Who Con 4

Who Con 4 Logo
Post by Mike Thompson.

This was my first ever convention and my first fantastic, if you’ll excuse the pun, contact with the wider science fiction fandom.  The convention was held at the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre at UWA.  Guests of Honour included Katy Manning, Robert Jewell & Tristram Cary.

I still remember Katy Manning and Robert Jewell clearly.   I’ve seen Katy Manning at several other events since, and she’s always very entertaining.  Robert Jewell was a Dalek Operator on both the movies and the TV series, and had lots of interesting technical trivia.

Who Con 4 was a National Doctor Who convention, and is still the only Doctor Who convention I’ve attended in Australia.   I suspect this was the last National Doctor Who convention held in Perth.

The con holds several special memories for me:

  • The front door to the lecture hall was enclosed by three sides of a well constructed TARDIS, and so the entire con was held within the Police Box 🙂
  • The Costume Parade was a hoot.   I remember the winner of the Evil Character award was John Richards who dressed up as Servalan from Blakes Seven.   Years later John would go on to create Outland, a gay science fiction TV series, though we’re still waiting for it to be aired 🙂  http://www.facebook.com/outlandtv
  • This was my first introduction to fan auctions.   At the time I had no money and was gutted at the lost opportunities – since then I’ve always attended convention auctions with cash in my pocket, and have always picked up some excellent bargains.
  • I was bowled over by the fact that I was surrounded by other Doctor Who fans.  The atmosphere was alive and enthusiastic, and I made several friends that weekend that I’m happy to say I’m still in contact with.  It was a wonderful introduction to West Lodge, and those guys lead me to my first Swancon later the same year.
  • The new opening credits for Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor were previewed in Australia at this con, despite the show airing in the UK during the previous year.  This was in the era before Youtube or downloading!
  • Looking back through the programme I note that there was a fan production of the “The Invasion” screened during the con.  This is one of the stories with missing episodes.  I wish I could remember something about this production – if anyone has a copy of this work I’d love to see it again.

In November 2003 I attended a talk by British Science Writer Paul Davies in the same lecture hall titled “How To Build a Time Machine”.  It would have been perfect if we’d entered that lecture through the TARDIS doors as well 🙂

The full Who Con 4 Programme (with membership list blanked out) contains details on the production of “The Invasion”, letters from Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy as well as bio’s for each of the guests of honour.

Further details can also be found on the Australian SF Wiki

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