Anglicon 2017

Anglicon is the event for British pop culture enthusiasts to enjoy and this year offers “The Two Doctors.” This show is nowhere as super-sized as Emerald City Comic Con in Downtown Seattle, and I feel it should never become huge. I love the cozy and intimate setting because it offers to people a chance to not feel stressed out. Attending a broad-spectrum show tends to have folks rushing from one activity to another. One is either waiting in a long line to get a decent seat at a panel or to meet any guest. A different vibe exists in these smaller scale conventions. They are not like San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World or Creation Con’s events. Folks do not have to attend these large for-profit shows; others simply accept them for what it is. While we all love attending the big shows for the latest news, making new friends and shopping experiences, the smaller events can just as easily do the same without breaking the bank.

For the newcomer, there are discussions in how to get involved in the scene and for the experienced, a look at other aspects of this fandom which they may not know of. The variety of topics offered in the panel discussions this year are very good. There was plenty to get engaged in, including a class on improv, and I particularly enjoyed the King Arthur in media panel along with a look at Hammer films.

This event started in 1988 and had its growing pains. Like the television programme, Doctor Who, it went on hiatus. With thanks to the revival of this program, this event made a resounding comeback in 2015. This tentpole is even better and the talents are a joy to see on stage. In the past, guests ranged from Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier) to Anneke Wills. From other programs, Craig Charles (Red Dwarf) had the 1994 gathering packed! In other years, other notable guests included Nigel Bennett, Erin Gray and Robert Trebor. At the 2017 show, Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor, All Creatures Great and Small) and Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor and Radagast in the Lord of the Rings) were the highlight.

Bentley, the Corgi from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency warmed many hearts. Via Skype, a chance to talk to special effects wizard Brian Johnson (Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back) was offered. Although Johnson retired, he hinted at wanting to work on a new program. He spent much of his later years directing the UK program, Dream Street. While to see him return and perhaps handle a remake of Space 1999 is unlikely (he is not in the loop with any discussions), he does have creative ideas in mind to keep him preoccupied and said his agent in Los Angeles is soliciting.

For Anglicon, the organizers are handling their growth in baby steps. Just how they can expand depends on getting sponsorships to move up to the next level. As a registered non-profit organization, they must be careful.
Bio: Ed Sum shares his love for pop culture and the paranormal in print publications like Absolute Underground Magazine and contributes to online sites like When he’s not chasing ghosts, he’s looking at the pop culture scene in the Pacific Northwest.