Convention Memories – ‘Regenerations 2013’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Soon, I’ll be attending the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ in October, which I’m really looking forward to! 🙂 Before that happens though, I would like to share with you my memories of attending my favourite convention in the 50th anniversary year of ‘Doctor Who’ in 2013. It’s time to talk about ‘Regenerations 2013’ in Swansea! I have very happy memories of attending that special weekend. 😀

The convention took place on the weekend from the 21st to the 22nd of September 2013. I came away feeling very happy from attending the convention. I didn’t want the weekend to go away and end. It fulfilled the inner ‘Doctor Who’ fan in me to celebrate 50 years of a TV show I’d grown to love. It was nice to meet the ‘Doctor Who’ stars. Some I’d met before and some I hadn’t met before.

At the convention, the highlight ‘Doctor Who’ star for me was of course Sarah Sutton who plays Nyssa in the TV series and the Big Finish audios. It was lovely to meet other ‘Doctor Who’ stars like Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Peter Purves, Frazer Hines, Anneke Wills, Deborah Watling, Wendy Padbury and Louise Jameson. It was nice to have the convention close to home where I live in Wales.

‘Regenerations 2013’ was organised by Cary Woodward and this was meant to be the last ‘Regenerations’ convention he would organise in Swansea (we’ll get into that more a little bit later on). Let me share with you how each day of the convention went as it was pretty exciting indeed. 😀 If I had a functioning working TARDIS, I would like to travel back and revisit that wonderful weekend.

Saturday 21st September 2013

I stayed overnight at a Premier Inn close to where the convention was being held at the Village Hotel in Swansea. Many ‘Doctor Who’ fans were in attendance, including Dalek Doris who was fun to see. 😀 There were quite a number of ‘Doctor Who’ YouTube videos shown to open the event. Cary Woodward welcomed us all to ‘Regenerations’ once the opening ceremony started in the main hall!

The first panel talk was with Anneke Wills who plays Polly in ‘Doctor Who’, conducted by Charlie Ross. This was fun to see and a great way to begin the convention. There was then a panel talk with Peter Purves who plays Steven Taylor in ‘Doctor Who’, conducted by David Bickerstaff. I later had a photo with Anneke and Peter at the event. I also met Peter Purves for the first time during a signing.

Peter signed my DVD cover of ‘The Time Meddler’ for me and we had an interesting chat about the story and the Meddling Monk. It was nice to meet up with Anneke at the event and for me, she signed the ‘Regeneration 2011’ photo of me with her, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Wendy Padbury. I told Anneke how I was looking forward to ‘The Tenth Planet’ and ‘The Moonbase’ DVDs. 🙂

As well as having a photo with Anneke and Peter, I also had a photo with Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Wendy Padbury. It was lovely to have that photo. The days were very busy with people joining the queues and wanting to meet the ‘Doctor Who’ stars during signing sessions. But it was done in a relaxed and controlled manner and I don’t recall any upsets from any fans that weekend. 🙂

I recall meeting up with Debbie Watling that day at the convention and had a nice chat with her about ‘The Ice Warriors’. It was lovely to meet up with Debbie that day. Even though I hadn’t seen or heard many of her ‘Doctor Who’ stories (this was before ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Web of Fear’ returned), it was still nice to have some small talk with Debbie about ‘Doctor Who’ and other things. 🙂

During the day, I met up with Sarah Sutton a number of times at her signing table. She was a sponsored guest at Big Finish throughout the weekend. It was lovely to chat with her and she signed my CD covers of some of my favourite Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ for me, including ‘The Mutant Phase’, ‘1963: Fanfare For The Common Men’ and ‘Heroes of Sontar’, which was amazing. 🙂

I had a photo with Sarah that day. We turned out to be ‘Dad’s Army’ fans especially when we were talking about ‘Heroes of Sontar’ as it featured ‘Dad’s Army’ Sontarans. 😀 Beforehand, I’d listened to ‘1963: Fanfare For The Common Men’ three times and told Sarah how much I enjoyed it. I tried starting to explain to Sarah the plot of ‘Prisoners of Fate’, but even I struggled to start explaining it. 😀

Sarah was part of the Big Finish panel talk that day at the ‘Regenerations’ convention and I got to ask her a question. Sarah made me feel part of the panel talk as she said “Hi Tim!” to me. At this point, Sarah knew me well and it was lovely we were bantering away whilst she was on the panel. I had forgotten the question that I was going to ask her when we bantering, which was pretty hilarious. 😀

I then recalled my question and asked Sarah if she saw herself playing Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’ for Big Finish in the future years to come. One of the Big Finish directors Ken Bentley jokingly said “On that note, it’s time to move on…” There was laughter and Sarah answered by saying she would like to, though she could get fired by producer David Richardson. I jokingly begged David not to sack Sarah. 😀

The Big Finish panel talk was conducted by Charlie Ross. As well as Sarah, producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley, there was also Lisa Bowerman (who plays Bernice Summerfield in ‘Doctor Who’). I got to meet Lisa later on during the day and she signed my ‘Love and War’ CD cover. Lisa suggested I’d have my ‘Love and War’ CD cover signed by Sylvester and Sophie, which I happily agreed.

I saw a panel talk with Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh Doctor) and Sophie Aldred (Ace), conducted by Lisa Bowerman herself. It was funny when Sylvester told a fan he was late coming into the panel talk. 😀 Lisa also got to ask questions from inside a fez as worn by the Eleventh Doctor. I asked Sylvester and Sophie what it was like to work with Lisa Bowerman for the very first time in ‘Survival’. 🙂

I got to meet up with Sylvester and Sophie during the day and had a few things signed by them as well as nice chats with them. As well as ‘Love and War’, they signed my CD cover of ‘Forty-Five’ for me as well as a ‘Regenerations 2011’ photo of me with them. It was intriguing to hear their thoughts on how they found the experience of recording ‘Love and War’ as a Big Finish audio production here.

I saw David Warner at the convention too. Recently, he was in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode called ‘Cold War’ at the time of the convention. It was lovely meeting him and he signed my CD covers of ‘The Sands of Life’/’War Against The Laan’. The day concluded with some evening entertainment, which included a quiz as well as a screening of Ryan Hendrick’s ‘Doctor Who’ production ‘Besieged’!

Sunday 22nd September 2013

On Sunday, there was a panel talk with Colin Spaull (who was in ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’) and Barry Noble (who played a Cyberman in ‘The Moonbase’ and appeared in stories like ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, ‘The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve’, ‘The War Machines’ and ‘The Faceless Ones’). Their panel talk itself was conducted by David Bickerstaff. 🙂

Peter Roy, who had been an extra in many ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the William Hartnell era to the Peter Davison era also joined in the panel talk with Colin Spaull and Barry Noble, conducted by David Bickerstaff. It was lovely to start off the day with the panel talk. I later met up with Colin Spaull at his signing table. We had a nice chat and he signed my DVD cover of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ for me.

Later on, there was a panel talk with Louise Jameson, who plays Leela in ‘Doctor Who’, which was conducted by Charlie Ross. I also enjoyed attending Louise’s panel talk that day and it was nice to hear her share her thoughts of working in ‘Doctor Who’ as well as other shows like ‘EastEnders’. I later met with Louise during that day and she signed my CD cover of ‘The Wrath of the Iceni’ for me.

I saw Sarah Sutton again a number of times at her signing table on Sunday. I had a photo with her, had nice chats with her and she signed my DVD cover of ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ and my CD cover of ‘The Haunting of Thomas Brewster’. I shared a joke with Sarah that day. It was about a deer with no eyes. David Richardson got the joke before I even said the punch line, which was funny.

It was great to chat to Sarah about her work in ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ and she shared photos of herself as a little girl from working in productions like ‘Winnie the Pooh’ on her iPad. I felt honoured to be shown those photos. I also shared with Sarah about my story-writing including my sequel to ‘Black Orchid’ called ‘The Mirror of Memory’ as well as a ‘Doctor Who’ story set in Cannes.

There was also a panel talk with the four Second Doctor/Patrick Troughton companions of ‘Doctor Who’ – Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines who plays Jamie, Debbie Watling who plays Victoria and Wendy Padbury who plays Zoe. It was lovely to see these four on the panel talk as well as meeting with them for signings. I got to ask them a question about what their favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stories were.

Anneke said ‘The Smugglers’, Frazer said ‘The Highlanders’, Debbie said ‘Fury From The Deep’ and Wendy said ‘The Mind Robber’. Frazer, Debbie and Wendy signed my ‘Regenerations 2011’ photo of me with them and Anneke. Frazer also signed my CD cover of ‘Shadow of Death’ and my DVD cover of ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’. I got to chat with Frazer and Wendy about the audio story ‘Prison In Space’.

Terry Molloy who plays Davros in ‘Doctor Who’ also attended the event. He signed my CD cover of ‘The Juggernauts’ for me. I also met Michael Jayston who plays the Valeyard in ‘Doctor Who’ for the first time at ‘Regenerations 2013’. It was lovely to meet him and I had a nice chat to him about his work in ‘Doctor Who’. For me, he signed a photo collage of himself as the Valeyard and his other roles. 🙂

There was a panel talk with Stephen Thorne (who I know for playing Omega in ‘The Three Doctors’) and Michael Kilgariff (who played the Cyber Controller in ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’), conducted by David Bickerstaff. It was funny when David told Stephen he found him to be one of his heroes and Stephen bellowed “A HERO!!! I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A GOD!!!” A surge of laughter occurred then! 😀

Tim Bradley with Sarah Sutton, Frazer Hines, Peter Purves, Deborah Watling, Sophie Aldred, Sylvester McCoy, Louise Jameson, Anneke Wills and Wendy Padbury at ‘Regenerations 2013’, Swansea, September 2013

I managed to have a photo with Dalek Doris that day. I also had a nice group photo with the Seventh Doctor and companions including Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Sarah Sutton, Wendy Padbury, Debbie Watling, Frazer Hines, Anneke Wills, Louise Jameson and Peter Purves. I got to say a nice farewell to Sarah before she left for the day as I looked forward to seeing her at the next event.

The convention ended with a panel talk from Sylvester McCoy, conducted by David Bickerstaff. I enjoyed Sylvester’s panel talk as he shared about ‘Doctor Who’ and working on ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy with director Peter Jackson. The second film ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ was due to be released in December. Sylvester also talked about playing a villain in ‘The Minister of Chance’ audios.

We had the closing ceremony featuring most of the guests and there was also a tribute video given to Cary Woodward since this was going to be the last ‘Regenerations’ convention he would organise for the foreseeable future. It was lovely to see that tribute video featuring many ‘Doctor Who’ stars who worked with Cary on these ‘Regenerations’ conventions. You can still see the video on YouTube.

Of course, Cary came back with organising ‘Regenerations 2016’ three years later. It’s a shame that Cary didn’t do any more ‘Regenerations’ conventions in Swansea after that. I would like to think there will another ‘Regenerations’ convention for ‘Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary in 2023. Whether that will happen though, I don’t know. It depends on whether Cary’s able to finance the great event.

‘Regenerations 2013’ was a very memorable and wonderful weekend for me as a ‘Doctor Who’ fan. I enjoyed the friendliness and the camaraderie of the weekend from meeting the ‘Doctor Who’ stars as well as the ‘Doctor Who’ fans I was able to chat with. It was also lovely to meet up with Sarah Sutton at the convention. ‘Regeneration 2013’ remains one of my favourite convention memories. 🙂

By the way, I managed to tell Sarah a proper joke about dates and calendars before she left for the day! She got the punch line. 😀 I also recall purchasing a couple of Big Finish items that weekend! 🙂 And I also recall people like Mike Tucker, Keith Temple and Matt Fitton attending the convention. 😀

The next and last ‘Doctor Who’ convention I attended for the 50th anniversary year of 2013 was ‘Dimensions 2013’ in Newcastle, October 2013. Stay tuned for my ‘convention memories’ blog post on ‘Dimensions 2013’.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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