London Film and Comic Con 2011 – Part 2

After our English Breakfast at the Hotel we set out on the 2 mile hike across London to reach Earl’s Court for the ‘big’ day at LFCC.  We were expecting queues, but having ‘Early bird’ tickets we weren’t quite expecting our queue to be as long as it was. Arriving at 08:45, doors opening at 09:00 it took till around 09:30 for us to reach the doors – now if you think this was bad you should have seen the queue for people who hadn’t already got a ticket!! In fact that queue was still going strong after 13:30 – as we bumped into a friend of ours around that time who hadn’t even gotten inside yet!

Once again queuing was the main activity of the day. Once inside we queued for our tickets to see the guest speakers we were looking forward to for the day and with our first talk being at 10:15 we went straight round to wait for it…

Gil and Erin

As soon as we took our seats for the talk, I took my boots off – my feet were already in bits – I would spend the rest of the day walking round the exhibition hall in my socks! Gil Gerard (Buck) and Erin Gray (Wilma) of Buck Rogers were first up… Gil opened by telling us how Hannah (Showmasters crew member) had made a grilled cheese sandwich using an iron! She was suitably embarrassed by this revelation, hehe. The talks were Q&A style with the audience posing questions to the guest speakers, sound quality wasn’t very good for most of the talks and often noise from Stage 2 (where events included a live band playing) was hard to compete with for the speakers on the Main stage.  Prompted by questions from the audience Gil and Erin reminisced about guest stars who had appeared on the show and how well everyone had worked together.  Erin spoke about having quit smoking on the last day of filming for Buck and Gil has now been quit for 26 years. They shared their favourite episodes from the show – which included ‘Space Vampire’, which gave Erin the chance to really ‘act’  rather than just be a sidekick. Current projects for them both include writing novels (Gil is half way through one and in talks about making it a graphic novel) and still filming; including a part as a new character in the new season of The Guild. The most interesting part of the talk was when Erin shared the story of how due to feeling guilty as a mother leaving her young child all the time to work she took her then 18 month old son on set one day. The  walked onto the set as filming of a space ship exploding started; explosions were going off all around them and ‘Buck’ was flung at their feet; to which her son bawled ‘Buck is dead!’ But, as they called ‘cut’ Buck looked up, winked and lifted this huge ‘boulder’ off himself, he tossed it in the air where it was caught in the hands of the now very bewildered child! It was so funny – you just had to be there! Gil and Erin worked well together during the talk, really engaging well with the audience, there were no awkward silences between questions as they really knew how to keep the momentum going.

Sylvester and Sophie

Next on stage were Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, The 7th Doctor Who and his companion ‘Ace’. Sylvester took the lead on most of the questioning as they walked amongst the audience. Sylvester explained that he likes the New Doctor Who and thinks it still has a broad appeal, but feels it relies too much on technology.  They would both like to comeback for a ‘special’ episode to mark the 50th anniversary of the first episode. Sylvester spoke about a time when he met Peter Jackson – director of The Hobbit, in which Sylvester will be starring as Radagast the Brown; and how he was expecting Peter to be dressed as ‘himself’ (i.e Doctor Who) as Mr Jackson is a huge fan of Doctor Who and owns several of the original costumes, including that of the seventh doctor; it turned out Peter wasn’t actually wearing the costume, whether this was a disappointment or not Sylvester didn’t actually say…

Mark Sheppard

Our final talk of the morning was starring Mark Sheppard. Mark has been in so many shows from X-Files and Firefly to Dollhouse, Doctor Who and Supernatural to BSG! Of course for us it was his role in BSG that was our favourite. When asked which had been his favourite role he said ‘all of them’ because they had all been so different, there wasn’t a way to compare them, similarly when asked if there had been a character he disliked he also said there wasn’t one – saying you can’t play a character if there isn’t ‘something’ you like about them. He thinks Matt Smith is the best Doctor Who so far and spent some time ‘bigging up’ the fans, sharing the fact that he is a big fan of Doctor Who, BSG and sci-fi in general himself. When asked what was the difference between working in the UK and the USA he explained he has only worked in the UK twice, but the main difference is the food. Over here (UK) there is no ‘craft services table’ instead you get tea and a biscuit at 11 o’clock, he joked that all the food at the BBC is ‘yellow’. He felt that the lack of money here was the main reason for the difference, in the US actors would get up to $100 per day as their ‘daily living allowance’ but here you would only get around £10, out of this you would then have to pay for your lunch and breakfast leaving you only around £4 which went on laundry costs, whereas in the US you didn’t have to pay for your food out of your allowance, so it went much further! Guess that’s why so many actors are keen to make it over there! lol He was really good at interacting with the audience, walking and around and making the crew work hard getting the microphones in amongst the seat rather than just handing them to people on the edges.

Now approaching lunch time, we decided to give the ‘Harry Potter’ talk a miss and head outside for a little break before the afternoon session…

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