23rd of November 2013 – the day had finally arrived. Like many other fans it was time for me to celebrate the „50th anniversary of Doctor Who” at Excel in London. Up to 8,000 people were expected. And I was one of them 🙂 Follow me on my path through the anniversary. On arrival at Excel, this sign let us – the Ice Warriors – to the entrance and then the doctors themselves welcomed us: Here is an overview of what the event had to offer: Panels with Matt Smith and the older doctors, autograph booths for doctors and companions (do you recognise the men below?): Lots of sales stalls: But also „signs of the times“, the „Radio times“ in this case 😉There was a panel with people who are responsible for SFX on Doctor Who, prop masters, costume designers etc.: The event also had probs and costumes from the Doctors, their enemies and their companions on display. My favourite was the computer Mr. Smith from “The Sarah Jane Adventures” and Sarah’s car and sonic lipstick. But to be honest: The „Doctor Who Experience“ in Cardiff is a much better place to visit if you want to have a look at Doctor Who items. Sarah’ car: The place was packed with well-loved monsters and characters from the series. Weeping Angels: Dino from „Dinosaurs on a spaceship“ Those who were brave enough could ask him for a picture: There was a pub quiz: And an area where Graham Norton was live on air, commenting on the event for BBC 2 radio. The first floor was all about „The Classics“. I ended up in a panel with three former companions (Ace, Jo und Leela). Scenes were shown and questions could be asked. The ladies were lovely and seemed to be in an excellent mood. They obviously enjoyed reminiscing. This is a picture of „Ace“, companion of Silvester McCoy’s doctor: For all of those who are really into queuing, the first level was the place to be as this is where the photo session with Matt Smith took place. The queue seemed endless, about 200 m long, inside the photo room, along the corridors, almost until the end of the area. But everyone seemed quite relaxed. This can also be said for Matt Smith who shook hands with every one of his photo partners. That’s what I call hard work.But what made the event really special were the fans. Just take a look at these costumes! Tardis frock: Doctors: Headless monk from „A Good Man Goes to War”: The Master: Doctors taking pictures of one another: From „The empty child“: River Song-Look-Alike: David Tennant-Look-Alike: Tardis mom with Dalek child: Dalek skirt: „Amy“ (left) from behind: And from the front: „Matt“ following „Amy“ (striking resemblance, huh?): Another Tardis frock: The cat nuns from „New Earth“: Silurian and me :-): Conclusion: It was the fans who made this event special! Their creativity, their dedication and the efforts they made. The event itself … well, it was mainly about the merchandising of Doctor Who products or so it seemed. The tickets were quite pricey, the queues endless and only very few props and costumes were shown. If it hadn’t been for the fans, I would have been extremely disappointed. The party But the anniversary did not end there and then. The next stop was the (allegedly) biggest Doctor Who party in London which took place at “FOX @ Excel”. The initiators expected around 1,500 guests. In September we had entered a sweepstakes and ended up with tickets. Lucky us! (Thanks again to lovely Janet who had made this possible!) The FOX is a huge, but nice place and extends over three floors – all of them filled with Doctor Who memorabilia. Look what a couple of guys from Canada had assembled: There were two stalls on the third floor, but these were special. I especially liked the one on the right. A young woman had drawn Doctors, enemies, companions etc. and had printed them on Christmas cards, book marks and even calendars. What a lovely idea! I couldn’t resist and bought 3 book marks (with Daleks, Cybermen and all 11 doctors) And then we all counted down until it was 17:16 and 20 seconds. Exactly 50 years ago the Doctor had first seen the light of day. I bet you can imagine the shouting and cheering 😀 We got to meet the initiator of the event, Jeremy Bentham, who told us that people from all over the world had arrived. There were Whovians from Germany (obviously), CzechRepublic, New Zealand, Australia, France, Canada etc. And the ones we talked to agreed with us: The event itself had been quite a rip-off. Unfortunately we could not stay for the rest of the evening as we had tickets for “The day of the doctor”. Conclusion: Great atmosphere, lots of chatting and laughing, once again great costumes and this time stalls that sold more than just the product “Doctor Who”, but items that showed love for this great TV series. The movie At 6:30 we had to leave the party and headed to a cinema in London-Stratford (thanks again, Janet 😉 ). It was time for “The day of the doctor”, the movie we had been looking forward to all day. Once again we were greeted by Whovians in costumes and another stall, this time books were on sale, but also buttons (whose proceeds went to the Philippines). The cinema offered a “Doctor Who Sonic Cocktail” which looked … well … sonic 😉 By now I guess that all true DW fans out there have watched the film, so I don’t really have to say much, maybe except for: I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!! 3D, Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and … surrounded by people who were as awestruck as I was. At the end of the movie: clapping and shouting and cheering. Definitely a day to remember!