Sunday, 15 November 2009

Time War - Saturday 14th November review

Yesterday my wife Gemma was away on a hen do so I was left with the prospect
of having to keep two little boys (at 3 & 5) amused for a whole day on
my own. Fortunately there was the Time War event at the Magna centre
near Rotherham in South Yorkshire in aid of Children in Need where we met up with Neil & Sarah Charlesworth and their 2 kids.

Even before the event I had not done my usual research so I wasn't
actually sure what was in store for us other than it was an event
based around Doctor Who. On arrival we paid our entrance fee which
also gave us access to the whole of the Magna centre itself as well as
the Time War event. In the foyer was the familiar Police Box and as
expected several fans were having their photo's taken alongside it. To
the rear of the reception area was where the hub of the event was.

On entering we were confronted by about 20 full sized Daleks ranging
from all era's of Doctor Who right up to present day. With the odd
exception all of the Daleks were excellent replicas of their TV
counterparts which is all the more astounding when I learned that they
had all been made by fans of the show. One in particular Dalek was
like nothing we had ever seen. "Dalek Storm" is apparently based on a
CGI design from way back and was never made by the BBC so fan Alan
Clark decided to make it himself. As you can see from the pictures t
is truly a magnificent creation and, dare I say it, better than
anything we have seen on TV?

My kids were loving the whole spectacle however suddenly we looked
round and there was a black Dalek moving around the hall actually
speaking to people. My 2 boys started to get scared at first but soon
plucked up the courage to go and chat with the black Dalek. It was all
highly amusing!

As we walked around we bumped into several of the Leeds Dr Who group including Mark, Zoe, Gordon, Chris, David and a few others!

As you would expect at these events there were several fans who went
to the effort of getting dressed up as their favourite Doctor or
character (gaining them free entry) and some of the David Tennants
were great however some of the other Doctors were a little suspect.

Other monsters appearing were a couple of Scarecrows from Human Nature
and the odd Ood. Again, at first the appearance of these unnerved my
kids but they soon realised that it was just people dressing up.

In another room there was a home made Tardis interior provided by
Chris Hoyle from the excellent Projection Room (a fan film group) -
more from them later. You could pay a small price to have your picture
taken at the console along with one of the Doctor lookalikes and all
the proceeds went to Children In Need. Another room had a display of
props and masks from the show although I never established whether
these were official BBC props or fan made ones, they were interesting
none the less.

At 1pm there was the first event in the great hall. When we arrived
there were literally hundreds of people waiting to see what would
happen. There was a stage with a full sized Tardis to the left and
when the background music died down, out popped a David Tennant
impersonator, he even sounded a bit like him too. He proceeded to
introduce a charity fan made film called "Pudsai" made by the
Projection Room guys and featured many incarnations of the Doctor.
Most of the guys were attending the event dressed in the costumes
they wore in the short film and were duly brought on stage for a brief
interview after the showing.

Next up was "an audience with the Daleks" whereby about 7 Daleks
appeared from the back of the room and ended up at the front of the
stage. The audience were invited to ask the Daleks questions which was
really surreal but hight entertaining and amusing at times.....

To sum up I'm not entirely sure how to refer to the Time War event, it
was not a convention or an exhibition really and whatever its
intentions it was well attended, raised a lot of money for a worthy
cause and was a brilliant day out for all. My kids & I will certainly
be going to the next one.

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