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Return to Gauda Prime - 3 Years Later
sweevo
Return to Gauda Prime was my first B7 convention and my first convention overall, taking place shortly after my college graduation. Since my original account of the day was deleted when the Horizon server was tweaked for maintenance, here it is (and this time, I shall make sure to save it as a text document).

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.
 
JustBrad
It was our first trip to Britain, the thing that made us quit saying 'one day' and made us buy airline tickets.
Edited by BradPaula on 23 October 2014 20:04:26
 
Lorna
I am sure there were several reports of RTGP on the old Forum. Have we lost these? Or am I looking in the wrong place?
 
Lorna
Thanks Sweevo for your report on RTGP. It was one of the best Conventions I have attended. OK, there weren't many attendees, but that made it special. I have based the report below on the emails I sent to Lurena who couldn't go to it. I am not a late night person, so I missed the discussions on the Galactic war. Someone else can write about that.

I arrived at the hotel quite early, had some lunch and was able to check into my room. After that Gary arrived with his costumes, so I helped him unload them from the car into his room. Brad and Paula were arriving from America that morning, and when Brad phoned and said they were on the train to Oxford, both Gary and I went to meet them. It was easy to recognise them and we hugged and almost immediately started talking as if we had known each other for years. While they were having a shower and tidying up Gary was able to set his display in the Conference Room. Fortunately Hazel had arrived, which was good as she is the one who always does the fancy things, making sure that the costumes are displayed at their best. Brad, Paula, Gary, Hazel and I were sitting in the foyer when Michael came and started chatting to us, so that was a wonderful start to our weekend.

The hotel prices were a little expensive so only 8 of us had dinner there. The organisers took the guests out and some of the other attendees went to find a cheaper meal, but after they returned we sat in the bar talking. I retired to bed early, but everyone else had a great time discussing our show!!

The hotel breakfast was really good, everything you could want to eat laid out in buffet style. I had cold meat, olive bread, fruit and a croissant. Whereas the others had the English "fry-up"!

In the Convention Room Gary's costumes were already in place; now we had The Horizon desk set up and Exterminator brought in his models. Clanger also brought an Avon costume so the room looked really nice.

The proceedings started with Kevin Davies telling us about the day. He was a great MC and with his son Liam was making a DVD of the event.

The morning started with Michael and Gareth reading poems and prose which was really delightful. We then had the Big Finish people talking about their project, and playing a piece from Michael's recording. He sounded just like Vila all those years ago. Following this we had a buffet lunch which was absolutely delicious. I have never had such good food at a convention. Over lunch they showed the blooper tape. I have seen this many times but it is always fun to see it with other fans. Then it was the charity auction. I was a bit worried by this as, with only 30 people, I didn't think there would be much bidding. This was the case most times, with only 1 person bidding. However most things went and I think Clare was pleased. We then had the autograph session, which was lovely because there were so few people queuing was not a problem.

After the autograph session I decided to go to my room for a nap and a shower. Then I went back to the Con Room to see what was going on, and there was Stephen!!! I had missed his autograph session but I did manage to get a photo. Winnie wanted to get a photo of Gareth shooting Stephen but didn't want to ask, so I did, and it was a great photo!

Lurena had made me a costume based on the outfit that Jenna was wearing in the first two episodes so now it was time to put it on and go to the Gala Dinner. It had been set up with one long table so we had some good conversations. The food was lovely but I didn't eat all mine as I can't digest food that time of night, but that didn't matter. Michael and Gareth, with the assistance of Brad, put on a brilliant cabaret act.

Sunday was the visit to Pyrton Village Hall.
The first thing we saw when we arrived were Red Kites circulating above. They really are spreading across Britain! Beautiful birds.

It was intended to film a short skit on the scene between Blake and Avon in Terminal. As Paul couldn't be at the Convention, Michael did a very good impression of Avon. Kevin, Scott and Liam were very busy in the next hour setting things up A bed was put up for Gareth with a drip feed of whiskey!! Then all the lighting, cameras etc. It took a long time but it was so interesting to see the process of filming. Gareth and Michael were very good and I hope some day this does make it onto a DVD.

Then we went for lunch at a pub a short distance away We had a typical British roast meal as a carvery. It was very nice, and Brad and Paula enjoyed the experience. Kevin did some more filming, including interviewing us all. Then it was over. Only a couple of days, but they were days to remember for a long time.
Thank you Clare and the team.Grin
Edited by Lorna on 23 October 2014 09:52:59
 
clareblues1
Smile

Good to see that people are still sharing memories of this event. It was something of a baptism of fire for me...but a wonderful experience none the less!
The foolish reject what they see;
the wise reject what they think.
 
Ellen York
Regret is part of being alive and I do regret missing that event (I hadn't gotten back into B7 yet at that point). Reading about all the fun you guys had is a big part of what prompted me to buy the plane ticket for RTGP2 last year. And I'm already saving money for the next plane ticket Grin
 
Travisina
The bad news is that because we were unable to back up the forum, all its contents was lost when the site was upgraded.
However, the good news is that we were able to back up all the articles/news/stories etc; these are safely archived and just awaiting reinstatement. Among them are the reviews of RTGP 2011, written by Saba and Paula. As there seems to be renewed interest in this event, I'll restore them on to the website soon.

@ Lorna and Sweevo: would you like me to convert your forum reminisces into an article as well?
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Lorna
Yes please! Thank you TravisinaGrin

I do have some photos. Can I send them to you to be included?
 
Travisina
Lorna wrote:

Yes please! Thank you TravisinaGrin

I do have some photos. Can I send them to you to be included?


Yes, that would be great! Try submitting them directly to Horizon using the 'Submit Photo' button on the panel on the left, but if that doesn't work, I'll PM you with my email for sending them directly to me.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Travisina
Paula's review, with supplemental article on 'The Great Greif Encounter by the Supreme Commander, is now reinstated here: http://www.blakes...icle_id=83
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
sweevo
It would be nice, please - it would save me having to write it up a third time.
 
Travisina
sweevo wrote:

It would be nice, please - it would save me having to write it up a third time.


I'd be delighted, sweevo. I'll let you know when it's posted. Did you take any pictures?
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
sweevo
I took a dozen or so pictures, with only a handful coming out clear enough - and one taken on my behalf by a fellow attendee when I posed with Gareth and Michael (whom I outranked in stature). Smile
 
Travisina
sweevo wrote:

I took a dozen or so pictures, with only a handful coming out clear enough - and one taken on my behalf by a fellow attendee when I posed with Gareth and Michael (whom I outranked in stature). Smile


Wow, Sweevo, how tall are you?!
Would you like to submit that photo to go with the article?
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Travisina
Saba's recollections (from more of a behind the scenes perspective) are now up on the website here:
http://www.blakes...icle_id=84
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
sweevo
Travisina wrote:

sweevo wrote:

I took a dozen or so pictures, with only a handful coming out clear enough - and one taken on my behalf by a fellow attendee when I posed with Gareth and Michael (whom I outranked in stature). Smile


Wow, Sweevo, how tall are you?!
Would you like to submit that photo to go with the article?


Yes, I would, please - here is the link: http://i683.photo...Sweevo.jpg

I am approximately a little over 6' 2" (1.88 m) - an inch or so shorter than the late great David "Gan" Jackson.
 
Travisina
Both reports are now up:

Sweevo's is here: http://www.blakes...icle_id=86

Lorna's is here: http://www.blakes...icle_id=87. NB space constrictions meant that I was only able to use three of your photos - hope you concur with my choices, but I can use either or both of the others if you prefer to swap them around.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Lorna
Thanks Travisina! Yes those are the best photos.
 
sweevo
Thank you Smile
 
Travisina
You're both welcome!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
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