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Out of this world (South Wales Echo)

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Doctor Who fans from all over the world are heading for Cardiff this week for the first official convention since the series returned to our screens, seven years ago as Alison Young discovered

To walk out of your office and bump into actors from Doctor Who would be the stuff of dreams for most fans - but for Vincent O'Brien it happens quite often. For the 34-year-old NHS administrator works at the Temple of Peace in Cathays Park, Cardiff, which has been used a number of times as a backdrop for filming of recent series.

"It was used for the Hitler episode and it was quite strange to arrive at work, especially at the Temple of Peace, and find Nazi storm-troopers stomping about and then bump into Hitler in a corridor!" said Vincent, 34, who lives in Trowbridge, Cardiff.

"On another occasion when I was walking through reception, I spotted a high priestess sat on a chair reading Heat magazine and listening to music on her iPod.

"It does spoil the illusion a little so I don't tend to go looking to see what is happening but it is pretty cool to be paid to go into work and see filming from my favourite television show."

This weekend, Vincent, along with thousands of fans from all over the globe, from as far away as Australia, will becoming face to face with the stars of the show at the Wales Millennium Centre which is hosting the first official convention since the series returned in 2005. It was as a young boy that Vincent's fascination with Doctor Who began and he remembers becoming hooked after the episode when the fourth doctor Tom Baker regenerated into the fifth doctor Peter Davidson.

"The special effects from those days seem a bit ropey now but at the time they looked pretty good to me - to a three-year-old it was all exciting stuff."

As a boy Vincent was an avid fan and even after the show stopped for a number of years, his enthusiasm continued after a television film was released in 1996.

"I like to look forward so I prefer the current series as the special effects are so good. I think the secret of it's success is that it has no boundaries, other than the imagination of the writers. It has comedy episodes, historical ones, tragedy and drama.

"My favourite doctor is the seventh doctor, Sylvester Mc-Coy, as I was 11 when the show went off air with him as the doctor and they do say the actor who was playing the doctor when you were 12 is the one who remains your favourite and that would have been the nearest age for me." Another fan Jane Williams, 42, from Cardiff has been a Doctor Who fan most of her life and is looking forward to going to the convention with her brother Chris, 41, who lives in Liverpool. "The show represents real adventure and escapism.

I used to watch Doctor Who with my brother when we were kids and I have always loved it. "My favourite doctor is Tom Baker as he was the star when I was growing up and I think that always remains your favourite doctor."

The convention is a full day event that offers fans the opportunity to meet the stars such as Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, pictured, along with writers, producers and directors.

It is held today and repeated tomorrow.

As well as attending interactive panel discussions with key cast and crew members, fans will be able to watch the Doctor Who special effects team create "out of this world effects" with live demonstrations of pyrotechnics.

The convention will reveal the inner workings of Doctor Who, showing the journey from script to screen with prosthetic masterclasses and in-depth question and answer sessions with the makers of the show to give an unrivalled glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of Doctor Who.

Tickets for the convention which is on today and tomorrow are priced at pounds 99 and are available at or 08700

GRAPHIC: Doctor Who fan Vincent O'Brien

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  • APA 6th ed.: Young, Alison (2012-03-24). Out of this world (South Wales Echo). South Wales Echo p. 2.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Young, Alison. "Out of this world (South Wales Echo)." South Wales Echo [add city] 2012-03-24, 2. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Young, Alison. "Out of this world (South Wales Echo)." South Wales Echo, edition, sec., 2012-03-24
  • Turabian: Young, Alison. "Out of this world (South Wales Echo)." South Wales Echo, 2012-03-24, section, 2 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Out of this world (South Wales Echo) | url= | work=South Wales Echo | pages=2 | date=2012-03-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Out of this world (South Wales Echo) | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 July 2024}}</ref>