Film and TV

WhoFest Regenerates This Weekend in Irving For Second Year

The first ever WhoFest kicked off last year at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison on the same weekend as the BBC's official American premiere of the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor. The episode brought back every single incarnation of the Doctor and turned a flooded conference room of cosplaying Who-heads into a drooling mess of joy. How on Earth do you manage to top a moment like that?

Well, it's simple. Rather than watch the Doctor on a large projector, you bring one to the Metroplex for WhoFest 2 this weekend.

The second annual WhoFest kicks off Friday at the Westin DFW International Airport Hotel and runs through Sunday, Apr. 26th. The weekend-long convention will feature all sorts of activities and seminars for the seminal Who-head but the highlight of the weekend will be the appearance of Colin Baker aka The Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant, the actress who played The Sixth Doctor's companion Peri.

Mike Erickson, WhoFest 2's director of promotions and marketing, says last year's convention was bigger than anyone could have anticipated. So naturally, they wanted to make special accommodations this year so that they could bring in more fans. This year, they expect around 700 to 1,000 people with even more paying to get in at the door this weekend.

"As we said about the last one, it wasn't planned to be what it turned out to be," Erickson says. "We had decided that we were just going to have a couple hundred people get together and watch because parties were being organized and it just kept getting larger and larger and the organizers knew we were exceeding space. So we made it a full weekend event and had to stop selling admission at 1,000 because we were going to exceed space in the hotel. So based on that success, we decided to do another one but we moved it to April so it wouldn't conflict with other similar events around the country."

Part of that growth not only includes a bigger facility to hold a massive crowd of costumed fans but also more guests including the aforementioned Sixth Doctor and his companion, actors Terry Molloy best known for playing the evil scientist Davros and Nicholas Briggs who provides the robotic voices of the Daleks and the Cybermen.

The weekend will not only have meet and greets and Q&As with the convention's special guests but there will also be a Doctor Who inspired costume contest, a pub quiz that's only for the truly knowledgable Who-head and a chance to win a life-size Tardis replica from a special raffle that will also raise funds for the North Texas Area Food Bank.

Erickson says the lore and history of the Doctor Who series is worth celebrating because it's one of the few pop culture entities that can actually be timeless.

"It's been around for nearly 52 years so it's cross generational," Erickson said. "Both in the UK especially but also here in the US because public TV stations started airing the Tom Baker episodes back in the 70s. It's been part of culture for a long time. The new TV series has grown exponentially, so storywise the Doctor can theoretically go on forever. There's no end to an adventurer who travels anywhere in time and anywhere in space...His story is basically endless."

Tickets and more information at

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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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