Doctor Who Festival

24 November 2015 | 3:54 pm | Liz Giuffre

"It's a cliché to say there was something for everyone, but if the screwdriver works, then so be it."

The old site of the Easter Show was a fitting setting for the Doctor Who Festival, a combination event, outing, commercial venture and excuse to get dolled up. The crowd was organised into two groups (Cybermen and Daleks) to allow a flow between activities, a good idea that meant exhibitions and talks were never too huge for audiences.

The presenters did make some reference to their repeat performances but all was in jest, with the best being writer Mark Gatiss promising to "have a think about an answer to the hard questions" for later in the day, and Sylvester McCoy taking the opportunity to walk up and down the aisles and crawl over fans to run his own Q&A around the main Hordern theatre, a move that seemed to have thrown the organisers the first time around, but had won them over by the afternoon.

Big ticket items (and cost) came from timed personal photos and autographs which did take the dedicated off the floor for a while (although there were plenty of smug smiles from those who had successfully mugged with Peter Capaldi), but just as much was to be gained from watching the SFX show or the Monster Show.

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By the end of the day Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and late addition Ingrid Oliver (Osgood the wonderful) appeared a little weary but still charming as hell. It's a cliché to say there was something for everyone, but if the screwdriver works, then so be it. Particularly impressive was the openness across the board from cast and crew when asked by nervous but keen fans for tips about how to get into the biz — without exception the responses were the right might of encouraging but not rose-coloured. Let's hope the next generation to take over the TARDIS is from Sydney.