Hello everyone! 🙂
I’ve seen two birthday presents I had from my parents last month in May!
These are two DVDs focusing on the famous (or infamous) two-day ‘Doctor Who’ convention held in Longleat in April 1983 to celebrate 20 years of the show. Those of you who remember Longleat in 1983 will know what the convention was like and that it was a crowded event with a lot of things going on.
The two DVDs are ‘Longleat ’83: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy?’ and ‘Longleat ’83: The Lost Footage’. Both DVDs were produced by Reeltime Pictures (who made the ‘Myth Mykers‘ interview DVDs). The first DVD was released in 2004, whilst the second DVD was released very recently in 2015.
I’ve had my fair share of conventions over the years and know what counts as a good and bad convention. ‘Longleat ’83’ was a successful ‘Doctor Who’ event in 1983, but the organisers miscalculated the numbers that were going to attend. Many people couldn’t get in and many had to queue there.
From seeing these two DVDs, I enjoyed seeing what the event was like. I wished I was there in 1983. But to be honest, I’m glad I wasn’t as I know I wouldn’t have got in. I wonder how this event compares to the London Excel event that was held in 2013 for the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’. I couldn’t go to that one either.
However, I found the reasons for why the Longleat convention worked and didn’t work enjoyable and entertaining to listen to and see. The DVDs have made me reflect how my experiences of conventions today compares to back then. They must’ve been so exciting for ‘Doctor Who’ fans in the 80s.
The first DVD, ‘Longleat ’83: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy?’, is a documentary presented by John Leeson (voice of K-9) focusing on the highlights and analysis of the Longleat convention. It also contained the five convention panels focusing on all the five eras of ‘Doctor Who’ back then in 1983.
The five convention panels were a highlight for me, including the Fifth Doctor panel. Sarah Sutton (my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion) was also there at Longleat, as well as Peter Davison; Janet Fielding; Mark Strickson; Anthony Ainley himself (amazing!) and Valentine Dyall himself (WOW!!!).
I did enjoy seeing the First Doctor panel with Carole Ann Ford; Nicholas Courtney and two relatives of William Hartnell including his wife Heather. I enjoyed the Second Doctor panel with Patrick Troughton; the Third Doctor panel with Jon Pertwee and the Fourth Doctor panel with Tom Baker.
The convention panels, whilst great to see, were hard to hear sometimes. This was because the video and sound quality was sometimes poor, even in the convention panels’ complete duration. But I still enjoyed them and it was so interesting to see what the stars of ‘Doctor Who’ were like back in 1983.
The second DVD, ‘Longleat ’83: The Lost Footage’ was a bonus companion DVD to the first one. It contains more video footage of the convention that hadn’t been seen before. This included the auctions; workshops; autograph signings and the convention panels with improved sound quality.
So the two ‘Longleat ’83’ DVDs I saw were very enjoyable insights into a very popular and well-known ‘Doctor Who’ convention amongst the fans. I’m glad I wasn’t there as I know I wouldn’t have got in. But I enjoyed seeing the convention panels and was very pleased to see Sarah Sutton in them.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!