I guess, that is in Hollywood.
I admit, it made me quite sad. I mean, technically I had known there was no chance he would be in Birmingham anyway, as he is one, in the US at the moment and two, shooting more “Arrow” but for me he still clearly was at the wrong convention.
But you know what? It was still great fun! I had two friends with me for whom it was the first time to see all those Torchwood stars, and it couldn’t have been a better introduction. A nice small familiar event, around 300 fans I think, and with Kai Owen, Gareth David-Lloyd, Naoko Mori, Dichen Lachman and of course Eve Myles, who had initiated the whole thing, on stage together, it was expected to be a blast.
We should have probably been warned about what was to come at Friday evening at the opening ceremony. Sean, head of Starfury events, tried to do a speech and introduce them but was interrupted by shenanigans going on backstage. You know, the screen they had put up to show what’s happening on stage to the people in the back rows, worked both ways. So we saw some shadowy figures, having fun with bananas or trying to pick Sean’s nose on the screen.
He was at a loss for words, and he admitted that was a first in the past 15 years of doing conventions. And he ended with the now famous “Thank God John Barrowman isn’t here!”
Well, in the end he was with us in spirit, as he got mentioned from those on stage quite a few times. Or at least his balls. But more about that later.
After the opening ceremony we went straight to the room in which the Meet and Greet with the stars for the owners of Gold tickets was supposed to happen. For once I was not the first of our group and only got told later that we did not choose our table ourselves, a guide asked how many we were and then placed us at a table in a way so that at each table a chair was kept free for the star that would join us later for a bit of small talk.
So just you know, nothing that happened after that was our fault. Not at all. We immediately hit off with the people on our table and had much fun with each other, we spent the whole weekend together and went for meals in the evening and everyone that heard us laughing was amazed to hear that two days ago we hadn’t even known each other. And we were a well-mixed group from several different countries and also mixed old con-experts and virgin newbies.
And there also was Giorgio. Surely many of you have met him, he was just there because he is friends with Dichen Lachman, who he had met at a con a few years ago. He had no idea what Torchwood was but I hope we were able to convince him that it was a show one absolutely must watch!
In the end, late in the evening, a lonely girl from the next table came over, saying how she liked us having fun, while apparently there had not been much interaction on her table, the others just left without even saying good-bye. How rude.
So, the stars at a con are one thing, but the most special thing is spending time with friends, meeting old friends again and new ones for the first time, which you then look forward to to meet again next year.
The downside is, that with all the stuff going on, you sometimes are going to one thing while others go to another, and you only meet in the hallway and in between “Hi!” and “I have to catch my panel!” there is not much time to talk, and you can’t split yourself in two. But then that’s what the hotel bar is for (I’m not one that likes to go to the parties, the music is not the kind I like, and it’s way too loud for me anyway. I’m getting old LOL)
So, back to the Meet and Greet. The first on our table was Kai. I have been to Meet and Greets before where the person sitting next to the star hogged all of his time alone and the others never got a word in, but this did not happen here. Kai asked everyone for his name, and where they were from, and if any of the Germans were from Bavaria… LOL (I should probably mention that apparently Bavaria had beaten Manchester in soccer a few days ago, but what do I know)
With Dichen we also talked about Germany because it turned out that even though she is from Australia, she has a German granddad! Which explains her last name Lachman, and we translated her that it means laughing man. She hadn’t known that yet.
I don’t actually remember much from our talks to Gareth and Naoko, but the reason for that is that Eve Myles was found more often ON the tables instead of AT them, and while standing there and having the full room’s attention, she announced that tomorrow there would be a screening of the episode “Contryside” and they would do an audio commentary. And that we all should come in our pyjamas.
Several times ;)
In the end, it went like this:
Eve: “What are we going to do tomorrow?”
Fans: “A screening!”
Eve: “Of what?”
Eve: “And what do you all wear?”
And so on. And right now I remember that Gareth had said this actually first at our table, that he would crash the screening and do a commentary. And he asked us for the time it would be on, and we gave it to him but later wondered how he would be able to do the autographs and screening at the same time. Thankfully it then got switched to an earlier time.
Eve spent way more than just the five minutes on each table, got gifts and chocolates and drinks everywhere and really had a blast. One girl had a self made resurrection glove, and of course Eve took this chance to resurrect Gareth. I couldn’t see it well because they were lying at the floor, but apparently she went for his special bits. Of course ;)
That is me with the glove, but I did not make it:
It was already past midnight when she came to us, we were the second to last table and the room had emptied considerably. Everyone was partying on in the other room but after Eve had left it was time for us to say good-night, as we had a full weekend ahead of us and well, a little bit of sleep would be nice.
This is what the hotel hall looked like:
To be continued in part 2 Link to part 2 - Saturday