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BritCon to Fill the Void & It’s Not Just About Doctor Who!

28 Nov

BritCon Paul PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Aug 14-16, 2020
Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way NE
Seattle, Washington

The popularity of British media in America is at an all time high. It’s not just because of Doctor Who, but also with news of Red Dwarf getting the big screen treatment. And it’s not just about talents from across the pond making that successful transition to Hollywood–namely Karen Gillan. From a companion to leading lady in the upcoming Jumanji: The Next Level, who else can we expect?

To keep up with news leaves fans wondering where can they get the latest updates? The Internet can only offer so much. Not many followers of this world are aware of the importance of PineWood Studios and many British actors played when Star Wars original trilogy was being filmed. Michael Sheard (Admiral Ozzel of Empire Strikes Back) made an appearance in the Pacific Northwest a long time ago, but since then, appearances of these fantastic talents depends–is it even possible to convince John Cleese to appear at a convention? He certainly loves putting on shows in Victoria, BC but that’s besides the point.

Fortunately, in the Pacific Northwest–specifically in Seattle, Washington–we have BritCon to fill the void left behind by the other. Anglicon folded due to many reasons.

After a successful week since BritCon launched on KickStarter to raise funds, I had the opportunity to correspond with Dawn Shaw, one of the co-founders of BritCon. She is part of a very special team whose knowledge goes beyond running a typical sci-fi convention. On this list is Abie Ekenezar (guest relations), Shannon Reagan (Vice-chair . programming). Together, they want attendees to know that their voices are being heard to make this convention the best and most inclusive in the Northwest.

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Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11

18 Dec

The latest season of Doctor Who being led by a new showrunner and after a  massive binge-watch and rewatch, I found the season has its specific hits and misses. Chris Chibnall is at the helm of the series now and he is best known for developing BBC’s Broadchurch. Instead of intense drama, five episodes of the ten-episode run plays with the concepts traditional in many a tale of terror. The two most prominent were “Arachnids in the UK” and “The Witchfinders.”

Jodie Whittaker is very likable as the new Doctor. She gives the character an erratic quality similar to David Tennant’s time in the role and has the tendency to be scattered. As the later episodes show, there’s an energy that’s undeniable. She’s more empathetic to others, and this can make for interesting contrasts to previous incarnations.

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Quick, Call the Doctor! There’s a Woman WHO Fell to Earth (A Review)

9 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The idea of a female version of Doctor Who was suggested a long time ago. Not everyone will know the comedic skit created by celebrated Rowan Atkinson for Red Nose Day charity telethon. The Curse of Fatal Death is not canon, but it had people talking. Officially, the idea in “Hand of Fear” (1976) set the concept in motion. The Kartrian Eldrad talked about the transition from one gender to another. Throughout the New Who years (2005 onwards), the notion has been tossed around. The most notable transition was Missy revealed herself to be a The Master!

Whatever the real world reason was for giving the role to a woman, audiences were more or less prepared. Giving this highly beloved character a makeover was not done to raise ire of misogynistic fans. Instead, it’s to keep this character refreshed so newcomers can jump in. When the media attention is this big, people are most likely to tune in.

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Reflections on Anglicon 2017 & A Photo Album

14 Dec

anglicon-2017By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Over the second weekend of December, the British media convention Anglicon proves not every pop culture event has to be super-sized. This intimate event offered to fans used to corporate shows a taste of what a typical science fiction convention is like. These smaller events offer the same amount of fun — an art show, an exhibitor space for craftspeople (and other similar conventions) to vend from, a space for board gaming, a short film festival and a dance. For the latter, there were two nights for attendees to rock the night away. Even the traditional staples (costume contest) show not all costumes have to be about Doctor Who. A few furries were seen running around, and we’re not talking about Bentley the Corgi, one of the three guests of honour.

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