As we head towards the last few Comic-Cons of the year, last weekend Wales Comic-Con returned to take over Telford once again and brought with them their usual impressive array of guests from across the geeky spectrum, and we managed to be there to bring you some (not all) of the panels!
If you’ve not been to Wales Comic-Con before, they often have some of the best line-ups of guests in the UK convention calendar, and this year was no exception. They included people from TV and films such as ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Red Dwarf’ and so many more.
Wales Comic-Con is split across three halls of The International Centre in Telford with the main show floor filled with artwork, posters, comics, toys and all the usual wallet-draining geeky paraphernalia you would expect from a convention. Upstairs, they have a really good theatre room, with ample space for panel talks, which is where I tend to spend most of my time filming videos.
The event exuded a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, characteristic of many Comic Cons, where attendees immersed themselves in friendly conversations, explored enticing merchandise, and engaged with friends and cosplayers. Regrettably, my busy schedule covering numerous panels limited my chance to see much of excellent cosplays throughout the Con. Nonetheless, I did manage to carve out time to watch and film the Cosplay Masquerade, featuring some remarkable costumes and entertaining performances!
Generally, Wales Comic Con is a lovely friendly place to be, and usually well-organised. I understand there were a number of last-minute guest cancellations which is disappointing, but happens for various reasons, some of which are out of the organiser’s control. However, with such a huge line-up, there was no shortage of faces from TV, film and games, and I would highly recommend picking up a ticket for the event when it returns next year.
The Guest Panels
Both Saturday and Sunday were full of guest panels in the theatre hall. Unfortunately, we are only allowed to record certain panels, so we can’t bring you videos from everyone. However, I did stay in the theatre most of the day so will give you a bit of a rundown and photos from most of the panels.
Recording of panels is at the discretion of the guests. We don’t know the reasons why the guest does or doesn’t allow it, but I suspect sometimes it’s just in case they get an awkward question in the Q&A and end up saying something they shouldn’t. It also could just be that they’re tired, or having a rough day and don’t feel their best, and just don’t want to be filmed. In some cases, I do wonder if it’s because they are regulars on the Con circuit and don’t want all their stories filmed and online. Whatever the reason, it’s totally their prerogative, and we completely respect that. The people who run the Cons obviously want the guests to be completely comfortable, have a good time, and come back to future events.
The panels I couldn’t record included the ‘Doctor Who’ panel which featured Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Peter Davidson, and Sylvester McCoy. It’s always fun and hilarious seeing the older Doctors together, so this was a joy. And if you’re wondering, yes, the question about whether the story of McGann getting his own series is true did come up… And, as expected, he says it isn’t true. However, Peter then did point out that even if it was true, Paul wouldn’t have been able to tell us and would have said it wasn’t true anyway, so we’re not really any the wiser!
Other panels included the wonderful Alex Kingston, who is always fun. She ended her panel with something which has become a bit of a trademark for her at Cons… A Doctor Who quiz, where the prizes are bananas (and I mean that literally…) which she throws into the crowd! There was also a panel with C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels, and the brilliant ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ actor Giancarlo Esposito, who was amazing, and if he ever wants to give up acting, he would make a fortune as a motivational speaker!
On to the panels which I could actually record!
Warwick Davis & Annabelle Davis Panel – Wales Comic Con November 2023
First up is the legendary actor Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Willow, Harry Potter) and his daughter and actress Annabelle Davis (Star Wars, Willow, The Dumping Ground, Hollyoaks). They chatted about how Annabelle had to step in for Warwick during the filming of ‘Solo’, and how she gained a new appreciation for his job after that. They also talked about working on ‘Harry Potter’ together… and how the family abandon Warwick whenever he is mobbed by fans! It was so sweet seeing them talking about their work together and separately.
DC TV Panel With Matt Ryan, Brec Bassinger & Alex Garfin – Wales Comic Con November 2023
This was a really fun panel with three stars of various DC Comics properties – Brec Bassinger, aka Stargirl; Alex Garfin, who plays Jordan Kent in Superman & Lois; And the always welcome Matt Ryan, aka John Constantine from Legends Of Tomorrow, the Constantine TV series, and various DC animated movies. Starts off well, although does go off on a wild tangent towards the end due to a question about scones! Hilarious and massively entertaining!
Charlie Cox / Daredevil Panel – Wales Comic Con November 2023
This one was just joyous, featuring the wonderful Charlie Cox discussing his role as Daredevil in this brilliantly fun panel. He talks about his surprise at the revival, figuring out how to play a blind character, and who he’d like Daredevil to team up with next! There is also a bit of chat about his work on the amazing Boardwalk Empire. He comes across as so genuine and natural… He even brought his mum along to watch!
Merlin Panel – Rupert Young (Sir Leon) & Alexander Vlahos (Mordred) – Wales Comic Con November 2023
As you heard if you watch the Charlie Cox video, the next panel wasn’t originally scheduled, but the Merlin boys had some free time, and wanted to do it, so the Con let them, and I’m so glad they did! It’s another hilarious panel featuring Rupert Young, who played Sir Leon, and Alexander Vlahos, who played Mordred, discussing their time on the show. Things such as who they liked working with. Their funniest moments. And, the problem with horses… Really excellent fun panel.
Exclusive Indiana Jones Panel – Paul Freeman & Alison Doody – Wales Comic Con November 2023
This next one is something quite special, especially for Indiana Jones fans, as I got special dispensation from the organisers and guests to record it. The panel is an exclusive featuring Paul Freeman, who played rival archaeologist René Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Alison Doody who played Elsa Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They both have wonderful stories about their time working on the franchise, from being covered in rats to dealing with snakes and working with Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. An amazing panel hosted, appropriately, by the brilliant Dr Rhys Jones (who is, of course, also a HUGE Indy fan himself!)
Stranger Things Panel – Tom Wlaschiha & Jamie Campbell Bower – Wales Comic Con November 2023
The last panel is for the Netflix smash hit, ‘Stranger Things’, and features Tom Wlaschiha who stars as Dmitri Antonov, aka “Enzo”, and also starred in Game of Thrones as “The Faceless Man”, alongside actor/singer Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Henry Creel and (spoilers… if you know, you know!). He’s also starred in Sweeney Todd, The Twilight Saga, City of Bones, and Harry Potter. They were huge fun together chatting about their work on the show. (Side note – the reason this says “fixed” on it is because is a re-upload of the panel as the first version had a rendering glitch which I missed before uploading it!)
Wales Comic Con Cosplay Masquerade – November 2023
The last video we have is not a panel, but the Cosplay Masquerade. It would be fair to say, I think, that it was a little chaotic this time around… They appeared to have an issue with playing the cosplayer’s music through the speakers so they were having to play it from their phones via the mics. And also – and I stress, I think Dr Jones is a wonderful man and interviewer, and he did his best – but they really need someone who knows a little more about cosplayers and their (sometimes rather obscure) cosplays, to be hosting the masquerade… However, there was some great work on display, from Good Omens to the most adorable Jurrasic Park family group, it’s always fun to watch!
So, that is it for our coverage of Wales Comic Con: Telford Takeover – November 2023. If you want to know more about Wales Comic-Con, you can find their website at walescomiccon.com. It’s an extremely fun event which I can totally recommend, and is well worth a visit when they return in 2024!