We warned you. But did anyone listen? Apparently not, as now the inevitable has happened. Supporters of rival sci-fi groups have clashed in Norwich amid scenes of carnage in which... er... no-one was actually hurt.
Trouble erupted on Sunday at the University of East Anglia when tooled-up Doctor Who fans got ready to rumble at the Fourth Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention organised by Norwich Stormtroopers armed with no more than a good blaster. OK, they might not have been “tooled-up”, as such; not unless you count a replica sonic screwdriver (which, frankly, we do). We’re also not totally sure how many of Norwich Star Wars Club went as Stormtroopers but we can bet there was at least one even if they are notoriously poor shots.
Tensions seemed to have been raised by an oversight in celebrity guest policy and planning for the Norwich convention. The appearance of Graham Cole who had an uncredited role as a crystallised coal creature in the unaired Doctor Who story, Shada, was already enough to get Who fans excited. However, the Norwich Wookie-lovers really dropped the ball by putting Boba Fett legend Jeremy Bulloch on the same bill. Nobody seemed to realise that Bulloch had Who form with his appearances as Hal the Archer in The Time Warrior and a small role as a Xeron rebel in the 1965 story, The Space Museum. All this Whovian action proved too much for local rivalries as Jim Poole arrived with a suitably hench assistant dressed as the Fifth Doctor to get Cole and Bulloch’s autographs. Despite taking the precaution of having the Tenth Doctor and Judge Dredd stand outside to provide apparently insurmountable security, things soon kicked off and Poole found himself in the back of police car with an unnamed member of the Star Wars posse.
What the hell Judge Dredd was doing at this point is not clear. To everyone’s disappointment, the long-awaited clash of Vader vs. Dredd was not enacted. In fact Norfolk Police have said: "After a lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault". So much for Mega-City 1 and the Empire’s numero uno tough boys.
Fortunately peace negotiations have proved fruitful with Jim going so far as to say “We’d like to extend the hand of friendship”. However, he has not ruled uniformed security for his next convention. We suggest he leave Judge Dredd at home as he sounds like a pussy.
Jim also added: "It does sound comical. People that dress up in costume are labelled geeks and some people laugh at us, and this just makes it even more so." Well, quite.
Rumours that William Shatner appeared to tell everyone to “Get a life!” are, so far, unconfirmed.
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