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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


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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