This spring’s MCM Comic Con was held on 27-29 May at London/s ExCeL Centre. The MCM Comic Con is held twice a year (in May and October) and features anime, science fiction, games, as well as a huge comics village for artists. There are many other exhibitors selling figures, toys, shirts, and collectibles. The lineup included actors from the Big Bang Theory, Jesse Eisenberg, Marvel, plenty of panels, Game of Thrones, and cosplay. There were several special guests from the Doctor Who world, such as Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, Sophie Aldred, and Warwick Davis. Blogtor Who was there to speak to them all, and met the delightful actor and dancer Hugh Spight.
Spight played the Black Dalek in Remembrance of the Daleks, generally considered one of the greatest stories in classic Doctor Who. It aired in October 1988 and featured the Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy and his companion Sophie Aldred (Ace). Aldred and Spight were sitting near each other at Comic Con, and reunited for the first time since they filmed the episode. ‘I hadn’t seen her since she was 18 years old,’ said Spight. ‘But she remembered me – she said “You’re Hugh the Dalek”! The two were seated next to each other — quite an amusing pairing to anyone who has seen Ace attack a Dalek.
Spight trained as a ballet dancer, so he had no trouble leaping into the Dalek costume – while the other actors were struggling to get into the unforgiving armor, he laughed, . He couldn’t recalled exactly how he came to be cast as the Black Dalek, but he clearly remembered shooting the story’s finale. Spight recalled happily, ‘The production team had forgotten to warn the fire brigade and the police that there would be an explosion. It blew up in a tunnel and made a sound that was enormous. The police were livid! This was right around the time of the IRA, around 1987, so they were they were furious!’
Spight also appeared in the final serial of the 25th season, appearing in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. The episode is infamous for its cast of painted clowns. Spight agreed it was an especially scary episode. ‘You can’t read a clown’s face, which makes people nervous.’ Spight also appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and during filming, a young director named George Lucas popped in to ask if he’d like to appear in a movie shooting next door called Star Wars. But you wouldn’t know since film credits that his name was listed as … Hugh Spirit.
This year’s MCM Comic Con hosted a record-breaking 133,000 visitors. The next London MCM Comic Con will be held on 28-30 October. See the MCM Comic Con portal for the upcoming dates in many cities, such as Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester, and Hannover.