The Opening Ceremony at any Sci-Fi Weekender is always a joy to watch the superb choreography, pyrotechnics and heart-pounding Bass from the music blasting out across Arena 1.

We look back at the start, middle and end of this years fantastic Sci-Fi Weekender 5 and look forward to SFW6 in March 2015.

But, before all that, just as we were getting up after our first night in Pwllheli and enjoying a nice coffee and breakfast, we get a phone call and it was one that I’d personally been waiting for.

Stephen Greif aka Travis from Blake’s 7 was in the Mash and Barrel having his breakfast and if we got over there quick we would get chance to interview him, so you can imagine my excitement, we quickly got sorted and shot over.

As we arrived, I just saw Stephen reading the morning paper, so as the crew went to set up, I went over and introduced myself to him and asked if you would mind our short interview.

During our walk over to the area we had set up to film, Stephen was lovely, I mentioned that I’d grown up with Blake’s 7 and how I still love it today, his response was, “You don’t look old enough to remember the show“, oh you charmer, you.

So we had our little chat on camera and explained what we do and where he could find us and he even mentioned his twitter @StephenGreif, which I was already following πŸ˜‰

A Nervous Time At Sci-Fi Weekender

After talking to Stephen, it was time to make our way over to Arena 1, as later in the day, Nicola and myself would be doing something new, we would be interviewing on stage in front of an audience, suffice to say, I was really nervous for this one.

It’s all very well interviewing someone as a one to one, with only a microphone and camera, but to do it on the stage, was a little daunting for me to say the least.

So until then we went around checking out some of the brilliant cosplayers, catching up with some of the authors we know, like the lovely Sam Stone and delightful Gareth Wiles, then time to grab something to eat and a quick pint to calm my nerves.

During our meal, Royd Tolkien was on the stage being interviewed about his career and his rather famous great grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, what an amazing interview and one which fascinated me as I do love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books.

Time was now drawing nearer to our time on the stage, Spencer Wilding, had a chat with us and we planned a demonstration for the stage, that hopefully people would like.

Being Put At Ease By Royd Tolkien

So we arrived back stage and Royd was just coming off, I had a chat and mentioned that my legs were like jelly, so he offered me some wonderful advice that would help me before I went out on to the stage.

We started the special video that Lee had produced which would end with the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen for the audience, I have to say that the 8 minutes running time of the video presentation, seemed like an eternity to me, but towards the end my nerves started to settle and thanks to Royd.

On went myself and Nicola and I introduced ourselves and then Spencer, with some great support from the audience, we went through the interview and it was going well, then I asked Spencer about his Kickboxing, “So can you give us a demonstration?“, this was our little surprise!

Karen Woodham and Spencer Wilding SFW5

Karen and Spencer on Stage at SFW5 – Image Courtesy of Aidan Moran

I don’t think the audience were expecting the giant to stand up and show his kickboxing skills on the stage with someone and they loved it, but I Β can quite honestly say that thank goodness he knows what he was doing!

We through some audience participation in with some Q & A’s and one which sticks in my mind and one which was tweeted out, has to be a lovely little girl, who came to the front of the stage and quietly asked Spencer, “How did you become an actress?“.

So the interview went brilliantly, but I was glad when it was over, you never know, we may be asked to do it again next year, but I think I will have to use Royd’s advice for another one, again!

And so, as seen from the earlier Sci-Fi Weekender posts, we draw to the end of the articles, 72 hours of sheer Sci-Fi fun, with Hobbits, Doctors, The Simpson, Daleks, Avengers, Dredd’s and so much more, you can never lose the wonderful moments spent in the presence of so many wonderful people.

A special thank you must go to Chic for organizing yet another amazing weekend and for accommodating our needs and wants during the time we were there, also a special thank you to everyone who worked with us, met with us and to all those tweeters that stopped by and introduced themselves, you all rock.

A Farewell For Another Year

That’s it for another year, suffice to say I will be back with the Blazing Minds/Ask The Usher team next year for even more Sci-Fi fun and yes, I will be donning a rather fetching Steampunk costume for the weekend or at least some of it and I think Nicola may even don a little something as well.


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Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds, an avid blogger and photographer. 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 UKs Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham