Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Dalek watching over Belfast ... and new Doctor Who

Image of a Dalek on the hills above Belfast - photo by TBSteve

Driving across from East Belfast and onto the M2 on Sunday we noticed a large white Dalek on the face of Cave Hill Divis. Had one finally escaped from Cardiff?

It’s been a pretty successful, if exhausting, publicity stunt by Denis Rush of UT Events to advertise the forthcoming Vortex Doctor Who convention being held in Belfast’s Europa Hotel on Sunday 3 May from 9am to 1am. Explaining his actions to the BBC:

“There was meant to be a giant question mark beside the Dalek, but I ran out of bed linen,” said Denis speaking to BBC News.

The giant Dalek took two days to make after Denis had ‘exterminated’ his family’s entire supply of bed sheets.

“The first day it was just myself up there and then on the second day my girlfriend Tory gave me a hand,” he said. “I must have asked every single member of my family for any spare bed sheets they had.”

“It was tough going as it must be a 50 degree slope, but it was definitely worth it.”

Last year, the same organisers held a science fiction event in W5. This year, the prices have been cut down from £35 to £10, but you no longer get a free autograph etc. (Tickets are being sold online.) The convention isn’t profit making, and instead will hold prize draws and a charity auction in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice throughout the day.

Look out for the Ood (I can hear Murray Gold’s oooooy music in my head as type), Lady Cassandra (is she stretching herself thinly across conventions?), the TARDIS, a Dalek and K9. At this stage, the guest stars expected to attend is Gareth David Lloyd (who plays Ianto in the Torchwood spin-off), Chipo Chung (acted in a couple of Doctor Who episodes) and Paul Marc Davis (who has appeared in Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventure).

So if you’re wandering around the centre of Belfast, expect some strange sounds to emanate from Europa’s new conference room, and the sight of a few fans in fancy dress (they might prefer “dressed up in costume”) wandering around looking like they’ve fallen through the Void.

Will I be there? While a Doctor Who fan, I’m not sure you could pay me to attend a convention! But I will be watching the new episode that will be shown on BBC One and BBC HD on Saturday (11 April) at 6.45pm - Planet of the Dead complete with a cat suited Wonderwoman Michelle Ryan and a London Bus.

(Image from TBSteve/Flickr)


Stephen O'Kane said...

It's actually on the side of Divis, not Cavehill, :-)

Alan in Belfast said...

Thanks - fixed.

anonymous coward said...

Divis != Divas

Anyhow, been wondering what that was as I went past on the train each day.

Alan in Belfast said...


spar shopper said...

Is it really made out of sheets? They should leave it there, maybe make a whole herd of them? Be a change from the tedious murals!

Alan in Belfast said...

The side of Divis has been used before - suspect it's the same field - for other public art works!

Keep an eye on it.

Gerard said...

Fascinating fact, that part of Divis is a popular suicide spot - we used to live in view of it and I remember coming back from work one day to find all the neighbours out watching someone being removed from a nearby tree.

But awesome Dalek though! I think I'd attend a convention, though I might be inclined to go in in disguise! Looking forward to the Easter special?

Alan in Belfast said...

Quickly checks Tivo to make sure it's going to pick up tomorrow night's episode.

I won't get to see it live ... so no spoilers!!!

Paula said...

its amazing just where my photo of that Dalex has ended up...

Alan in Belfast said...

@Paula - your photo? thought it was TBSteve's?