PanoptiCon '93: The view from the AV enclosure

The AV Team's PETER FINKLESTONE reflects on the big one.

A change of venue for the AV Team and Panopticon for the 30th Anniversary Doctor Who Convention.  To allow as many celebrity guests as possible to attend, the event was held in London at the Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith, London.

Paul Vanezis, Andre Willey and Steve Broster travelled down on Thursday 2nd September and spent the day on the laborious task of laying long cable runs at the hotel.  The majority of the AV equipment was delivered on the Friday morning by Presentation Services Ltd and the rest of the team arrived at various stages of the day.  During the lunch break on Friday, Dominitemporal Services Ltd and BBC Enterprises held a joint News Conference in the hall.

This year, because of the number of guests and important anniversary, the event was to be recorded on BetaSP tape to allow cassettes of highlights to be edited and marketed as souvenirs of the event.

The AV Team consisted of Steve Broster, Paul Vanezis, Andre Willey, Adam Trotman, Peter Finklestone, Richard Molesworth, Richard the Rampant, Neil Roberts, Steve Roberts, Andrew Nunney, Mick Smallman, Richard Landen and Robert Moubert.

There were relatively few technical hitches - occasionally microphone failures and sound feedback due to the short, wide layout of the hall were the main problem. The introductory title sequence was a total disaster which has achieved a subsequent "hall of fame" notoriety within the team. A last minute bit of cable switching on the main vision mixer led to a video feedback loop on one of the inputs. After an introductory speech by Nick Courtney, carefully-timed to end with a crescendo of music and the start of the sequence, this is what appeared on the main screen:

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Andrew Beech was not amused but took it well, and was able to present a laudably humorous explanation to the punters while we sorted out the wiring, remeniscent of an 1960s style BBC programme breakdown:

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Guests at the event were:  Carole Ann Ford (Susan), William Russell/Russell Enoch (Ian), John Scott-Martin (Dalek etc), Michael Craze (Ben), Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria), Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane), Peter Miles (Paradise of Death), Phil Clarke (Radio Producer, Paradise of Death), Tom Baker (4th Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Mary Tamm (Romana I), Lalla Ward (Romana II), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Peter Davison (5th Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Colin Baker (6th Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace). Other people were at the event but not interviewed (eg Philip Hinchcliffe, Philip Madoc).

Click on the following thumbnails to see a full-size image

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4 Doctors Tom Baker Tom Baker Tom Baker Tom Baker Tom & Elisabeth Sladen
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Colin Baker Colin & Sylvester Nick Courtney Michael Craze Michael & Anneke Anneke Wills
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Frazer Hines Frazer Hines Peter Davison Peter Davison Carole Ann Ford Carole Ann & Russell
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William Russell (Enoch) Frazer Hines Debbie Watling & Frazer Debbie, Frazer & Nick Deborah Watling John Scott-Martin
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Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Sladen Louise Jameson Louise & Elisabeth John Leeson Phil Clarke
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Peter Miles Jon Pertwee Jon Pertwee Jon Pertwee Katy & Jon Katy & Jon
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Katy, Nick & Jon Katy Manning Katy Manning Jon & Colin Peter & Jon Sylvester McCoy
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Janet Fielding Nicola Bryant Janet, Sylv & Katy

Text © Peter Finklestone, 1999 Images © Dominitemporal Services Ltd, 1999

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