A ‘Doctor Who’ Finish to England

Hi there everyone.

Apologies for not posting for a while but the apartment I have been staying in in Paris is having some issues with the wifi. As in, we can’t connect to the internet. So, I’ve had to find a spot with free wifi and mull around having an ice cream whilst I post this post.

Anneke Wills keeps the audience spellbound with one of her tales.

Saturday was my last day in London and the UK. I was to come to France a day earlier but then Fantom Films announced a Doctor Who event focussing on Doctor Who’s famous (infamous?) ‘Missing episodes’. On the 27th. So, plans changed.

This event was set in the little town of Rickmansworth, about 45 minutes from London St Pancras where I was able to leave my large backpack for the day – at 12 pounds 50. A little steep I thought for 7 ish hours at a guess.

Nevertheless I took the underground and overground on the Metropolitan line out to this quait little village and to the Watersmeet cinema. Fantom Events had hired the whole place out including the main auditorium where the talks were given. 

Peter Purves in conversation on stage.

Among the guests were three of the travelling companions who have had many of their episodes destroyed and apart from audio not around for consumption. Willam Russell played Ian Chesterton in the very first episode of Doctor Who back in 1963. He stayed on until 1965’s ‘The Chase’, which was the first episode to feature Peter Purves who went on to host an even longer-running show, ‘Blue Peter’. Anneke Wills played Polly for the last three adventures with the first Doctor, William Hartnell, and then several episodes with Patrick Troughton, being involved in the very first regeneration scene.

William Russell and Waris Hussein talking about the missing 1964 story ‘Marco Polo ‘.

So, it was a strong line up of guests from the 60s. There were also a couple of other actors from the era, the direction of the very first Doctor Who serial, Waris Hussein, the team that has restored most episodes of the classic series for DVD format including episodes returned in 2013, and the man that relealised the episode were being destroyed back in the late 70s and stopped them from destroying any more.

So, for the average traveller not much of a day, but for the hard-core fan, especially of the early days of the programme, a chance to meet those that made the programme and made history. And I was lucky – not many of these guests are likely to come to Australia for the rare event that we get down under.

Getting a fan shot with the very first Doctor Who director, Waris Hussein.

And then there was a raffle. And I won it! A signed frame by the guests. And yes it’s big and I have to lug all the way back to Australia. Still, I guess it’s a good momento. And in some ways, except for the carrying, it was mostly one of the more relaxing days of my trip.

Here in Paris we’ve had some really hot weather. I arrived on Sunday from the Eurostar, and it was 35 degrees. It’s cooled down since. But, tales of France will have to wait for the next post. May the Journey Never End!

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