SciFi Wales 3 News and Updates for 2017 (Updated 5/8)

Those of you that visit Blazing Minds on a regular basis will have seen the several Comic Con and SciFi Festivals that we have covered and we are pleased to announce that for the third year we will be attending SciFi Wales over in Llandudno at Venue Cymru.

We were honoured to be asked to cover the very first SciFi Wales and the previous one and proud to have been asked back for the third. The first SciFi Wales back in 2015 was a galactic success with some amazing guests including, Virginia Hey (Farscape, Mad Max: Road Warrior), John Challis (Only Fools and Horses, Doctor Who), Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf), Hattie Heyridge (Red Dwarf), Steven Wickham (Red Dwarf).

Steve Wickham

Following on from the first event, 2016 saw another amazing event with even more great guests for SciFi fans everywhere as more people teleported into Llandudno to meet guests from Game of Thrones, Star Wars as well as some fantastic cosplayers walking around the venue for those photo opportunities that we all love.

2017 SciFi Wales 3 is Landing in Llandudno

So with SciFi Wales 3 almost upon us, September 2nd at Venue Cymru, it’s getting time to bring you news of the guests that will be appearing at the event, obviously as the announcements have only just started we will be updating this page with the news as we get it, so please bookmark the post and look out for the updates.

SciFi Wales Guests for 2017

Sophie Aldred -Ace from Doctor Who & Sophie in strangeness in space

Sophie Aldred (Photo ©2015 Karen Woodham)

Actress Sophie Aldred is known by many for portraying the character of Ace in the television series Doctor Who. Her tenure on the show spanned the last nine stories of the programme’s original run, which ended in 1989. In 2013 she also appeared in the one-off Doctor Who 50th anniversary comedy The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.

Since her time on Doctor Who, Sophie has worked on numerous shows and also performed in theatre. In August 2015, Sophie along with comedy duo Trev and Simon, released the first episode of a crowdfunded comedy drama podcast, Strangeness in Space. The show follows Trev and Simon who claim to be Tilbury’s No 1 synth-pop duo Pink Custard, who are stuck in Space, orbiting the Planet Mirth. Sophie, the manager of a NASA Space Centre gift shop also ends up onboard their ship, and the fun begins!

In 2016, Sophie guest starred in an episode of Cops and Monsters, a brand new supernatural web-series set in Scotland.

Rosie Jane – Bill Potts’ mum in Doctor Who

Rosie Jane is a British actor currently known for her role in Doctor Who as Bill Potts’ Mum.

She was born in Bristol on 23rd August 1994. She studied Drama and English Literature at the University of the West of England and then went on to train at East 15 Drama school.

She is currently touring fringe festivals with a feisty stage show called “what I really wanted to say was”. The show will be played at Camden Fringe Festival this August!

As well as Bill’s Mum, Rosie has also played a Time-Lord in the 50th anniversary special “The day of the Doctor” and was a soldier in “Into the Dalek”.

Ian Hanmore Pyat Pree from Game of Thrones

Ian Hanmore is an Edinburgh-born actor with an impressive line-up of shows behind him. Probably best known for playing the Warlock, Pyat Pree in Season 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Father Angelo in the Doctor Who episode Tooth and Claw, Ian has also worked on shows such as Life on Mars, Monarch of the Glen and Shameless.

More recently he played Denis Lamb in the mini-series, “The Game”, John Kempt in “The Syndicate” and Father Anselm in “Outlander”.

In theatre, Ian played the Guide in James Graham’s site-specific piece “The Tour Guide” and has performed in a number of other stage productions including Chris Lee’s “The Fall of the Peacock Throne” where he played Mohammad Mosaddeq. His most recent role was that of Joe Necchi in Untitled Production’s adaptation of Alexander Trocchi’s “Cain’s Book”.

Gloria Garcia Jakku Villager in Star Wars The Force Awakens

Gloria Garcia is an American actress who has become known as the “Jakku Villager” in Star Wars The Force Awakens. She is known for being the first ‘featured’ female in the film whilst protecting the character ‘Poe’ played by Oscar Isaac. According to Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm Story Group, “Her name is yet to be revealed”. Gloria has also played a U.S Mob Boss in ‘Spectre’ as well as being accredited playing a U.S Customs Agent in the the movie ‘Infiltrator’.

Gloria was born to Jaime Santillana and Diane Kosturski in Cicero, Illinois. Her looks are derived from her ancestry of Mexican from her father’s side and Polish on her mother’s side. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Gloria is involved in education for orphans in Puebla, Mexico where her origins lie.

Gareth David-Loyd – Ianto Jones in Doctor Who and Torchwood

Born in Newport, Gareth David-Lloyd’s first acting role was as a robot in a junior school play. As a teenager, he joined the Gwent Young People’s Theatre in Abergavenny and The Dolman Youth Theatre in Newport.

After studying at the Open University in 2005, Gareth returned home to Wales in 2006 for the filming of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, in which he played Ianto Jones, a member of the Torchwood Institute and one of the regular cast members. David has appeared in three series of Torchwood and even made an appearance in the Doctor Who series 4 finale episodes “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End”. David has also recorded a Torchwood audio book, The Sin Eaters, and appeared in several Torchwood audio dramas including Lost Souls, Asylum, Golden Age, The Dead Line, The Lost Files, and The House of the Dead.

Steven Wickham – Lister’s Gelf bride & Begg chief from Red Dwarf

Steven Wickham has made many television appearances including Doctor Who, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Little Britain spin-off Come Fly with Me, but is mainly know for the 1993 Red Dwarf episode Emohawk: Polymorph II where he appeared as a GELF set to marry the leading protagonist Dave Lister which garnered him some cult notoriety. He became the only character other than the four primary regulars to appear in the title sequence. Nineteen years later he reappeared on Red Dwarf X (episode Entangled), this time playing the chief of a group of Biologically Engineered Garbage Gobblers.

Steven has also appeared in numerous Big Finish Audio dramas, in many guises, most notably Doggles (under the pseudonym of Sam Stevens) and Joseph in the Bernice Summerfield series and Chancellor Valyes in the Gallifrey series. You can find out more about Steven at his official website

Simon Donald – Viz Comic co-founder

Simon Donald, Internationally renowned lavatory humourist and co-founder of Viz Comic, made history alongside his brother and a school friend by turning their playground antics into the notorious sales phenomenon of the late 20th century. Their magazine and its remarkable story is celebrated in Donald’s highly rated autobiography, HIM OFF THE VIZ, which, along with personalised sketches will be available from Simon’s table at the event.

François Pandolfo – Quintus in Doctor Who

François is best known for his portrayal of Quintus in Doctor Who’s “The Fires of Pompeii”, acting alongside both David Tennant and Peter Capaldi.

However his appearances on TV and Film are extensive, including EastEnders as Enrico di Clemente, Casualty as Andrew Temple, Baker Boys as Andy and alongside Eve Myles in Tati’s Hotel as Marcello.

François is also co-director of Difficult Stage, a Cardiff based Theatre Company.

John Simpkin – Klaatu in Star Wars

John Simpkin worked on film and TV as a background actor and stand-in for over twenty years. He was stand-in/double for some major stars including Mel Gibson, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, Rupert Everett and Tom Cruise to name but a few.

His acting appearances include, several Bond films one of them being For Your Eyes Only, Flash Gordon, Superman, Supergirl, The Legend, Hamlet (Franco Zefferelli) and of course Return of the Jedi. In Return of the Jedi he played Klaatu in all the Jabba’s Palace scenes, and also appeared as a Stormtrooper in the ‘You Rebel Scum’ scene.

Mark Dexter – Howard Rimmer in Red Dwarf, Transformers, Doctor Who & 24

Mark Dexter is among Britain’s busiest and most prolific actors, with a body of work stretching across all genres and over three decades.

TV viewers will know him for a wide range of shows including ‘Doctor Who’ (in both ‘Silence In The Library’ & ‘Forest of the Dead’), ‘Ripper Street’ (in which he played the principle villain in the first ever episode), ‘Red Dwarf’ (as Rimmer’s brother ‘Howard’), ’24: Live another Day’, ‘The Bletchley Circle’, ‘Mr Selfridge’, ‘New Blood’, and the recent Channel 4 film ‘Coalition’ in which he received wide acclaim for his portrayal of Prime Minister David Cameron.

His movie credits include the 2001 Jack The Ripper based horror classic ‘From Hell’, and in 2017 he will be seen in war drama ‘The Exception’, as well as appearing in the latest instalment of the billion dollar franchise ‘Transformers: The Last Knight‘.

Whovians web series – an original web series made by watchers productions

Whovians follows the lives of four people… Andrew, Steph, Bradley and Liam who are all massive fans of Doctor Who. In the first series, available to view online at the characters are followed as they queue for hours at a book signing, go to location shoots in the hope of seeing actors, attend a Comic Con and even have an unexpected meeting with a man who calls himself The Doctor… These four friends and their relationships with their families, loved ones and each other form the backbone to this ambitious series.

All major cast-members have confirmed their attendance at Scifi Wales including Victoria George-Veale, Ben Wilson, Andrew Machin, Rob D Mealins and Hannah Celyn Grifiths. Crew members attending include Rhys Jones and Matthew Ford.

Dead Air – female led horror comedy with puppets set aboard a Boeing 737

Dead Air is a new female led horror comedy with puppets & practical fx set aboard a Boeing 737. Think Twilight Zone’s Nightmare at 20,000 Feet meets Josie & the Pussycats by way of Gremlins and Critters and you are there!

Fuelled by the love of 80s creature features, director Geoff Harmer (of award winning short Selfie) & writer Peter Hearn (of horror Scrawl starring Star Wars The Force Awakens Daisy Ridley) have teamed up to bring Dead Air to the screen.

The film pits a group of female punk rockers against gremlin creatures on a plane flying at 30,000 feet and stars James Hamer Morton (The Fitzroy) Kate Davies Speak (Horizon) Charlie Bond (Curse of the Witching Tree), David Schaal (The Inbetweeners) Dan Palmer (Stalled), Johanna Stanton (Nightmare Box) and Stacy Hart (Get Real, The Beach).

Guests at Scifi Wales include Geoff Harmer, Peter Hearn and Andrew Spooner.

Jeff Cummins – Doctor Who illustrator for target books and more

Jeff Cummins had his first taste of what was to become, when, at the age of fourteen, he won a nationwide art competition hosted by the TV show Magpie in 1968. Following three years at art school in North Wales, Cummins headed south to London. He began his career illustrating covers and posters for Felix Dennis’ Kung Fu Monthly magazine in 1975, followed by further commissions from Dennis for his TV Sci-Fi Monthly magazine, including a back cover illustration featuring Tom Baker’s Doctor Who and a somewhat wonky Dalek.

In 1976 Cummins went on from strength to strength, creating covers for books, magazines, ad campaigns and album covers. His clients included the Radio Times, Paul McCartney, Hipgnosis, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Penguin Books and of course Target Books. In the 90’s Cummins returned to Doctor Who with a series of covers for Virgin (New Adventures).

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham

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