Long lines, dozens of Doctor Who costumed fans and one funny Billy Dee Williams. Hal-Con was a maddening convention that was the most successful in the city’s history. More than 10,000 attendees, mostly dressed in costume, stood in long lines to meet their heroes. Volunteers and staff were overwhelmed as large crowds were forced to wait for hours in a line stretching to Brunswick Street.
Beyond the big crowds, there were plenty of great panels and Q&A sessions with sci-fi legends. Peter Davison, who played Doctor Who in the early 1980s, made his first trip to Halifax with included the usual tourist visit to Peggy’s Cove and watching RED at the Neptune Theatre. He gave his seal of approval for the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi. The show is enjoying newfound popularity with the 50th anniversary. “He’s a good choice and terrific lover of Doctor Who,” says Davison. “The show appeals to different people with artistic merit. We have people who grew up with the show how are now a part of it.”
Hal-Con showcased the creativity of the fans through the art form of costume making. Niki Warien looked magnificent in her Valkyrie Harpy costume.
Nathan Brown from Greenwood, NS made his Spartan Halo costume from paper and took 18 months to complete.
Andrew Daigle from Fredericton became working on his costume in June. His Alphonse Elric costume from the Fullmetal Alchemist is quite impressive.
The highlight of the convention by far was Billy Dee Williams. The coolest guy in the Star Wars franchise didn’t disappoint with one-line zingers and charming stories. What makes the legendary actor so funny? Is it the fact that he has an Ewok head mounted in his office or that he was afraid of a 10-year-old boy accusing him of betraying Han Solo while shopping at the grocery store? Perhaps it's his quick wit—when a fan commented on how she thought Williams’ character Lando should have ended up with Princess Leia, Williams smiled and said, “In some sense I did.” Lando’s still got it.