MCM Comic Con Birmingham – March 2017 Round Up
It’s that time of year again. Spring is around the corner, the days are getting lighter, and thousands of geeks descend on the NEC in Birmingham, for its first MCM Comic Con of the year. It was a cold weekend in the Midlands, but that didn’t stop people getting dressed up. As usual, Harley Quinn seemed to dominate the girl’s cosplay, but there were rather less Deadpools than I’ve seen in recent years.
The event was split across 2 large halls at the NEC, packed with all the geeky paraphernalia you could possibly want. They also supersized the main theatre for the first time in Birmingham. Gone is the affectionately named “inflatable boob” tent, which has been replaced by a properly cordoned off theatre space, mainly to expand the seating space for this year’s guests.
This year’s line up had some pretty big names from TV history, along with various fan favorites, and newer stars to keep crowds entertained. Saturday’s big draw on the main stage was the cast of classic 70’s cop show Starsky & Hutch – Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) & Hutch (David Soul), and Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas). They did lose some good will with the fans, by being over an hour late for their panel, and forcing the audience to queue up outside, rather than being allowed to stay in their seats and wait sitting down… You can watch the whole panel below.
Also there this weekend were Greg Austin & Fady Elsayed, who play Charlie & Ram in the BBC Doctor Who spin-off series Class. Both were on really good form, and talked about working on the show, things they stole from set, and the status of season 2. You can see that entire panel below.
Saturday also brought Keith Lemon, who appears on stage to talk about The Keith & Paddy Picture Show. This is a new five-part comedy series for ITV, where he and Paddy McGuinness parody their favourite films, including Return Of The Jedi, Ghostbusters, Jaws, Dirty Dancing and Rocky. They were joined by writer/producer/director Dan Johnston, costume designer MacVean and prosthetics designer Reza Karim.
Sunday’s main big guest was the lovely Billie Piper, star of Penny Dreadful, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and of course, Doctor Who. We weren’t allowed to film her panel, and MYM Buzz, MCM’s YouTube channel, haven’t uploaded it (not yet, anyway). As you would expect, she fielded a lot of questions about working on Doctor Who, such as which Doctor she would have liked to have been with other than David – Answer – Matt Smith, as they’re mates in real life, so it would have been a laugh. She also cited Amy Pond as being her favourite companion, and expressed some reservations about her ending up with the ‘human’ Tenth Doctor, saying she thought Rose would be pining for the real thing!
Other panels on Sunday included Con regulars, the boys from Red Dwarf, and Hooten & The Lady star Michael Landes, who gave us some indication about the status of season 2. Apparently Hooten & The Lady has been sold to The CW in the USA, and is due to air in the next few months. It’s a rare external buy in for the American network, but seems like a good fit. Originally Sky had planned on steaming ahead with season 2… then Brexit happened, and tanked the value of the pound… As Hooten is an expensive show to make, due to the location shooting, that made a 2nd season less viable. However, if the show does well for The CW, and they are interested in another season, that should bolster the coffers enough for them to go ahead. So if you’re in the US, make sure you go and watch Hooten & The Lady on The CW, as we’d like a 2nd season please! You can watch his panel below (sorry about the dodgy audio quality!)
There was a great display of indie comic writers and artists displaying their wares at the show as always. Our friend Jeremy Biggs over at Subversive Comics was there, with the excellent Bearlands and Metal Made Flesh. You should also go and check out their upcoming work on Super Robot MAYHEM, which is looking to be a very interesting book!
The guys from T Pub were also there promoting their hugely successful Twisted Dark & Twisted Light series, the excellent Tabitha, and their newer book Turncoat, about a supervillain, who is not very good at supervillaining….
Finally we come to the cosplay! As we’ve come to expect at these things, there were some great, dedicated cosplayers who braved the cold the show off their creations. I was particularly impressed with the older gent who had an superb Geralt Of Rivia outfit from The Witcher games. As you would expect (given Billie was a guest this year), there was plenty of Doctor Who cosplayers around, including the photo at the top of the post, with an excellent Tenth Doctor being attacked by one of many zombies, who were also out in force. Speaking of ‘force’, as always, UK Garrison were there representing both sides of the Star Wars universe.
All in all, another great job by MCM, and well worth a trip to get your geek on when they return to Birmingham in November!