Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Event regenerates interest in world of time-travel hero Doctor Who

IT'S not often that a fairly unalarming hotel in Swansea becomes the set of every child's worst nightmare.
But when the Daleks, the Cybermen and other horrific creations from Doctor Who's history descended on the Village hotel in SA1, that's exactly what happened.
It was part of this year's two-day Doctor Who convention, called Regenerations, which is now in its fourth year in the city.
And with the cult series's stars appearing on stage during the weekend, it is no wonder the crowds were out in force for the event. Organiser Cary Woodward, who shares his St Thomas home with a massive collection of memorabilia from the series, said it had been a great success.
He added: "This was supposed to be my last year, but because of demand I'm actually going to organise it for one day next year — September 18.
"This year's event has gone brilliantly. All the guests turned up, and the hotel has looked after us superbly."
More than 200 people turned up over the course of two days to meet the likes of Derek Jacobi, who played the villainous Master most recently; Sylvester McCoy, who played the Doctor in the 1980s; Sophie Aldred, who played his companion Ace, and Welshman Philip Madoc, who appeared in 15 episodes of the classic TV show.
"Having Derek Jacobi and Sylvester McCoy is such a coup for us, and not just as Doctor Who fans."
Mr Woodward has been a long- standing Doctor Who fan. He is now 45, but as a young eight-year-old he picked up a book called Doctor Who and the Daleks, discovered the television series, and just got hooked. "I don't think I'll ever grow up," he said.
The event featured a late-night auction, Doctor Who quiz, and a huge amount of the memorabilia associated with the series over the years.
It first aired in 1963, and has undergone its own regenerations since to remain just as popular today.
And Mr Woodward's love of the show certainly isn't on the wane, as he discusses those series written and produced by Swansea's own Russell T Davies and filmed in Cardiff and Swansea.
"It's great because it's got a whole new generation of kids into it.
"It wouldn't be any good if the kids didn't enjoy it."
Russell has hung up his pen to concentrate on other projects, and the show will be written and produced by Steven Moffat, who has been responsible for some of the most gothic episodes in recent times.
"They've gone down really, really well all in all," said Mr Woodward.
"I think we're in safe hands, and it's great news that BBC Wales still has it, because it means all local locations are used.
"It's one up for us for a change."