath Lock and some of the hotel scenes were filmed in a real hotel by the sea. His Minotaur costume was an animatronic suit that he could get in and out of in an hour.

If Spencer could go anywhere in time and space he would go to Mars but he would like to teleport there as he wouldn’t want to spend months travelling there!

Spencer Wilding

I asked Spencer if he is in Doctor Who Series 9 and he said that he couldn’t tell me. Hmmm – that got me thinking! I hope he is.

Spencer Wilding The Minotaur

Also at the Comic Con was Matthew Dale who played Little John in Robot of Sherwood (2014). I met Matthew at Southampton Comic Con 2 in March and it was nice to meet him again. He told me about the Pendragon Charity Day which is a fundraiser that will be held in Southampton at Waterstones West Quay on 11th July 2015 – Matthew will be there along with other Sci-Fi stars. I hope I can pop along!

Matthew Dale Little John

After I met the Doctor Who stars I looked at all the other stalls – Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf was signing and there were lots of chances to buy collectables or have your photo taken. There were also some Cosplayers, including Ash who was dressed as the Tenth Doctor in a very good costume. I think he is a great Cosplayer, he looked very cool.

Ash as the Tenth Doctor

I spent the afternoon shopping in Southampton but when I returned to my TARDIS I met Sci Fi Steve and his red Dalek! It was very realistic but I wasn’t scared. Steve offered me a ride in his Dalek but I said no because last time I rode in a Dalek I got very dizzy. Thanks for offering though Steve :).

Sci Fi Steve's dalek

I enjoyed my day in Southampton and I’m looking forward to Nerdageddon’s DEF-Con 4 which will be even bigger than DEF-Con 3! I love going to Comic Cons – they are lots of fun and I meet good people.

Thank you for reading, thank you to everyone who organised the Comic Con @ West Quay and to Ross, Spencer, Matthew, Steve and Ash for being part of my blog.

See you soon I hope – goodbye!

Welcome to ComicCon at West Quay

An interview with Jon Davey from Doctor Who – June 2015

 

Jon Davey Doctor Symphonic Spectacular

Hello and welcome to another post – but this post is very special as I am interviewing Doctor Who Monster Actor Jon Davey!

Jon has been acting in Doctor Who for the last 10 years and has appeared in over 30 episodes (to date) ! He has played Daleks, Ood, Cybermen, Whispermen, Hath, Heavenly Host, Judoon and more. He has also appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and Merlin. You may also recognise Jon’s face from Series 8 as he played a Droid in Deep Breath (my favourite New Who episode!) and a Unit Soldier who was killed by Missy in Death in Heaven! You might confuse Jon’s face with the actor Mark Strong’s as they look very similar. 🙂

I’ve met Jon three times, at the Fleet Air Arm Museum Dalek Invasion, the Timeless Collectors Fair and recently at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Wembley. Also when I was at the Doctor Who World Tour in Cardiff he was playing one of the Daleks – I didn’t realise at the time that there were real people inside! If you get the chance to meet Jon at a Doctor Who convention make sure you say ‘Hi’ as he is really friendly and can tell you all about being a Monster Actor and about wearing the make-up and costumes!

Jon Davey
Jon Davey

Here is the interview of Jon Davey!

Hello Jon! What is the favourite monster you have played?

Probably the headless Cyberman from the Pandorica episode. It was amazing to see myself on screen with an arm and head brilliantly removed. 

What monster would you like to play?

I’ve always had a vivid memory of the Sea Devils emerging from the water. They were pretty scary as I remember so if they ever come back I would be honoured to play one. 

What is it like when you are in a costume and make-up?

Most of the costumes have slightly limited vision so rehearsing our moves with “heads off” is always essential. After that it is normally counting our steps to make sure we don’t collide with anyone or anything.

The costumes can get quite warm so doing as little as possible when we are not shooting will help generate superfluous heat.
Also inertia can be our enemy, standing still in a large costume can be harder than moving so when we are resting you will normally see the monster doing small stretching exercises to keep the body supple. A fun sight to be seen!

What monsters do you play in the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular?

This year I played the Judoon and Dalek, which was great fun, and got a few screams from the audience. 

Where have you been with the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular?

I have just been on the UK tour this year as well as Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Auckland on the Australia and New Zealand tour earlier this year.  Last year we went to Melbourne, Brisbane and Wellington on ANZ tour too, it has been amazing taking Doctor Who to the overseas fans. 

Do you have a favourite Doctor Who episode?

Probably Blink and Death in Heaven.  Great bit of story telling on both of these episodes.

Do you think you would be a good Doctor?

I would like to think so – hopefully if they are looking for Mark Strong to play the Doctor and he turns it down, I could step up to the role!

What do you do when you aren’t playing a monster?

I’m a still photographer and film maker. I spent 8 years filming mostly stop motion animated music videos for the likes of Radiohead, Scissor Sisters and Mcfly. This helped me with understanding timing and movement which helped with my monster work. 

Are you in Doctor Who Series 9?
The first rule of Doctor who Series 9 is you don’t talk about Doctor who series 9 😉 I can answer that question this autumn!

If you could go anywhere in time and space, where would you like to go?

Probably the moment before the Big Bang to see what I was like before time existed.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Jon, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Jon Davey for taking the time to answer my questions. I will be keeping an eye out in Series 9 for him just in case he is in it!

To learn more about Jon’s work, including acting, film and photography please follow him on Twitter @jondavey007 or take a look at his website jondavey.com where he says

“No job too complicated, no idea too imaginative!”

Thanks for reading and I will see you soon I hope!

Tom.

This is Jon Davey with the new Doc

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Wembley, London – May 2015

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular TARDIS

Welcome back and today I am reviewing the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular!

I was given tickets to the Symphonic Spectacular for Christmas (thank you Nanna!) and I have been looking forward to it ever since! The day finally arrived last Sunday and I was a bit nervous wondering what to expect but very excited! The show was nearly cancelled because an unexploded World War 2 bomb was discovered in Wembley – maybe it was the Daleks trying to get at their old enemy Winston Churchill!

Wembley arena

This was the first time I had taken my TARDIS to Wembley so I had a good explore and looked round the outside of Wembley Stadium and visited the Bobby Moore statue. The League One play-offs were being held that afternoon so lots of supporters were arriving too!

SSE Arena

Outside the SSE Arena I saw the Square of Fame where celebrities had put their handprints.  I saw Kylie Minogue’s handprints – Kylie played the waitress Astrid Peth in the Doctor Who Christmas Special  Voyage of the Damned (2007).

Kylie Minogue WEmbley Arena handprints

When I entered the building I saw A LOT of Doctor Who fans – people of all ages were there and many were dressed up. I saw fezzes, bowties, scarves and even a Stetson! I also saw lots of people wearing a TARDIS hoodie just like me! I bought an official tour programme as a souvenir of my special day and so I could learn more about the performance.

Doctor Who Zymphonic Spectacular programme

When I entered the arena I was surprised at how many people were there and I was pleased that my seat was close to the stage near where all the action was! When I was waiting for the music to start I met my old pal, monster actor Jon Davey, who has worked on Doctor Who for 10 years and has appeared in over 30 episodes (to date). Jon was recently seen guarding Missy in Death in Heaven but unfortunately it didn’t quite work – ha ha! It was great to be reunited with Jon again, I first met him at Fleet Air Arm Museum and again at the Timeless Collector’s Fair. Jon has recently been to Australia and New Zealand for the Symphonic Spectacular and is now on the UK Tour. He has been super busy and told us how the bomb scare had cost a lot of time and everyone had to work superhard so that the show could go on!
Jon Davey Doctor Symphonic Spectacular

When the music started I was amazed at how good it was – and how loud! It was the first orchestra performance I had been to. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it but the National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster, performed the music that Murray Gold has written for Doctor Who. Whilst they were playing monsters were coming out amongst the crowd and clips from Doctor Who were played on the big screen. I loved watching all the scenes from past episodes reminding me of all the Doctor’s incarnations.

The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, presented the show and made a lot of jokes about his fellow Doctors. Then came a big surprise – he introduced the Secretary of his Fan Club to the crowd, PETER CAPALDI! The Twelfth Doctor himself was waving from the stands – he had come along on his day off to listen to the brilliant Doctor Whosic!

Peter Capaldi at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I cannot choose a favourite performance as they were all fantastic – the orchestra did a really good job! I wasn’t scared of the monsters. I used to be very nervous and scared when I met a Doctor Who monster but now I have met Jon I know everything is ok! Another monster actor was Nick Briggs, voice of the Daleks and Executive Producer of Big Finish.

Cyberman at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

The show wrapped up as Ben Foster said he had to dash off and play a snooker match and I was very sad that the show had finished. As soon as we were out of our seats the crew started packing up ready to move the show on to Cardiff! I left via the nearest door and later found out that I had missed another golden opportunity to get Peter Capaldi’s autograph! Peter had stayed behind to meet the fans but I didn’t see him. GUTTED. One day I will get another chance!

On my way back to the TARDIS I did meet creature performer Paul Kasey. Paul is a choreographer and movement director too and has appeared in many episodes of Doctor Who. Fun fact – he is also ‘Foxy’ in the Foxybingo adverts! Paul was very cheerful and friendly and was really pleased when I told him I thought the show was AMAZING!
Paul Casey Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I had a great time at the Symphonic Spectacular – I hope it will be on every year! Thanks for reading and I will see you soon for another location report. Did you go to the Symphonic Spectacular? Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought!

In the words of Winston Churchill – K.B.O!

Pompeii, Italy – April 2015

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Salve!

In this post I am back in Italy and this time I am in Pompeii! In my last adventure I visited Cinecitta, Doctor Who filming location for The Fires of Pompeii (2008) but today I am visiting Pompeii, the actual story location! David Tennant also went to Pompeii for the episode’s Doctor Who Confidential and was amazed by what he saw.

I travelled to Pompeii via train from Rome and had a little stop off at Naples on the way. I then took a train on the Circumvesuviana line and enjoyed looking at the mountains and the Bay of Naples for the short ride.

People believed Pompeii was destroyed in 79AD when Vesuvius erupted, but it was actually buried and now it has been uncovered we can see what life was like in Ancient Pompeii. When I arrived at the excavations of Pompeii I first went in to the Suburban baths which were the public baths for the residents of Pompeii. I prefer a bath at home myself!

In the Fires of Pompeii the Pyrovile want to make earth their new planet and are using Vesuvius to set up a fusion matrix to convert the human race into Pyroviles! They would use energy from Vesuvius which would stop the eruption but the Doctor knows he must let the eruption go ahead or the whole world would become Pyrovile.

Overlooked by Vesuvius

Vesuvius is the first volcano I have seen and it was breathtaking. I felt a little bit unsafe being so close to a volcano but I knew that people monitor it to check when it will erupt. Vesuvius has erupted 30 times since Pompeii’s tragic moment and last erupted in 1944 killing 26 people. With more than 3 million people living around the base of Vesuvius it is considered the most dangerous volcano in the world!

I walked up to the Foro which is just like the Town Centre. This is where the Pompeians came to shop, trade and worship all under the shadow of Vesuvius. This is where Lobus Caecilius (played by Peter Capaldi)  would have sold his marble sculptures and where he bought the TARDIS as a piece of Modern Art!

The Macellum was an indoor fruit and veg market so it would have been like popping to the supermarket for the Pompeians. In a glass case was a plaster cast of a body which was not nice to see. There were many casts to see at Pompeii preserving bodies at the moment of death which made me sad for the real people who were caught in the grip of the eruption.

Pompeii Macellum

After the Foro I walked up the Via di Mercurio to see the houses and I pictured Caecilius and his family living in one of the houses. There was even artwork on the walls which reminded me of Caecilius’ family worshipping their household Gods. On the way back from the houses I enjoyed a mystery flavour Gelato – possibly kumquat – then I explored some more baths! I am very glad that I have a bath in my own house!

Lobus Caecilius Fires of Pompeii

 

Pompeii was BIG! Next I set off right across town to where all the entertainment was held. The Amphitheatre is the oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre and was used for gladiatorial  fights – nowadays it is sometimes used for concerts. I would not want to see a gladiator fight as it is cruel but for the Pompeians it would be entertainment. I think those people were sick! All over Pompeii I kept finding little lizards but in the Amphitheatre I found over 50!

Pompeii amphitheatre

From the amphitheatre I walked past the sports stadium, which was closed off, and made my way to the Teatro. The theatre was where Pompeians would watch performances of comedies and tragedies. I would have liked to have seen some of the comedies but not the tragedies as I prefer laughing to crying.

Pompeii theatre

I spent over 5 hours exploring Pompeii and by the end my body felt like jelly on a plate, I was worn out by exploring in the ridiculously hot heat. I had an amazing day and learnt a lot of things and felt so sad for the people who lost their lives in 79AD. I wish there really had been a Doctor to prevent the eruption but then the world would be in someone else’s hands.

Pompeii

Thank you for reading my post about Pompeii, I hope you have learnt a bit and have enjoyed reading about my adventure. I hope you will join me again another time.

Vale!

Winner announced – Project Indigo 1st Anniversary Competition

Hello everyone –

The prize - A Big Finish Audio Adventure!

now I shall tell you who the lucky winner is of a Doctor Who Limited Special Edition Audio Adventure – The Romance of Crime and The English Way of Death. These stories were written by Gareth Roberts and star Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson.

Thank you to Big Finish for donating this amazing prize! I am still listening to my copy and enjoying it very much.

I asked the question:

What would you like to give to the Doctor as a gift?

I picked the winner at random by numbering the entries and using a Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to the winner, Andrew H!

He said:

A weekend spa break so he can relax after a tough monster run-in.

Big Finish at the beach...

Thank you again to everyone who entered, I enjoyed reading all 91 of your entries and I can see you put a lot of thought into your answers. Please take a look at the comments here if you want to read all the absolutely delightful answers.

Andrew has received his prize and said:

I am absolutely delighted, thank you very much!

I hope you enjoy your prize Andrew!

There will a new post coming up soon – I am going to tell you all about a special Italian location associated with the Doctor.

Goodbye!