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Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

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Return to Gauda Prime 2011 - Report by Sweevo

Return to Gauda Prime 2011

by
Sweevo


Return to Gauda Prime was my first B7 convention and my first convention overall, taking place shortly after my college graduation.

I arrived at the Barceló Hotel in Oxford at approximately 09:00 hours, with half an hour of time to spare. Making the most of the time I had before the actual event began, I decided to mingle with some of the assembled fans until the beginning of the main event, marked by the appearances of Gareth Thomas (Blake) and Michael Keating (Vila). I seem to recall the event opening with a showing of "Blake", the infamous final episode of the series accompanied by a commentary from Gareth and Michael. Throughout the entire duration of the episode, I dared not even blink, partly because I was interested in what G&M had to say, and partly for fear of being sent out of the room for talking out of turn or making an innocuous noise such as a cough (keep in mind that this was my first time at an event of this magnitude, so I understood its significance). After the showing, there was a Q&A session. I took the opportunity to ask Gareth a rather unconventional and unique question: Would he have liked to have played Blake in the more vicious and ruthless last-episode version throughout his tenure as a series regular as opposed to the diplomatic and overly noble freedom fighter?
His reply: "That is the first time that I have been asked that question - yes, I would have liked to have played him more often that way, because that's what he (Blake) was to me - a ruthless but honest freedom fighter." I also pointed out that the scar on last-episode Blake's eye was on the same side as Travis's eye patch, prompting another compliment from Gareth, who commented that I had a very unique and insightful perception of the character.

After the Q&A, Gareth and Michael performed some theatre work in front of a small audience, quoting mainly the Seven Ages of Man, showing their classical training as actors. A charity auction followed, where I seem to remember winning some photographs and a signed picture of Paul Darrow, who was supposed to attend but could not, and was replaced by Michael. Then came an interval. Ridden with anxiety bordering on hysterical fear, I dashed into the toilets in order to calm down but was overcome by a sense of terror for unknown reasons. After I had calmed down (with some help), it was time for photographs with the guests and autographs... and a surprise appearance by Stephen Greif (Travis 1)! I was able to secure autographs from all three guests and then I set to writing my account of the day.

The last act of the day opened on a rather sad note, as I learned that Windfola (Catherine) had passed away approximately a month before the convention. While I was aware that she was no longer with us, nothing could prepare me for the reality and the truth: She had taken her own life - this knowledge simply broke whatever was left of my confidence and I was riddled with grief and guilt, feeling that I could have helped her somehow. I kept to myself for the remainder of the day. Come dinner/supper, I went to the appointed place with the others, and dined. I cannot remember exactly what I had - I do recall expressing disbelief and distaste at what appeared to be carrot soup. The main course - chicken with flavourings I cannot remember right now - was the highlight for me, followed by pudding/dessert. Post-supper, Gareth and Michael performed a few comic sketches. By this point, I was beginning to lose focus as I had been up since 06:00. Come 22:00, I heard my parents were coming to pick me up, so with what little time I had left to spare, I said my goodbyes to the other attendees and thanked both Gareth and Michael for making the day unique and more enjoyable for us B7 fans. I then left and headed home, where I collapsed as soon as I hit the bed.

***

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