Monday, July 2, 2012

The Doctor Is In!

This past weekend my pal KW Monster and I went to the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky, just a hop, skip and a two hour drive from home. As its name suggests, it's primarily a horror movie-themed convention complete with a film festival, dealer room and lots of celebrities.

This year they held Fright Fest at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. In previous years it was held at a hotel on the outskirts of town. To be honest, the old facility was never quite large enough and there always seemed to be a problem with the cooling system. When you're dealing with several thousand sweaty nerds (of which I am admittedly one) in an enclosed space, believe me that can be a concern.

The Galt House was definitely a larger venue, but still didn't seem to be quite large enough. I guess the show keeps growing each year. Luckily the cooling system seemed able to keep up for the most part, which was important as it was a balmy 106º outside (no joke). 

The highlight of Fright Fest for me this year was meeting Peter Davison of Doctor Who fame. Mr. Davison of course portrayed the Fifth Doctor (aka "the one with the celery"). That's me with him above.

If you're a regular reader of my blog (and honestly, who in the country isn't?) you'll know that I'm a big fan of all things Doctor Who, so it was fun to actually meet one of the Doctors. Short of moving to Cardiff, I honestly never thought I'd get the chance to meet anyone involved with the show.

If you look closely just behind Peter Davison you can just make out Luke Perry's head.

I always liked Peter Davison's Doctor. He had the impossible and unenviable task of replacing fan favorite Tom Baker as the Doctor back in 1982. He did a great job though and I've always enjoyed his episodes. I could have done without the question marks on the lapels though...

One of the people in this photo needs to start going to a gym, and it ain't the one who drinks tea in the afternoon and drives on the left side of the road.
I had a mental list of topics of conversation and questions I was going to ask Mr. Davison, but of course I forgot them all once I was there with him. Typical. One question I was going to ask him: How's it feel to be your own father-in-law? See, in real life Peter Davison has a daughter named Georgia Moffet, who is married to David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor. So in a way, the Doctor married his daughter and he's his own father-in-law! Haw! Get it? Eh, maybe it's just as well I forgot to ask that one.

In addition to Peter Davison and Luke Perry, there were a ton of other genre celebrities there as well.

The main draw was  Bruce Campbell, who of course is the Laurence Olivier of nerd-dom. I knew we'd never get within a country mile of him, and I was right. There was a huge crowd that turned out just to see him, plus they had all these elaborate and Byzantine procedures you had to go through (which involved purchasing a special ticket just to get into the same room with him, in addition to his autograph and photo fees) and you had to stand in line for literally hours, so as cool as it would have been to have seen him, we decided to pass.

Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies of Lord of the Rings fame were also there, along with James Marsters and Nicholas Brendan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame. They were all in the same venue with Bruce Campbell, so again, we passed rather than spend the entire day standing in line. I did manage to catch a glimpse of Mr. Rhys-Davies, so I can confirm that he is indeed real and does actually exist.

National treasure Corey Feldman was also in this same big shot celebrity room. I didn't realize that a celebrity of his stature required such security, but what do I know?

In addition to meeting Peter Davison, my other goal was to meet Norman Reedus, who of course plays Darryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. I'm a huge fan of the show (as well as the comic), and Darryl has fast become my favorite character. Norman was there along with several other people from the series. Their room was a little easier to get into, but unfortunately every time we tried to see Norman, he was either taking a break or at a panel discussion or in the bathroom or out slaying zombies or some such thing. Plus there was a line several blocks long to see him, and again I didn't care to spend 89% of my time at the show standing in a line full of sweaty nerds, so... sadly I had to pass on meeting Daryl.

We did inadvertently get to see Norman Reedus close up. We were hanging around in the main hall as he walked by, surrounded by a phalanx of burly security guards who were clearing a path for him. He passed within about a foot of me and actually brushed against KW, who got to touch Norman's raiment. I am so jealous.

I didn't get to talk to them, but I did manage to at least observe several of the other actors from the show, including Madison Lintz, who played Sophia, Jeffrey Demunn, who played Dale, and the preposterously named Iron E Singleton who plays the underutilized T-Dog. I watched Mr. Singleton for several minutes and he seemed like the nicest person ever, asking each and every fan their name and where they were from and more. He even held someone's baby as they snapped a photo.

I spent way too much money as the show, but what the heck, it's only once a year. My biggest purchase: I ended up buying a vintage Mattel Herman Munster hand puppet for a pretty reasonable price. I had one when I was a kid and sold it in a yard sale years ago, and have regretted it ever since. Yes, I'm now at that age where I'm rebuying all the crap I threw away in my twenties.


  1. Man! I am totally jealous!! Peter Davison was originally supposed to be here in Orlando on June 28th and he had to cancel. He was, however, replaced by Alex Kingston! She was lovely and you can read about that on MY blog! :)

  2. Cool! Too bad you didn't get to meet Peter Davison, but I'd say meeting Alex Kinston made up for it!


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