By happy coincidence, the flat of a friend of my aunt’s was available in Newtown during the weekend of the Whovention convention. I didn’t arrive until Friday night, having spent the previous week with the other side of a family at a camp, and therefore missed the cricket match. A shame, as cricket matches seem to be less of a priority in Sydney fandom compared to Melbourne!
So I rock up Saturday morning, get momentarily confused over where everything is (it was spread over several Sydney University buildings), and then time for the opening ceremony. The memory of that is Nicholas Courtney doing the long walk down to the edge of the lecture hall, and my eyes just got locked onto his growing bald-patch. Knew there was a reason the Brig always had a hat on… He’d also underestimated the Sydney summer sun and was nice and crispy!
Of course, a key attraction (for me, at least) was the initial screenings of Survival and Curse of Fenric (which weren’t shown on the ABC till the end of 1990).
At a later panel I greeted the person sitting next to me and lo, it was the Sian O’Neale I’d seen in the fan listing book. He kindly presented me with a copy of Strange Matter #4, and informed me about the Doctor Who Club of Victoria.
The hucksters’ room was a revelation to my young self then, and I accidentally made the buy of the year when I purchased a copy of The Visitation for $2. Much later, I looked on the inside cover and found it autographed by Peter Davison! It’s dedicated to ‘Blake’ (if I read his writing correctly) but hey, I’m not complaining given the gross oversight by the seller of the book…
At the other end of the scale, one of the big disappointments of the weekend was missing out on getting Nicholas Courtney’s autograph (and Katy Manning’s, but in the years since I’ve well and truly made up for that). The last person in the queue to get through was literally the one in front of me. It wasn’t a complete loss though, as someone had a then-amazing little colour LCD television with them, and we had been following the Ashes cricket on it as we waited. Australia was, of course, doing England over again (though at that stage it was still a bit of a novelty).
Other highlights of the weekend were Dudley Simpson’s musical panel, and when Katy Manning did her patented Sneak-Into-And-Take-Over-Someone-Else’s-Interview routine. She’s a marvel. I also picked up a slightly-too-small T-shirt in the auction when no one else wanted to bid for it!
I was in over my head, basically knew no one, and loved every minute of it.
Next page: David, Meet the DWCV
Here’s the list of the Doctor Who articles available here
→ A Bit of Adric in All of Us
→ Ace Timeline
→ Cursed References
→ Doctor Who Collectible Card Game FAQ
→ Doctor Who Collectible Card Game Tips
→ Doctor Who in America
→ History of the Daleks
→ History of Doctor Who
→ History of the fanzine Sonic Screwdriver
→ How I Killed a Fanzine (or, What’s an EFG?)
→ Survival the (Con)vention
→ The Doctor and I (First Memories)
→ The Doctor and I (1985 — Move to the USA)
→ The Doctor and I (Organised Fandom? Huh?)
→ The Doctor and I (Doctorin’ Ithaca)
→ The Doctor and I (Back to Melbourne)
→ The Doctor and I (Whovention)
→ The Doctor and I (David, Meet the DWCV)
→ The Doctor and I (Enlightenment)
→ The Doctor and I (The Blankety Blank Era)
→ The Doctor and I (Q Who)
→ The Doctor and I (DWCV Committee, Meet David)
→ The Doctor and I (Whovention II (Control))
→ The Doctor and I (Sonic Screwdriver, Meet David (and Marco and Matthew))
→ The Relative Confusion of The Curse of Fenric
→ What Makes a Warrior?
→ What’s in a Name?
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index
This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 8 Jan 2003.