Saturday, 23 May 2015

The 200th blog entry Doctor Who special: A Galactic Gathering

This will be the 200th post I have written since starting this blog back in September 2009! I used the 100th post as an excuse to recap a trip to New York that accrued 10 months before I started the blog celebrating a big influence in my life, Ghostbusters! This time I thought I would (rather appropriately) go further back in time, 10 years in fact and recap on another event that celebrated one of my influences Doctor Who.
Time: October 14th 2005. Location: The Macdonald Holland House Hotel, Cardiff. Event: The Doctor Who Galactic Dinner!
Its hard to believe that it has actually been ten years since Russell T Davies made good on his promise to bring Doctor Who back to our screens. 2005 was a good year for Who and the fans that had held on since its initial removal from our screens.Suddenly, (in stark contrast to its 40th anniversary in 2003) everyone was talking about Doctor Who again, millions tuned in to the Doctor, and saw him regenerate only thirteen episodes in! As we eagerly waited for David Tennant’s debut, the BBC announced on their website that there was to be a ‘Galactic Dinner’ that raised funds for Children in Need. This limited number black tie affair would include a pre-dinner drinks reception, three-course meal, evenings entertainment and the opportunity to meet Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Russel T Davies, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Billie Piper and David Tennant!


On the night Beth and I joined the other guests that convened for the pre-dinner drinks reception before making our way through into the main hall. As we walked in we were greeted by the before mentioned attendees, each one quite humble, David Tennant was both humble and nervous, Keep in mind we had another 3 months to wait until ‘The Christmas Invasion' and so he was worried as to how things would work out.
We took our seats and each of us received a goodie bag filled with various Doctor Who related items before starting a Who related three-course meal (I had the Mighty Rump of Jagrafess followed by Par­fait Mar­garet in a Slith­een Sauce).


Prize table, my ‘Icons’ painting on the right
After the meal BBC Wales’ Jason Mohammed hosted the evening’s festivities comprising of a Q &A session with the actors, raffle and a charity auction. Russell T played auctioneer and everyone had the opportunity to bid on various props and memorabilia from the show raising £20,000 for Children in Need.
With Russell T Davies
There was also a raffle and there amongst the prizes was a painting, painted especially for the event by yours truly. ‘Icons’ was painted in acrylic and pen on A4 card and featured the Tardis door with an ominous Dalek shadow on it (I never actually found out who won this piece and what became of it, if this was you do please drop me a line.) I’ve touted my ‘TIME GENTLEMEN 1963 –‘ painting to numerous Who related events over the years and this one was no exception, I added David Tennant to the line up the week before and was granted the privileged opportunity of having him sign the painting for me. He seemed impressed and amazed that I had added already. Having signed it he then asked if he could date it like Tom Baker had before showing it to the other actors and getting them to sign it too. Then it was back to the main hall for a few more drinks and a photo with Russell T before retiring for the evening, it was an amazing evening one both Mrs Jones and I still look back on with great fondness. It’s probably 10 years too late and lost amongst the millions of sites devoted to Doctor Who but thank you.

Souvenirs from the evening, invitation, menu, Tardis phone alert
and a Christmas card signed by both Billie Piper and David Tennant
And that was the 200th post, hope you liked it and it was of interest. A big thank you to everyone that has read the previous 199 posts and taken the time to comment.

Incidentally, my good friend Peter Trott was also there (although we didn’t actually meet until around a year later) he wrote an account of the evening that’s worth a look on RichardWho.com 

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 200th post. Isn't that strange that someone you later became friends with had actually also attended that night, but neither of you were aware of it at the time? You may have stood next to one another at the bar, passed each other on your way to your seats; your wives may have had a brief natter in the ladies, but none of it registered in the ol' memory banks. Then you later become friends and are surprised to learn that you both once attended the same event? Amazing, eh?

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    1. Yes indeed! I always think that, reminds me of the lyrics from Gonzo’s song ‘I'm Going To Go Back There Someday’ from The Muppet Movie, “There's not a word yet for old friends who've just met”.
      I actually joined the Richard Who site after this event but had been ‘lurker’ for a few months and had seen Pete’s impressive Who collection, so when I spotted him at the event I’m fairly sure I pointed him out to Beth. But, because I hadn’t joined the site yet, and being the shy type I didn’t introduce myself. Have since put that right and seen Pete at other conventions (one of the was a red Dwarf one) :)

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  2. That sounds like a great evening - and how excellent that you've later got to know another attendee.

    I hope you - and we - discover where the painting ended up.

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    1. Yes indeed Mim! Yes it would be nice to know what became of it, if I ever find out rest assured I will update this page! ;)

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