Melbourne Armageddon was wild. We've got some great pics and some great stories for you, and perhaps incentive to make the trip next time. If you're a Sci Fi fan, it's like Christmas, except you actually get to meet Santa.
Armageddon Melbourne was a special event, for special people.
Sci Fi fans.
Yes, that's right. People who like Sci Fi to the point where they'll pay money to meet the actors who bring their favourite shows to life, are awesome.
They embrace the reality of the work, and the fantasy they love, all at the one time. It's a fantastic, sophisticated dichotomy, and it comes with the benefit, in many cases, of fancy dress.
This October, tens of thousands of Sci Fi fans descended on Melbourne with a vengeance. They were there to see an impressive array of Sci Fi stars, and we went along to join in the fun.
We also, which might make you a bit jealous, got to speak to some of those stars.
We spoke with Sanctuary's Amanda Tapping who gave us the rundown of all the latest charities that the awesome http://www.sanctuaryforkids.org/
, an important part of the Sanctuary experience - the show's success is directly helping kids all around the world, from Somalia to Nepal.
She also gave us the skinny on Damian Kindler, Sanctuary's creator and show runner. He was recently named as the writer of the upcoming Universal Soldier TV series, which of course send shivers of fright down the spines of Sanctuary fans the world over.
Luckily, and this is first hand information, Damian's involvement at this stage will be writing the new show's 'bible' and pilot, the first episode and the description of the world it spawns, and it will not impact Season 5 of Sanctuary.
The big news which she sort of leaked was that Doctor Magnus will be turning 273 during season 4, and the gigantic leap in age will have a big impact on the story - we'll find out as the thirteen episodes of Season 4 unfold, but she did let out this bombshell - that the finale will feature Australia!
We spoke with Robert Picardo, Star Trek Voyager's EMH and Stargate's Richard Woolsey. It was the first time we'd seen him in a while - last time was on the set of the Daedalus (from Stargate: Atlantis) in Vancouver, but he is still a live wire, and utterly hilarious. You'd never know it from his onscreen characters, but Picardo is just plain funny when you meet him.
He is starting up his own web series, 'Ask Alphonso' which is on YouTube here
(the channel is 'holonurse1' of course, or you can see it on VMSplay
Alphonso Picardo is Robert's twin brother, a 5-star rated gigolo, the world's most sexually desirable man. You can write in to him and get the advice you never knew you needed.
Quite the experience.
We also got to chat with legendary actor Morgan Sheppard, and his son, Mark. Mark you may know from such shows as Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Sanctuary, Doctor Who - just kidding. He's the 'go to' guy when you need a villain with style. We asked the Sheppards about villainy, and Mark insisted that he never plays bad guys!
He also dropped the bombshell that he'll be returning to Australia next year. A chance for fans who missed out this time to see one of the great Sci Fi talents in person.
From the dark side to the light side, we went and had a chat with Catherine Mary Stewart and Lance Guest from The Last Starfighter, 1984's classic Sci Fi romp that really was the trend setter for the use of computer graphics. Stewart is looking particularly fantastic and both stars were intrigued by the possibility of a sequel - rather than a remake. The idea of a genetically similar offspring, a daughter, with the skills to take on a reborn Kodan Empire - well, that just tickled their fancy.
Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor and Rodagast the Brown in the upcoming The Hobbit, and Louise Jameson, the immortal Leela, companion to Sean Pertwee and Tom Baker's Doctors, also stopped by for a chat. We've got snippets for your enjoyment in Spectrum - you can check out some here:
There were, of course, other stars. Robin Dunne and Agam Darshi joined Amanda Tapping from Sanctuary. Nicholas Brandon (and his twin brother!) from Buffy made an appearance. Adrian Paul from Highlander was also there.
The Lone Gunmen - all three of them, from the X-Files, proved remarkably affable and apporachable. We spoke with Tom Braidwood (Frohicke) who has since gone on to direct children's shows, and currently is semi-retired.
Kevin Conroy, THE voice of Batman for the new game, Batman: Arkham City and recent animated adventures, drew a massive crowd, as did the huge Arkham City display were you could play the game for as long as you wanted.
Whilst the stars were huge, there was even more than that to draw the Sci Fi fans. Doc 'Braun', the man who has created a replica DeLorean time machine and displays it for charity, was a big hit - he even had a smoke machine that sent time-travelling smoke out the back of the car!
The fans themselves were also a drawcard, with Melbournites going that extra distance for some incredible costumes. One chap built a Doctor Who costume with a difference - bow tie, sure, but a life-sized TARDIS? Impressive. The Digital Angel and the stilt-walking Bumblebee were huge crowd favourites, as was the tribute to Minecraft tribute that hit online computer builders right were it hurts.
So many memories, and so much fun. The interesting thing was also talking to the fans, who, whilst they did get dressed up to go to a Sci Fi convention, aren't what you refer to as 'nerds' or 'geeks'. They came from all walks of life, and enjoyed all aspects of Sci Fi and fantasy. It's just a fun part of life, not the be-all and end-all.
Sure, you can be a member of mandalorianmercs.com, and get dressed up as a variant of Boba Fett, or enjoy bashing people with weapons in Swordcraft, at Princes Park in Melbourne on Tuesday nights, but it's all just good fun. That guy dressed up as Stormtrooper? Why, he just works at Telstra.
Fans, literally, from all walks of life.
Looking forward to the next one!
Here are just some of the pics from Aramgeddon Melbourne 2011, from @Mat_at_Scifi, our new Facebook correspondent, who joined in the fun with @Topher_at_Scifi:
Check out our Armageddon Photo Album in Facebook for even more pics!