Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicago Tardis 2011 - Doctor Who Convention

This years convention was a bit strange because actors canceled and others came in to replace.  In all, I enjoyed another good year.

Originally the character River Song played by actress Alex Kingston was to attend.  For those who do not know her work, she was very popular in the TV series ER, as Dr. Elizabeth Corday.  She was sexy then, and sexy now.  Alex had to cancel the convention because she was given a role in the TV series Upstairs Downstairs, episode 2.1 staring in 2012.  Though a disappointment for me, I also have to be joyful in that she has another important work in her life, beyond ER and Doctor Who, that should carry her for some time.  From sitting with the actors, talking to them, shaking hands, you begin to understand their world.  Acting is one thing, and being able to sustain a recurring role or find other roles to act seems to be the challenge.  So kudos to Alex.  Perhaps we can meet some other time.

Alex was then replace by the 5th Doctor, Peter Davison (I believe he was a replacement and not originally billed to show - I do not remember now).  Then the character Tegan played by Janet Fielding and Nyssa played by Sarah Sutton were to show.  However, Sarah could not make it at the last minute because of some urgent family matters.  Later that weekend the character Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse was booked to take Sarah's place.

I am not going to go through the list of actors and writers who attended.  There are many who return each year and whom we always enjoy.  Some of the new actors this year included Beth Chalmers (photo below) who was very charming and engaging, Andrew Hayden Smith, and Mark Sheppard.  Beth is in the Big Finish audios of Doctor Who that my son collects.  Mark Sheppard, played Canton Everett Delaware III in a couple episodes of Doctor Who, and has been in dozens of other TV series such as Supernatural, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, and my son's and my favorite, Burn Notice.

Beth Chalmers signing a photo for us.

Andrew Haden Smith speaking in the Grand Ballroom.

Mark Sheppard with Wes and Nick.

Sunday brunch with the actors has become a favorite for us.  We are able to choose which actor to sit with because of the member level we are at, and enjoy their company while we eat and talk about all sorts of things.  This year Nick and I chose brunch with Peter Davison.  This is probably the 1st year we have gone for "the big one", top dog, main character.  We did so because first, we never had brunch with Peter Davison, and second, because he has a roll in "Law and Order - UK" which Nick and his mom enjoy watching.

Photo after Brunch with Peter Davison

As usual, Nick and I spent money in the dealers room buying all things that were Doctor Who.  You cannot help but spend money at these types of events.  We obtained a lot of autographs from the actors, photographs with the actors, attended their discussion panels, and of course attended the annual masquerade show.

Pre-Event Gathering with Supporting Members

Discussion Panel with the "Chicks Dig Time Lords"

Peter Davison's Discussion Panel

Does this really need a caption?

Intro - Peter Davison
End of Opening Ceremonies

Matthew, Janet, and Peter's Panel

Photo with Ben, Beth, Jason, and Nick of Big Finish

Big Finish Discussion Panel

Fan in Costume - New Series Character

Masquerade Night

Masquerade Night

Masquerade Night

This convention is for the family to enjoy Doctor Who, dress up as you favorite character, to have an escape from the day-to-day.  There may be times when the actors or audience forgets that this is a "family event", but it is all in good taste.  Everyone has fun, especially the kids.

If you are interested in attending, the Chicago TARDIS convention is held every Thanksgiving weekend near Chicago.  For additional information you can go to their website at:

Hope to see you there in 2012!

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