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article imageReview: Doctor Who Festival materializes in London Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 14, 2015 in Entertainment
London - The Doctor Who Festival is a celebratory event for 2015, taking place in several venues worldwide. During November, the event reached London, taking over the Excel Centre for three days. Digital Journal paid a visit.
The session past for the 2015 Doctor Who festival in London.
The session past for the 2015 Doctor Who festival in London.
The event, co-arranged with the BBC, featured photo opportunities, quizzes, costumes from the series (and a cosplay competition for those fans who wanted to go the extra mile), talks, and a drama school.
A new series bronze Dalek  one of the Doctor s most commonly occurring enemies.
A new series bronze Dalek, one of the Doctor's most commonly occurring enemies.
The damaged head of a Cyberman  another recurrent enemy for the Doctor.
The damaged head of a Cyberman, another recurrent enemy for the Doctor.
With the drama school, braver members of the audience had the opportunity to act out unused scripts from the series.
A drama session led by the actor Nicholas Briggs (who voices the Daleks).
A drama session led by the actor Nicholas Briggs (who voices the Daleks).
Talks were delivered by special effects companies Real SFX and Millennium FX.
A special effects talk taking place at the 2015 Doctor Who Festival.
A special effects talk taking place at the 2015 Doctor Who Festival.
For LEGO admirers, a life-size TARDIS created entirely from the plastic bricks was on display.
The ultimate LEGO? The Doctor s TARDIS  life-size  made from LEGO bricks.
The ultimate LEGO? The Doctor's TARDIS, life-size, made from LEGO bricks.
I m not afraid of the Daleks! A young boy poses with two new series Daleks.
I'm not afraid of the Daleks! A young boy poses with two new series Daleks.
Other models were also exhibited, several from the classic series. The picture below depicts a Yeti (from the 1960s) and an Ice Warrior (which first appeared in the early 1970s.)
Two classic series Doctor Who monsters  a robot Yeti and a Martian Ice Warrior.
Two classic series Doctor Who monsters, a robot Yeti and a Martian Ice Warrior.
Here a Silurian and a Zygon are on display.
Two classic series monsters. The Zygons were also used in the 2015 series.
Two classic series monsters. The Zygons were also used in the 2015 series.
Each day included three panels. The first of these was special effects, where those tasked with blowing things up, making the TARDIS travel through time and space, and creating realistic looking monsters and aliens gave away some of their secrets.
The three main events taking place at the 2015 Doctor Who festival.
The three main events taking place at the 2015 Doctor Who festival.
The second panel was about writing for Doctor Who. This session featured head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat with two other script writers (each day featured a different set of writers.) The session offered an insight into the story creation process and script writing. It was interesting to hear how a story is paced and how story arcs are built up.
The writers panel at the Doctor Who Festival 2015  featuring showrunner Steven Moffat.
The writers panel at the Doctor Who Festival 2015, featuring showrunner Steven Moffat.
The session allowed the audience to ask questions. Many of these centered on the casting of the next companion for the Doctor, now that Jenna Coleman has announced her departure from the show. Here Steven Moffat was tight lipped, indicating the companion had yet to be cast and that this was something that would be revealed next season (although the possibility remains that a clue will be offered in Christmas special.) Here Moffat remarked: “To my unending terror, we have not yet finished episode 11 and episode 12 is nowhere near finished so we haven’t actually delivered the show yet.”
Display poster for the 2015 Doctor Who Festival in London.
Display poster for the 2015 Doctor Who Festival in London.
While the session was lively and interesting, Moffat appeared to become irritated with some of the questions from the audience, especially when someone expressed a dislike of the way Jenna Coleman's character (Clara) sometimes dominate the Doctor (the inference here was the show was occasionally less about the Doctor and more about the companion.)
Jenna Coleman  who has featured in Doctor Who for four years  leaves the series in 2015.
Jenna Coleman, who has featured in Doctor Who for four years, leaves the series in 2015.
The third panel was all about the actors, although Steven Moffat popped up again. The star here was, of course, Peter Capaldi, who is in his second season of playing the Doctor. Capaldi is obviously a fan of the show, able to refer back to many classic episodes and he has a good hear for continuity with the show's 52 year-old past.
The actors panel  featuring Peter Capalid  Jenna Coleman  Michelle Gomez  Ingrid Oliver and Steven M...
The actors panel, featuring Peter Capalid, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Ingrid Oliver and Steven Moffatt.
Peter Capalid is the Doctor  at London s Excel Centre.
Peter Capalid is the Doctor, at London's Excel Centre.
Also appearing was Jenna Coleman, who spoke a little about her role in a new production where she is playing Queen Victoria. Alongside her was the actor Ingrid Oliver who plays a semi-regular character named Osgood.
The person who lit up the arena, however, was Michelle Gomez who plays Missy, the female regeneration of the Doctor's main nemesis the Master. Gomez came across as extremely witty. The actor joked she should be given her own spin-off show called Missy Who. She also told the audience she was about to appear in a forthcoming episode of the hit U.S. show Gotham.
Back in the main exhibition area, various props and costumes from the series were on display. These included Davros, creator of the Daleks.
A mask worn by the actor who plays Davros  the scientist who created the Daleks.
A mask worn by the actor who plays Davros, the scientist who created the Daleks.
And of course a TARDIS (this time made from wood, rather than plastic bricks.)
The Doctor s time machine the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space).
The Doctor's time machine the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space).
There was also some 'technology' from the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey, including the Doctor's 'damaged' sonic screwdriver.
Time Lord technology from the Doctor s home world.
Time Lord technology from the Doctor's home world.
The Doctor s time served gadget - the sonic screwdriver. It first appeared in 1970.
The Doctor's time served gadget - the sonic screwdriver. It first appeared in 1970.
More Time Lord technology. These boxes were used in the 2015 series to keep the shape-shifting Zygon...
More Time Lord technology. These boxes were used in the 2015 series to keep the shape-shifting Zygons in check.
With costumes, this petite one was worn by Maisie Williams in a recent episode.
A Viking style costume worn by Maisie Williams in a 2015 episode of Doctor Who.
A Viking style costume worn by Maisie Williams in a 2015 episode of Doctor Who.
Also on show was a costume worn by Jenna Coleman, an orange space suit.
Jenna Coleman s space suit from Doctor Who.
Jenna Coleman's space suit from Doctor Who.
Michelle Gomez's bizarre take on an evil Mary Poppins.
Michelle Gomez s second costume as the evil Time Lord (Lady?) Missy.
Michelle Gomez's second costume as the evil Time Lord (Lady?) Missy.
And one of Peter Capalidi's tops.
Perhaps not the most stylish costume worn by the Doctor: one of Peter Capaldi s tops.
Perhaps not the most stylish costume worn by the Doctor: one of Peter Capaldi's tops.
Perhaps more interesting is the guitar that the Doctor has taken to strumming in the 2015 series.
The Doctor s guitar. May seem odd  but the second Doctor in 1966 played the recorder.
The Doctor's guitar. May seem odd, but the second Doctor in 1966 played the recorder.
The event was well-organized and good value for money. The BBC allowed a variety of set pieces and props to be shown, which were of great interest. The highlight was, nonetheless, the actors who gave their time to interact with an appreciative audience. Peter Capalid and Michelle Gomez in particular came across as strong and talented artists while, at the same time, being down-to-earth and friendly.
Want to see inside a Dalek? Luckily the mutated creature inside has disappeared!
Want to see inside a Dalek? Luckily the mutated creature inside has disappeared!
More about Doctor Who, BBC, excel centre, London, Peter capaldi
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