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23 March 2010 @ 07:06 pm
The Locations of London!  
Hey Gang,

So I'm finally bouncing back from the Jet Lag to tell you all about my adventures in England, attending Time Quest, and meeting the one and only Tom Baker. This gets long, so I'm breaking this up into a London Tour Entry and a Separate Time Quest Entry to follow. So again, this will be a long one! So sit back with a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.



Loads of Pics and info

The genesis of this trip started back in Dec of '09. So despite the fact it was the holidays, I'm tied up buying Xmas presents and just starting the financial planning for Gallifrey (That delayed report is coming soon as well - promise) I was eyeing up the 10th planet website for Time Quest 2 longingly. I felt a little disappointed we weren't getting a Doctor at Gallifrey this year and here was Time Quest 2 with not one but FOUR of them. Davison, Colin, McCoy and McGann. Nice. I'd nearly booked a flight over for the first Time Quest in March of '09 to meet Baker and McGann but then I realized I couldn't *really* afford it and I sadly backed out. Looking at this roster though I thought to myself- if they add Tom Baker to this line-up I will HAVE to go. Sure enough... a week or so before Xmas Tom Baker was added to the guest list. Wow. FIVE Doctors. Tom Baker. I knew I would have to make this happen despite everything else going on.



For a few weeks I tried to talk myself out of it. I'd had my 1941 Captain Marvel Costume on the burner for 5 years and I was about to finally pull the trigger to make it happen. Going to the UK would mean postponing that costume for 6 months to a year. But scott_sebring, and flibbertyjitz and many others in my cosplay group slapped some sense back into me. This was FIVE DOCTORS - and Tom Baker. There really wasn't a better excuse to go.


Captain Marvel waits for another day....

So I purchased my gold pass for the convention right after the holidays. (because hey if you're going all that way-- you have to go BIG and whole hog). I got my passport renewal stuff in motion the week after New Years (something I'd put off for a year or two anyway), and booked my hotel room at the venue. Shortly thereafter I booked my flight and started socking money away for food/transport/hotel (While keeping a close eye on the budget for Gallifrey- I was going to do both by hook or by crook!) My folks were super nice and upon learning of my trip sent me an early birthday present of cash already converted into British Pounds for me to use. And a big help that was!

Now I knew I would bring my Tom Baker costume with me. I mean, I HAD to, no question. But then I got the rather foolish err... I mean bright idea to bring all Five Doctors costumes with me so I could get my picture taken with each actor in their respective costumes. Now I managed to pull this off.... barely. But as Steve Ricks writes in his prologue- this proved to be quite the complex problem of logistics and .... luggage space allowance.

See, on a domestic US flight you're actually allowed two carry-ons, 1 check-in bag and a garment bag. Or at least this was the case last I checked. With these restrictions I was a-ok. But not so for international flights! I was only allowed 1 check-in, *1* carry-on, and NO garment bag. I could however bring an umbrella. Well that's one small 7th Doctor problem conquered. Soooo being the pre-planning person I am, I did a 'test' packing of all of my necessities, cameras, and costumes in mid-Feb. And discovered of course that I didn't have enough room for everything. Doctors Six and Eight were left in the literal empty void.




Eight and Six left out in the cold

My solution to this was two-fold. 1st - I called upon my friends to loan me a larger bag for check-in. My suitcase barely reached half of the max allowance and luckily one of my fellow Blu-Ray Trek Night crew comrades had a super large duffle bag that was nearly double the size of mine and had all-important shoulder straps to be turned into a backpack. This allowed me to pack my 8th Doctor Costume at last. And left me a little room for some goodies to bring back. 2nd - I asked SteveRicks to keep the fab 5th Doctor Coat and Trousers he'd made for me there and bring them to me at the con. It saved me on packing, and cost of shipping them here for Gallifrey (where we didn't have anyone to wear it anymore as we lost a couple of Doctor cosplayers anyway) and bringing/shipping them back again. Also it was through friends of Steve that I got a loaner of a near complete Cloth Ears version of the Six costume. This meant I only had to pack the shirt, wig and shoes/spats. As a bonus, I got to wear a much better coat and cravat than my own for my Colin photo. Steve was also cool enough to accept some ebay items I had sent over for signing by the Doctors such as the TVM "TARDIS Key hand-off" poster, the 1993 Radio Times and a special 30"X40" Tom Baker poster I had blown up from my favorite of his Season 12 publicity photos.



The one casualty in this entire set-up were my hats. My poor poor hats. Get this - to check in a 2nd bag/box on the airplane it would have cost me $150.00 EACH WAY to bring it along. The cost of shipping a hat box to the UK was only $50.00. So I opted for option two. I shipped my Four, Five and Seven hats over the week before with a guarantee to reach Steve by Tuesday the 9th. I made one mistake though- rather than undervalue the item like I do for nearly everything I send overseas, I let paranoia grip me and I decided to insure the box for the true value of all three hats- specifically the high value of my custom made Tom Baker hat. The box did indeed arrive on Tuesday the 9th, but UK customs did not take kindly to such a high value item going unnoticed. So they held on to it for 4 crucial days, probably thinking how great it would be frustrate an American Doctor Who fan who just wants to wear the right hat when he meets his idol - and then slap a 75.00 GBP fee on it to add insult to injury. Needless to say the hats did not arrive in time, captured by customs, failing to escape in the nick of time. I've paid Steve back for graciously retrieving the hats for me (and luckily they were not lost thank goodness) so I got the privilege of spending about $200 to send my hats on a round trip to the United Kingdom and back.... for no good reason. Oh yes and as a post script: I'd been told the US post office would refund my money for sending it over in the first place since it did not arrive by the guaranteed delivery date. Fine. I call them the Tuesday I get back only to learn that because the package was held by UK customs for more than 24 hours, it was beyond their control and they would NOT refund me my $50.00 after all. Lovely. Obviously the Post Office must be in cahoots with The Master. Or The Daleks. Or at the very least, the Sun Makers. Bah.


Don't ever try and deal with customs!

Anyway, I managed to squeeze an extra day and half out of my budget and vacation allowance so I could see a little of London before the Con got into full swing. It was my first real trip outside of the USA (save for an improvised afternoon in Mexico in 2001) and I wanted to at least try and make the most of it. At first I figured I'd wander around and see the usual touristy things. Then upon mentioning this to SteveRicks and Gallifrey89 they told me they would not only join me, but show me around. Steve researched and layed out a nice itinerary of Doctor Who locations for me to see. How awesome!

You can read Steve's Side of this here:
http://seventhdoctorcostume.blogspot.com/2010/03/time-quest-2-prologue.html

So after a very long flight, many movies watched, a few hours of sleep, I got to Heaththrow Airport about an hour behind schedule on Thu afternoon. After navigating the rather swift customs line, Steve met me at the airport and took pity on my Los Angeles Car Culture soul by giving me a crash course on the UK rail and tube system. He even got me an Oyster Card so I was up and running for Tube and bus travel. What can I say, he was a life saver! We took the express train into London and dropped my bags at a Left Luggage locker. Next thing you know, I'm standing on a street a little shell shocked by seeing all the cars and double decker buses going the wrong way down the road. So my first hour in the United Kingdom and I am literally hitting the ground running checking out Dr. Who locations! Geronimo right?


Wondering how the Chameleon Circuit did THAT

Now you have to keep in mind, I've been wanting to visit the UK in general for many years. My Dad raised me on a steady diet of British TV and aside from being just a Dr. Who fan I'm a pretty dyed in the wool anglophile when it comes to British sitcoms (or Britcoms as PBS used to dub them), Brit SciFi and of course British Spy/Crime genre shows. That said, I wondered if it would live up to what I had imagined in my head seeing as the England I was enamoured with was the England of 20-40 years ago, if it ever existed at all (much like the 'fantasyland' UK depicted in several ITC series). Well I can't say it really disappointed! Many areas of the city looked like it hadn't been touched since the days they were filmed and of course, a lot of the city structures are older than our entire country so I shouldn't have worried. I had a moment though when Steve and I were bounding to our first location, when I rounded a corner to see a old row of flats or offices. The look of that street I swear to god, was something right out of the Avengers or the Saint. I expected John Steed to come out of one of those doors or Simon Templar to come driving around the corner in his Jag. That's when it hit me. I'm *really* here. No joke. It was pretty cool!



I didn't have long to dwell on this though as Steve was all about keeping up the pace so we could hit everything before we lost the light. Our first stop: Traveling back to 1974 with an Invasion of the Dinosaurs location at the Smithfield Market. It was here UNIT faced off against a T Rex model via CSO against a background plate. It took us a minute to figure out *which* corner was the one they used but we sussed it out in the end thanks to Steve having several of the episode screengrabs pre-loaded on his iPod. The wonders of technology! The streets around this place were narrower than you'd think. Makes you wonder how a Dinosaur would really fit in there if it were rampaging around the city.


(Just how would a Dinosaur fit in here again?)

Our 2nd Stop of the day was at St Martins la Grand where one of the last remaining vintage Police Telephone Posts still stands. I'm amazed these were never referenced in the show even passingly. They look like a mini-TARDIS! Pretty nifty.


(Telephone Post or Space Ship?)


(No Really- there's a Time Lord in this thing....)

For our 3rd Stop we jumped back to 2007 at St. Paul's cathedral which was used "On Screen" as an exterior for The Lazarus Experiment. Although the building used in the actual episode for the location was the National Gallery of Wales in Cardiff which doubled for St. Paul's (Much like some of the doubled castles used for location in Silver Nemesis), so this part was more of a location "in name only".


The Lazarus Exterior

Of course we walked around to the side and then suddenly dipped back into 1968 for there are the steps the Cybermen walked down during The Invasion! Okay okay, so the actual steps were demolished some time back and have been re-done with a tiered system of steps. But it's still pretty cool. Yes, it was the only time on the trip I wish I'd brought my Cyberman costume. And then I remembered the dangers of customs and promptly was thankful I didn't bring it.


(Cybermen (and George Lazenby)Once walked down these...err, steps)


(Following in the Cyber-Footsteps)

Our 4th Stop was a jaunt over a bridge, (heading towards the Tate building) where we ended up in 2007 or rather 1599 at the Globe Theater, site of The Shakespeare Code.




(Still standing after a Carrionite invasion)

From here we made our 5th Stop 1988 or rather 1963 as we journeyed through the back streets of Waterloo checking out a few locations from Remembrance of the Daleks. The Site of the Dalek battle (yes where the Special Weapons Dalek blew up a couple of them!), the Corner where the Doctor talks the Black Dalek to death and finally the corner where the Doctor and Ace hid from the Dalek in a military tent before running off. We even saw the guard rail that Sly McCoy had tripped over during an outtake!


(Believe it or not but this was a Dalek Battle Ground)


(Where the Doctor Talked a Dalek to Death)


(Where Seven and Ace his from a Dalek)


(Yep McCoy Tripped over THAT Guard Rail)

After all of this my cold was playing up so I took some medicine while we got a little refuge from the cold weather at a coffee shop. It was nice to take a breather and enjoy some British hot chocolate which I have to say is better than a lot of the local hot chocolate (or chocolate flavored water as I call it) I usually have!

With some renewed energy we ventured out to our 7th and last stop taking a trip back to 1984 at Butler's Wharf which was the main location used in Resurrection of the Daleks. The Wharf has since been remodeled into a very nice shopping district since the 80's but it still resembled it's original look fairly well with the high walkways and distinctive brickwork. Using Steve's trusty iPod for reference images, we found were the prisoners escaped, where the phone box used to be, where Tegan was led by the guards through the gates, where the TARDIS materialized, about where Tegan was chased by the water, where the guards were stationed and of course, the high window from which the Doctor tossed the Dalek out onto the pavement. The light was fading, but I got a few decent shots on my camera. It was neat to walk down that area and get a sense of what the actors were dealing with when shooting that episode. Of course I had to stand (about) where the TARDIS once was. And no... no time rifts or Torchwood bases were there now.


(Where the phone box was)


(Where the prisoners escaped from!)


(Standing where the TARDIS Landed)


(Leading back into the wharf from where the TARDIS landed)


(The Alleyway where Lytton was last seen walking away with his two soldiers)


(The Intro Shot!)


(Rebuilt Walkways)


(The Window the Dalek was pushed out of - right next to the lower bridge)


(Filling in where a Dalek Guard once stood!)

So with the light mostly gone and the cold temperature lowering we called it a day. I snapped a few last pics of Tower bridge as we crossed back over.



I picked up my bags and Steve got me squared away on my train to Cheshunt. We agreed to meet at 9AM the next day to continue the tour in costume!



You can read Steve's side of this (along with comparison pics) here:
http://fifthdoctorcostume.blogspot.com/2010/03/resurrection-of-locations.html

When I got to Cheshunt it was easy to grab a cab and make my way to the hotel, Theobalds Park which was a converted mansion. The house looked a lot like estate used in the Pyrmaids of Mars or the Auderly House in Day of the Daleks!


(Theobalds Park)

I checked in and was given a key to my room. When I say key I mean a physical metal key- not a key card like you get at most hotels here. Also, getting to my room proved to be a chore- there were no elevators in my wing of the hotel- it was all stairs. Three flights up... and one half flight back down. The layout reminded me of Fawlty Towers.


Stairs


More Stairs


The Half flight leading back down onto my floor - Very Basil Fawlty.

To get to my room you had to walk through an alcove with a broom/towel closet. My room was pretty hidden away and it threw me for a minute. I'm guessing it was a converted servant's quarters from back in the day. That said it was a nice room, very large bed and spacious bathroom. I quickly unpacked and then made a round of calls to connect up with some of the local board members who I knew would be attending the convention. I left a message for Ed (aka gallifrey89) to meet Steve and myself at the Liverpool St. Station at 9AM so he could join us for the 2nd part of the tour.


Door leading into Broom Closet cubby


The Broom/cleaning closet across from my door


View of my room door from said Broom/cleaning closet.

I also got a hold of Pete (a frequent lurker on this comm) and we met up for a late dinner at the bar with his fiancee Deb and her family. Pete and Deb were getting married the next day at 5PM at the hotel and had invited me to attend especially since the entire party would be dressed in Doctor Who costume! How can I miss that? I had a Guiness with my meal and I have to say... it pretty much tastes just the same as it does here. Oh well. It was nice to catch up with another person I'd only dealt with on e-mail prior to that moment. Then the excitement was wearing down and the Jet lag was creeping up on me like large gentleman tapping me incessantly on the shoulder. So I finally went to bed and passed out.

On Friday Morning, I woke up early thanks to my skewed body clock. I got ready and duly suited up in my 4th Doctor costume. I didn't have time the whole weekend to try the complimentary breakfast at the hotel but oh well... I'm not much of a breakfast guy anyway. I had a little trepidation of how the costume would be received in public seeing as unlike in the USA, I would be totally recognized here. Oh well, it was an adventure. So I bounded to the cab, where neither the hotel clerk nor the cab driver batted an eye at me. Wow. I guess the locals must put the Doctor's dress sense in perspective? The guy selling me my train ticket gave me a grin but that was it. Not a person on the train even looked twice at me. The famous British reserve? Oh well.


Waiting for my train as Four!

I met up with Steve who was dressed in his Ten outfit again. Standing next to him was Ed in his Seventh Doctor outfit including one of the new sweaters from the group run. Steve had been nice enough to accept a small parcel of them so he could get his early and I could hand a few of them out to some of the folks I knew would be attending the con including Ed. It looked rather good I must say- it was my first time seeing it in person! Anyway Steve refilled my bag of Jelly Babies (because you never know) and we were off!


The Tour Crew- Steve, Ed and Matt.

Our 1st Stop was a trip back to 1966 with a look at the GPO Post Office Tower and Bedford Square both used for location filming in The War Machines. I was also keen to see this building as it was used for filming in the original 1967 Bedazzled - one of my all time favorite comedies starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. I was trying to work out *which* floor they were on for the 'pigeon double-tempt' scene but access inside wasn't allowed.



At Bedford Square we did our best to work out where the 1st Doctor's TARDIS had landed (and the Out of Order Signed placed) and yet again I had to walk over the spot. I dunno, call me odd, but it was a thrill.




Four Waits for One to return with the TARDIS

On our way to our next stop, we spotted a Nissan Figaro on the street which happens to be the car Sarah Jane drives in the Sarah Jane Adventures. So I stopped to take a quick picture with it of course!


Look! It's Sarah Jane's Car!

As we walked down the street from here, the whole block was filled with office workers all standing at the glass windows smiling, taking pictures and waving at us. I could clearly read 'Doctor Who" on a couple of their mouths. we all waved back and smiled. So it was nice we made their day. Certainly wouldn't happen here in the States! Along the way we got some other random passer-bys shouting "Doctor" at us and a couple deliverymen gave us a smile and said "Good to see ya, Doctor!"


(Harvie and Hudson- the people who made Colin Baker's shirts in 1984)



Our 2nd stop brought us to Forbidden Planet - a shop I'd ordered a fair amount of Who merchandise from over the years online! It was a sight to behold- walking into a shop where they had a whole shelf dedicated to Doctor Who DVDs/Books and an aisle dedicated to Dr. Who toys. If only this were true in the US toy shops.





I saw they had the Pyramids of Mars Tom Baker figure which I hemmed and hawed about since it hasn't hit US shores yet. I passed on this but later I had my friend Warren (wanglais) agree to pick me up one after I decided it would be cheaper to buy it here than order it online later. It was here that Ed, Steve and Myself were stopped for a couple of pictures with some fans which was cool. I also picked up the latest DWM and SFX (with hologram cover) magazine.





Our 3rd Stop brought us through Soho and a couple of fabric shops which was interesting to see. I do a lot of fabric searching in the US so it was neat to see some of the options available across the pond. We stopped in the Berwick St. Cloth Shop where Louise Page had told me she'd bought the silk for the cravat for Jackson Lake. We looked around and of course there was nothing to be had. The silk had been purchased two years ago after all. In another shop we did find some fantastic wools that would work for 1st Doctor trousers and the 4th Doctor's Grey Irish Tweed Frock coat. Steve and I made a note of it and moved on. It was around here we passed through an alley of adult theaters and sex toy shops and Steve got a few funny pictures of the Doctors wandering through such out-of-character establishments.




The Doctor wondering what he's doing in this neck of the woods... Photo by Steve Ricks.

Our 4th Stop was in Piccidily Circus where we met up with Ed's Friend Matt (Walsall Timelord on Gallifrey Base, alas NOT in costume). This is also where we stopped at another of the vintage Police Telephone Posts. I'm convinced this would be the type of Police Box TARDIS that the Master would use. Especially the Ainley Master. It was like a Police Box version of a grandfather clock and roman column rolled into one! I got some fun snaps in costume next to it!


The 2nd Police Telephone Post


The Doctor is proud of shrinking the TARDIS


The doctor wonders how to get BACK inside the TARDIS!

Our 5th Stop was a short walk away over to Trafalgar Square slipping back to 1964 during the events of The Dalek Invasion of Earth!



I had a touristy moment of wanting to wander around and take pictures but Steve kept us on point and we quickly found the spot where the Daleks trundled past. Again, I had to take some pictures there.




Looking out for any more Daleks!

It was about this time when a group of guys walked by and shouted "Oi! Look Out, It's a Dalek!" and laughed at us. Well at least there were three Doctors on hand to take on the situation! Right about then the rain started up but Ed was prepared with his 7th Doctor umbrella!



For our 6th Stop we hit Westminster Bridge which had double duty as a location again in 1964 & 2005. First it was used in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, second, it was the spot where the Slitheen Ship crashed in Aliens of London and where Rose and the Doctor found the Nestene Consciousness under the London Eye in Rose. It was pretty crowded with tourists at this point so we took a few quick snaps and moved on.






(Must be Slap Bang in the Middle of London. Must be completely invisible!)


(It's such a nice job rebuilding Big Ben after that Slitheen Crash landing!)

7th Stop: From here we hopped a bus and took a ride down to #1 Buckingham Place. This was the location used for the flat of No. 6 in The Prisoner. All those years watching those opening titles "Patrick McGoohan in" and here I was on the actual street where he pulled up that famous roadster! It was pretty cool.





The door had been repainted since then as a jet black, and there were several modern cars in the street (facing the other way I might add) but otherwise it looked the same. I took a few pics at the door as is the doctor was knocking for a visit.


Not so sure if this means No 6 is really No. 1....


The Doctor paying a visit to No. 6.

It turns out Steve is a big prisoner fan and was heavily involved with running the Six of One fan club back in the day, so this gave us even more to talk about. He then told me he owned one of the original Patrick McGoohan jackets from the series and he'd let me see it over the weekend. Talk about going from cool to uber-cool! I did eye up the rather large red mailbox that was right nearby and I was tempted to try and hop onto it and do my best Peter Cook impression of being worshipped by Dudley Moore (again you have to see Bedazzled to know what I'm talking about) but decided against it. It wouldn't look right if I was doing it 'as the Doctor.' As we walked away from this location I saw someone go in the door and I whispered to Steve "He must be with the Village!"


(One of the surviving tower blocks No. 6 sees as he passes out)


The MailBox I nearly perched on Peter Cook Style.

We then took the tube to Earl's Court where our 8th Stop awaited us which was the Earl's Court Police Box. Yes a full scale Police Box that actually looks like the one used in the show. Granted it's not period- it's a modern rebuild from 1996- but still it looked nifty and we got a lot of fun pictures next to it.





Afterwards, we stopped for a much needed lunch and rest. I discovered the wonderfulness of British Soda. (They still make it with sugar over there and not our yucky corn syrup) Needless to say I drank a lot of Coke and 7-Up while I was there. We had a long chat about the difference between British Puddings and Custard and why Americans call our trousers, pants. It was enlightening as much as it was amusing.




Then it was back on the tour! Our 9th Stop was another trip on tube to Hammersmith to site of the Coal Hill School used in Remembrance of the Daleks, which is now a community center. The buildings hadn't changed much and it was easy to spot where the survaillance van was parked, and where the 7th Doctor's TARDIS had materialized.


The Corner Where Seven and Ace walked from to find the the van.


The Wrong Doctor emerges to look for the hand of omega....

Again I had a moment to stand where we nearly certain it had once stood and I got a few pictures of Four waiting for his 'ride' to pick him up. :)


I know I left it here somewhere...


My 7th Persona should be by to pick me up anytime now....

This was the only time I wished I was in my Seven costume but Ed filled in nicely for some shots of the proper Doctor at the proper location. I will say again the street was far narrorwer than it appears on screen! I would have missed the spot if it hadn't been for Steve and his trusty map and iPod.


Ed Filling in For Sly McCoy


Where the Van was parked.


Coal Hill School Entrance

From here we walked around the corner into the community center parking lot where the Dalek Shuttlecraft landed. In the show it seems like a square playground but it's more pentagon shaped in real life and with cars and a picnic table there now it took us a few minutes to work out exactly where the Shuttle used to be.


About where the shuttle landed.

Afterwards, it was easy to spot the Window the 7th Doctor slid down from with his umbrella.


The Window Seven Slid down from

It was very cool to see and we took a few pics before moving on. It was also here we were amused to see a woman take something like a 30-point turn to get out from in front of another car and escape the parking lot (and us i imagine!).


Wondering where the Dalek Shuttle took off to....

On the way out of Hammersmith, Steve made a point to buy me a British Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate bar. It was rather good but different to US chocolate. Bascially it was less sweet and twice as creamy. "That's how Chocolate is supposed to taste!" Steve said after laughing at my puzzled look while I chewed on the candy bar. Granted, I also found out from Ed that Hostess Twinkies and Reese's Peanut Butter cups can't be had in the UK and are practically contraband there, so they haven't got the market on everything!


Looking for Susan!

I'd thought that was the last stop on the tour as we now had to think about heading back to make Pete's wedding in time. But we were ahead of schedule and Steve mentioned there was time for one last stop that was both Old and New Who related. Well we exited the train and I was busy searching for a trash can for my 7Up bottle as well as a spot to re-up my Oyster card, so I completely missed the fact we were right outside the BBC Television Center for a good five minutes!



Anyway I'd wanted to take a tour of the place but they weren't offering any tours while I was in town sadly. Regardless, it was nice of Steve to make a point to let me see it. I'd seen it in so many behind the scenes of Doctor Who (Not to mention the opening to A Bit of Fry and Laurie Series 2) that it was pretty awesome to see it up close. Several people in line to go in (audience members??) shouted 'it's Doctor Who!" and took our pictures. We tried to peer in to see the Police Box I heard was on display but we couldn't see it. The sun was beating down pretty bad with glare so we had to make our way around to the side to take a good picture. With that mission accomplished, we were all on our way back to Liverpool Street and from there, the railway to Cheshunt and the Hotel venue.



You can read Steve's Side of this 2nd part of the tour here:
http://seventhdoctorcostume.blogspot.com/2010/03/remembrance-of-locations.html

Upon our arrival at the hotel, we dropped our things, and then Ed and Matt had to run off to help bring in the TARDIS and Dalek thier friends had brought to the convention. Steve and I hastily registered for the con, I bought my extra autographs I'd planned for and then we made a mad dash for Pete's wedding which we were running about 15 minutes late for by this time!



We got in and sat down moments before the all-important "I Do" and kiss the bride moment. Steve joked he thought about saying the Tennant line from the Sarah Jane Smith Episode "Stop This Wedding!" but thankfully, he didn't! Sure enough everyone there was dressed in costume! it was a sight to behold. A Tomb Cyberman, a 2nd Doctor, a 6th doctor, an Enterprise crewman, a Babylon 5 officer, Astrid Peth, some children Daleks & Cybermen, a Cyber Shade, Star Trek TOS and TNG crewmen, Clockwork Robots, Ace, A Brigadier and of course Pete and Deb as the 8th Doctor and Mercy Hartigan respectively. There were a lot of good wedding photos taken I assure you! At the reception there was even a very cute Dalek made entirely out of balloons!


Pete & Deb- Newlyweds.









Between the reception I popped my head into the BBQ that the Convention was holding but didn't buy a ticket for it since I was already well fed from the wedding and I didn't really have that much time. I ran into a couple of nice ladies from the USA who seemed like longtime Who fans and it was nice to not feel like the only American there! I did pop in to the Gold Ticket Holder Drinks reception for about half an hour and caught up with Matt and Ed while finally meeting Ian Kubiak from Gallifrey Base. None of the actors were there that I could see save for Janet Fielding who was buried somewhere toward the front of the room behind a lot of fans. Anyway I enjoyed some mango Juice and decided to avoid the wine after the Guiness had made me downright loopy the night before.





Shortly thereafter I met up with Archie Stengos from Gallifrey Base and handed him his McCoy sweater. He ran late but then again so did I trying to juggle everything so it all worked out! Steve had to jet off so we arranged plans of what I needed for the con that he planned to bring with him Sat morning which included the loaner 6th Doctor costume, Radio Times, Posters, and of course the 5th Doctor Frock and Trousers I'd commissioned from him many months prior. It was a lot to handle but Steve was up to the task- thank goodness.





When I got back downstairs I ran into Andy aka Clanger68 and his wife Karyn who recognized me from all of the pictures I'd previously posted on the forums. We had a nice long chat about costuming, fandom and Who props. Clanger was nice enough to heed my plea for Jelly Babies online and he brought me two bags of them as well as a CD of images from the Bonhams auction. How awesome.

I ended the evening hanging out with Pete, Deb, and his friends Glen and Steve talking Who costuming and getting a few pictures in costume in front of the convention TARDIS which was nicely set up by this point. I felt the large Tap, Tap, Tap of the Jet Lag beating down on me again and I finally made my way to bed!

Interestingly, when I finally took off the Tom Baker costume I realized I think I'd set a personal time record wearing it. I had literally spent ALL day & night in the costume - about a solid 16 hours. About 3 times as long as I usually spend in it normally at previous conventions. Crazy!



Super thanks to Steve for putting together the itinerary and making the most of my spare time in the UK to see all these cool spots!



UPDATE: 6-16-10- I finally got my hats back as of June 11th, 2010. Took TRHEE Months for them to get back to me!

My Report on Time Quest to follow!

-honorarydoctor
 
 
Current Location: Work
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: David Newman
 
 
 
fiawol: masterfiawol on March 24th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Wow, fantastic report and photographs! Thanks for sharing your experience, and congrats on the opportunity to go there!
gavic on March 24th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
That is Fantastic and looks like you all had a great time.
Van: Doctor Who: 2 oh crumbs!van on March 24th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Wow, Bob! What fun, and so great to see all these pictures and the write up. I had no idea you were going on a Who Tour. I love it! So many awesome places. Shame it had to be all so quick, but so cool that you got to see them at all!! Eagerly awaiting the next part~!

That bit with the hats is OUTRAGEOUS though, omgggg.
Aimee: dw-cosplayaimeekitty on March 24th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
aw, this brings back nostalgia from my trip two years ago. we went to some of the new who locations around london that we could find. Glad you had a great time (but sorry about your hats! you still look great without them though!)
Darling Cryptid: doctah approvedslytherinquoll on March 24th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
That all sounded utterly amazing! I was in the UK this winter but I opted for Cardiff and did it the cheap way (frequent flyer miles, working for my room and board) so I really didn't see much of anything at all. *is jealous of you*
Hiding in plain sight: DW-4-give_us_a_kisswulfae on March 24th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
Wow, this looks like such a fun trip! I'm looking forward to seeing the report of the actual con. If it was as cool as the tour of London... :D
scott_sebringscott_sebring on March 24th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Awesome, Bob!!
Hitoripraedestinatio on March 24th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
Man sounds like an AMAZING trip. Not only Who, but Prisoner stuff! Too exciting!
tardis_taratardis_tara on March 24th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
Congrats on the win and thanks for the write up and pictures!

Can't wait to hear more!
Lone Samurai of the Pen and Papermrtonylee on March 24th, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
That Balloon Dalek is the best thing ever!

And Steve! My god! I borrowed one of his Klingon costumes for a SciFi channel party back in the 90's!!!
Gem: DW : Griniceandlime on March 24th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
Great report :)

I thought I'd let you know too, St Paul's wasn't used in the Lazarus Experiment, that was the National Gallery of Wales in Cardiff that they used for the exterior shots, with a matte picture above it combining it with the interior Senedd shots they used :)
honorarydoctorhonorarydoctor on March 26th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I've corrected this above.
mjrjmgraymjrjmgray on March 24th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Wow! I am sick as a dog and stuck in the house, and these stories and pics just made my day. (Well, other than the horrible pangs of jealousy, but in a good way, right?) Amazing trip!

BTW, Bob--the scarf arrived earlier this week. Thanks for taking care of it so quickly when you obviously had a full plate. It will be put to good use!
ravenmist7ravenmist7 on March 24th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Great photos!! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip and full of great memories. How fun you got to take pictures in all those different areas where the show was filmed.
Thanks for sharing!
And the balloon Dalek is amazing!
GeekLady: Doctor Who//Stripedy Fandombooksavvy on March 25th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Great photos and report! It's like we were there with you! It brought back so many memories of my trip to London last year. Brilliant, thanks for sharing with us!
Kaikai_wolf on March 27th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate chocolate-flavoured water! So much of it is like that over here, too.

This post was not only enjoyable, but also really informative for me! I live in Canada and I’ve never been to the UK before, and your experiences in travelling have certainly given me something to think about when planning my first trip there. And your hat story will surely serve as a warning to anyone else thinking of doing that - customs is ridiculous!!!