By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Updated 9:00 PM PST to reflect the latest announcement
Unless convention goers to Seattle‘s largest pop culture convention are online every day for the latest news, the last few weeks have been a flurry of cancellations and tweaks to a schedule of which media guests are indeed attending and at what days they are able to appear. The fine print is written on ECCC’s website for some time: work commitments come first.
Unlike the Toronto Comic Convention where they did everything in their power to bring Karen Gillan in to be with her fans with the fastest manmade jet to bring her to this show, the powers that be at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) brought news that only the observant will notice: another episode of Doctor Who is going into production and Jenna Coleman revealed on her Twitter feed that she is back at work. Unless there is a working TARDIS and a Time Lord willing to change destiny, the inevitable had to happen: a couple of hours later, ECCC confirmed that she will no longer be attending the convention. Although the news is sad, the convention committee pulled off some magic and has brought Alex Kingston, the Doctor’s “real” wife, to the fore!
The news is exciting, and the only shame is that this convention seems interested in dealing with performers from the new Doctor Who series than classic. Other adds include Troy Baker, an extraordinary voice actor, and Jewel Staite from Joss Whedon‘s Firefly!
Also on the list of folks who can not make it is the very versitile Dante Basco (Prince Zuko in Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender). Sadly not attending will be Morena Baccarin and Brandon Routh due to filming committments. Even though this show suggested planning your weekend at the end of February, ’tis better to figure out what’s going on two days prior to going to this event.
More changes is most likely in store in the last day leading up to ECCC and during. Attendees are best advised to look for the schedule boards for where things are being shuffled to. The way to tackle these changes is to simply show up at least 45 minutes before the event so no one will feel disappointed.
For fans of John Barrowman who have not heard — he’s no longer able to attend Friday (probably due to filming for that day back in Vancouver, British Columbia). Anything he’s been scheduled for has been bumped to Saturday and Sunday. Anyone who planned to attend ECCC for one day might be in for a disappointment if they have not kept up with the changes. Fans from Canada should not fret. He will be attending Fan Expo Vancouver on April 4th and 5th.
Team Arrow at ECCC will consist of John Barrowman and Alex Kingston. Will there be a photo-op of this new pairing be offered? Some fans are hoping so, but nothing is confirmed. Other fans may be annoyed that a refund is going to be given to those who bought early tickets for photo ops with Barrowman on Friday instead of getting an email offering to transfer this purchase to either Saturday or Sunday. This offer should be immediate instead of having fans wait for 48 hours or more for a notice.
Processing in this scale takes days. These last minute schedule changes will not have everyone happy since money is “locked” up until a proper statement by Epic Photo Ops is issued saying the customer has been credited.
Obviously not everything was not well planned out, and only careful monitoring of ECCC’s Facebook page, Twitter feed or official web page will reveal what’s in store. For other details of who else has cancelled, please visit the updated ECCC guest page for up to date information.
March 24th 5pm Update: Props to Epic Photo Ops and Emerald City Comiccon for responding to many fans concern. They have announced that “From now until Friday morning, Photo Op Refunds will be provided upon request (reply to the email they send you), but please be advised the refunded amount won’t be available until after Emerald City Comicon 2015. As an alternative, you can use your cancelled Photo Op ticket at ECCC with any Epic cashier in the Photo Ops area as credit towards the purchase of another photo op of equal or greater value.”