I had a fantastic weekend at London Film & Comic Con! Having missed the last one (due to being broke), I was determined to enjoy this one, though I decided that as money is still a little tight I would only do free talks and wouldn't get any photoshoots. I wasn't sure whether to bother with Friday, but it turned out that there were three actors from Star Wars who were only doing that day (Stephen Bayley - TK421, John Galvin - Imperial Officer, and David Field - Death Squad Commander). I turned up around ten past three, and by half past I had met them all. I then spent the rest of the time browsing the stalls and chatting with some of the stallholders, including Paul Hart who sold me some Batman trading card sets. I was glad to have been there on Friday as it meant that on Saturday I knew where to go to get virtual tickets for the big guests.
On Saturday I arrived a little later than intended as there weren't any trains to Olympia listed at Earl's Court, so I had to change at West Brompton. This meant that by the time I arrived doors had already opened, so I got numbers in the 400s for the two biggest guests I wanted to meet. I also had trouble finding a couple of first-time guests from Star Wars (Mike Harvord - Colonel Jendon, and Jasper Jacob - Captain Yorr) as they'd been put in a corner at the edge of the signing area. I eventually found them and they signed trading cards of their characters for me. I also met Pip Torrens (Rocastle in Doctor Who) who signed a photo for me, and Alan Austen (various roles in Empire Strikes Back) who signed my Star Wars autograph book. It took a lot longer to get to meet Faye Marsay (Shona in Doctor Who), as she's also been in Game of Thrones, so there were loads of people wanting to meet her. I don't think the organisers had anticipated quite how busy she would be! I eventually got to meet her in the afternoon, but they'd had to restrict photography so I was only allowed to take a picture of her signing a photo for me, rather than having her pose for the camera. I then met Michelle Gomez (Missy in Doctor Who) who signed a photo for me. I also went to a Beverly Hills Cop talk featuring Judge Reinhold, John Aston and Steven Berkoff. As to the biggest guests, by 4pm I'd still not met them, and their queues had closed. It turned out that they had talks and photoshoots to do, so I gave up and went home. I was so tired when I got home that I fell asleep around 7.30pm!
Today I managed to get up and out a bit earlier. My friend Gerald had recommended going to Baron's Court and walking from there to the venue. Unfortunately there was a big cycle race taking place and the main road outside the Tube Station was really busy. I ended up waiting with a number of other attendees and Frazer Hines (Jamie in Doctor Who). When there was a gap a few of us legged it across the road, including Frazer, and I was amused to think that I'd had my own "When I say run, run!" moment with Jamie! He asked if I knew where I was going and when I replied "Yes" he said "I'm following him!" When we got to the venue I told him that I didn't know where the entrance for guests was, so he thanked me and went to speak to one of the marshalls. I made my way to the main entrance. I got there before doors opened so I joined the massive queue, and spotted my friends Paul and Geoff waving to me from further up the queue. To my surprise the doors actually opened at 9am, and by 9.05 I was inside. I rushed to the signing area and got virtual tickets for the biggest guests. I was pleased that all my queue tickets were under 200. I then went to meet the other guests I wanted to meet who were only there today. I met Mike Stevens (Wooof and Colonel Cracken in Return of the Jedi) who signed trading cards of his characters, Roberta Tovey (Susan in the Dalek films) who signed video sleeves for both films, and Frazer Diamond (one of the Jawas in Star Wars) who signed a trading card for me and gave me a Jawa trading card he had drawn. I had a potential clash as I wanted to meet Famke Janssen (Kamala in Star Trek: TNG), but she wasn't due back from a photoshoot until when the Doctor Who talk (with Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann) was happening. Fortunately she finished earlier than anticipated, so I was able to get a photo signed by her and then attend the talk. After the talk I managed to get into the queue for Donald Sumpter (Timelord President in Doctor Who) just before he was due to go on lunch. I wasn't sure whether to get him to sign my autograph book as he also played a couple of parts in the Classic series, but in the end I opted for a photo.
I had my own lunch and then joined the queue for Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi). The queue was quite slow moving, so it took about 30 minutes until I got to meet him, but when I got to the desk he shook my hand and then signed and personalised my photo. The final guest I wanted to meet was Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty in Blade Runner). Before lunch his board was saying tickets 1-100, but for some inexplicable reason they then put it up to 250. I joined the queue with the permission of the person running it, but then a Pit Boss came and told us the queue was too big and to come back in 10 minutes. I reluctantly agreed, but when I came back 10 minutes later the queue was just as long, as they'd obviously let other people in! They were trying to get us to go away again so I got a bit cross and explained that I'd obeyed their instructions and now they were trying to send me away again. They then changed the numbers on the board to 1-200, but as my number was under 200 they had to let me in. I was getting near to the front of the queue, but Rutger was scheduled to go on a break, and the crew kept letting people with Gold passes and so on in front (which is entirely acceptable as they've paid for the privilege), but I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get to meet him! I got as far as paying for my photo, but then the guy running security stopped the queue one place in front of me, explaining that Rutger was getting tired and that his signature was getting worse. They took him away for what was meant to be a 15 minute break, but it ended up lasting 30 minutes as he needed some food. Thankfully when he came back he was feeling well again, and I was one of the last people who was allowed to get my photo personalised. After meeting him I went and bought a couple of Topps Doctor Who costume cards (one David Tennant and one Matt Smith), and then headed home as I'd spent all my money!