Collectormania 18 Takes Place In Milton Keynes
We head to Milton Keynes to meet up with some genuine legends.
This past weekend saw Collectormania 18 descend on Milton Keynes. We headed to the MK Dons Stadium to see the sights of the geek-friendly convention, and were not disappointed.
Held inside the concourse of the ground, the convention is essentially held in one long, elliptical corridor, open to the elements on the sides. This setting lends itself well enough to the event, and although some of the larger booths caused a bit of a squeeze, made the whole thing effortlessly easy to navigate. Given that Collectormania had been long arranged for the first weekend of June, we can’t exactly blame the organisers about the chilly conditions inside, but hopefully at (warmer) future events the open-air element will be a welcome one.
The stars that had arrived to sign autographs, meet fans and participate in talks all seemed to get into the spirit of things, and with thousands of fans queuing up to meet their idols, the atmosphere in the ground was top-drawer.
We managed to grab a few words with Dave Prowse, AKA Darth Vader himself, who confirmed that he was yet to sign anything too unusual that day, but had kind words about the passion of his fans. “I can’t get over it, that here I am, meeting people who are still so excited about something I did over 35 years ago.”
Dave Prowse at Collectormania
We decided to head over to the talks, and see who we could pop in on. Brandishing our shiny press pass and helped along by the enthusiastic crew, we were ushered into the player’s lounge, only to be greeted by geek nirvana on stage in front of us – Michael Dorn and Nichelle Nicholls heading up a Star Trek cast members’ Q&A, holding the room in the palm of their hands with tales of on-set pranks, and Nichelle’s uncanny impression of William Shatner. We couldn’t get a recording unfortunately, but it set the tone for some fine talks over the course of the weekend.
Soon afterwards, we were thrilled to bump into one of our film idols – Carl Weathers. Having built up something of a cult following after starring as Apollo Creed in the Rocky series, and opposite Arnie in Predator, we couldn’t believe our luck when we saw the mighty star sitting to one side during a lull in his queue. “The day has been fantastic, a lot of fans have come through” said Carl when we asked just how awesome it must be to have people so passionate about the films he made, “It is, it’s nice to know that people have enjoyed the work, and the movies, that they have some meaning in their lives, more than just making a picture.”
ScreenGeek's Sam Fulfils a lifelong ambition by meeting Carl Weathers
Heading back for more talks, we sat in on a Q&A with Karen Gillan, the hugely popular star of Doctor Who as she talked about playing Amy Pond, but who was sadly unable to give us any hints about what the future holds for the Who universe. It’s always great to see stars who appreciate their fans, and Karen was the perfect example, sitting down with whovians of all ages to discuss the show.
One-off Doctor Who and the titular “I” from the legendary Withnail and I Paul McGann remarked to us “I wasn’t sure I could handle the energy of this, but it’s fantastic”. Paul was in a hurry, but as it happened our destination was the same – the highlight of the day, the five doctors talk. With the start time rapidly approaching and not a time lord in sight, a familiar voice rang out through the room; “Fine then I’ll do it all myself”, Tom Baker was here. Quite simply the funniest man we’ve ever come across, Tom took the stage solo, answering questions with candour and good humour, before being joined by our new friend Paul McGann, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davidson. Again, we weren’t able to secure a recording, but the five actors were great company for nearly an hour, swapping old war stories and giving great insight into their careers in the TARDIS. The most exciting of all though, was Tom Baker revealing that he would be open to making an appearance in a future special, so long as the material was right. Famously declining to make an appearance in The Five Doctors, leaving the BBC to use unaired footage of him, this is big news, and surely the pressure will be on for the Beeb to get him on board as soon as possible when Who fans get a whiff of this news.
Collectormania 18 was a great event, and just to be in the same room as so many of our heroes was almost too much to bear. The only regrets we had were not being able to snag Lance Henricksen or Brian Blessed, but you can be sure we’ll be going all out for them next time. To hear more about what Showmasters have lined up for us in future, visit their website here.
5 Doctors on stage