By Joe Nuzzo
Fans of the cult classic British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who traveled from across the country and the world to attend the fourth annual Long Island Doctor Who Convention over the weekend.
The convention featured three actors who have played the role of The Doctor over the years, as well as a variety of other notable guests who met fans at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hauppauge. The actors engaged in discussion panels, autograph signing and photo sessions with fans.
“It’s nice to welcome people from all over the country and all over the world to our home to show off Long Island and let them taste our food and drink our wine,” Ken Deep, the convention organizer, told the Press.
Droctor Who debuted on BBC in 1963, went off the air in ’89 and returned in 2005. Over the years, 13 actors have played The Doctor, a time-traveling alien on a mission to protect the human race in his TARDIS, his time machine and spaceship disguised as a police phone booth.
As the Press has previously reported, the LI Doctor Who convention, which debuted on the show’s 50th anniversary, is so popular that it outgrew its venue in its second year.
This year, about 1,500 attendees, many dressed in the costumes of their favorite characters from the show, attended the convention, which included a costume contest, discussion panels, gaming, celebrity meet-and-greets and other events that ran well after midnight on Friday and Saturday night before concluding on Sunday.
Of course, no such convention would be complete without a vendor floor selling Doctor Who collectibles, which this convention had in ample supply. The vendor floor featured a range of merchandise from jewelry, to t-shirts, to mystery prize boxes.
“One of the advantages to having a convention in a hotel is that fans can buy a collectible and bring it right back up to their room,” Deep said. “They don’t need to worry about carrying it around all day.”
Fans also had the chance to interact with and ask questions of celebrities without the feeling of being rushed, that is all too prevalent at bigger conventions.
“Our motto is up close and personal,” Deep said. “At the end of the day, the attendees at this convention had a wonderful experience with the celebrities they wanted to meet.”
L.I. Who 5 will be back next year November 10-12, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.