The TARDIS landed in Riverview Inn this weekend for the annual Con-GT “Doctor Who” conference. Just walking the halls of the hotel from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19, “Doctor Who” fans would see life-sized figurines of characters like Cassandra, otherwise known as “the last human” in the show, Vastra, the Doctor’s lesbian Silurian ally, along with creatures such as the Ood, the Weeping Angels and a remote controlled Dalek that could move and interact with guests.
Guests for this year included Sophie Aldred, who played the companion named Ace in classic “Doctor Who,” Frazer Hines, who played the companion named Jamie in classic “Who” and has appeared in more episodes than any other companion, Colin Spaull, who made single-episode appearances in both the classic and the modern “Doctor Who” and Andrew Cartmel, a former script editor for the show. Robin Burk, a cosplayer, author and freelance writer, returned for her third appearance.
“I’ve been coming I guess since it started, some friends came up and I thought it would be fun,” River Song cosplayer Rachel Stewart said. “This year we’re here because everybody wants to meet Sophie Aldred.”
The opening ceremonies were held at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Directly afterward there was an interview with Aldred and episode commentary with Andrew Cartmel in the same room. The doors to the vendor room opened at 10 a.m., offering fans pocket watches, T-shirts, action figures, comics, candles, decorations, bags, plushies, jewelry and a lot more.
While they were not engaged in a panel of some sort, the celebrity guests waited to interact with fans in a specific room. Near where they were located was a 3D printer and large scanner that guests could use to make action figures of themselves.
A cosplay contest was held for prizes, and the Humane Society sold raffle tickets to be drawn at the closing ceremonies on Sunday. Other panels were held throughout Saturday and Sunday, including showings of the show’s 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor,” a panel on the science of “Doctor Who,” karaoke, individual trivia, team trivia and a panel on cultural questions about Britain.
On Saturday the guests were gathered for a group photo in the middle of the day, and on both Saturday and Sunday they were offered photos with the TARDIS.
“I think with cons it’s just getting to interact with the guests. Especially at smaller cons, it’s a lot more intimate. It’s kind of like a family reunion in a lot of ways. Especially with “Doctor Who,” because with “Who” fans, you’re always running into the same people,” Stewart said.