Thursday, 30 April 2015

Sherlocked Con Recap, 26/04/15

On the 26th April 2015, Geek Mash writers Kayleigh, Neil, Matt and Ross took a trip to London's Excel Centre to check out Showmasters' Sherlocked event. 

The first official convention for BBC, Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss' reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes book series, the show promised an (almost) all-star cast, with plenty of things to see and do.

All of us being Sherlock fans, we were excited to see what the laid in store for us at the Excel. We were used to visiting the Excel many times before for the London MCM Comic Con, so expected the hall used to be packed. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case...

Join myself, Matt, Neil and Ross as we collaboratively discuss our views of the convention, as well as enthuising about the show itself, and our further London adventures on the day shortly after the we exited the con! 

Talking About Sherlock...

What is it about Sherlock that you like?

Kayleigh: I love how effectively the team have managed to transport Sherlock Holmes and his sleuthing from Victorian to modern day London, whilst still maintaining aspects from the books. Modernised Sherlock really works, especially with the wealth of technology available at his disposal. Also, like a lot of women, I am not afraid to admit that I'm a little bit taken by Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes...

Ross: I love the modern approach to the series. The visuals they give to Sherlock deducing and the writing in general. They don't dumb it down.

Neil: As a TV series it's very clever and the relationships between the characters are unusual in an often comical way. I like that it is a blend of serious drama with a few tongue in cheek, humorous moments.

Matt: It's going to sound like a clich├ęd reason, but it's bringing a classic character back into the eyes of the general public. The show is well filmed and the story lines have a small element of hitchcock suspense in them. 

Favourite character?

Kayleigh: Pretty obvious one, but I would go with Sherlock Holmes. I also quite like Molly. She's sweet and a bit of an awkward geek at times! And Sherlock and John Watson complement each other perfectly.

Ross: Sherlock, has to be.

Neil: It's incredibly tempting to say Sherlock. However, I don't think the his character would be half as good without Watson. It's often the straight man, funny man routine with those two. I think that these two characters go hand in hand to really make the show what it is.

Matt: Watson without a doubt. For one, Martin Freeman is a wonderful actor who brings a new take on the character.  In the original stories Watson was a close friend who took Sherlock at face  value, but in the show he acts not only as a stable rod for Sherlock but as his minder and nanny to hilarious effect! 

Favourite episode?

Kayleigh: I loved The Sign of Three. They managed to get the balance of humour, touching moments and sleuthing down perfectly. I also loved The Hounds of Baskerville. Brilliant stuff.

Ross: The Sign of Three, Sherlock drunk on a stag do? Winner!

Neil: It's got to be The Hounds of Baskerville. This episode really resonated with me; being a lover of science, fantasy and paranormal fiction. I really enjoyed the whole paranormal theme running throughout the entire episode with Sherlock and Watson having to disprove it even when it all seems real. I think it feeds the idea that anything unusual can be explained.
As much as I wanted it to all be real in the Sherlock universe I think it's best that Sherlock disproved the entire ordeal. Also, Russell Tovey plays a character in it, and who can't resist a bit of Russell Tovey?!

Matt: I would say the wedding episode(The Sign of Three) for me. I loved the idea of the story and trying to get Sherlock as a best man will always be entertaining.

Looking forward to the Christmas special this year?

Kayleigh: Of course! I am quite interested in the Victorian period (inner history geek), so I am looking forward to seeing Sherlock and Watson in a Victorian setting with period clothing!

Ross: I am looking forward to seeing what takes place.

Neil: I missed most of the third season of the show so I'm just hoping to catch up on the episodes that I missed. Saying that, I do love a Christmas special! That would be a "yes" then.

Matt: As always.

Any theories about what will happen in the next set of episodes?

Kayleigh: I have a feeling that there's going to be a shocking tragedy, but I can't really reveal who without giving away any spoilers (if I am right, of course).

Ross: If the convention was anything to go by, Sherlock has hit rough times and has to pimp his services out to hold a terrible convention.... Without John.

Neil: Not a clue! I'm eager to find out though.

Matt: Well the return of Moriarty will be the main theme, whether it's him or a copycat we'll have to see.  Apart from that I honestly have no clue. I never try to predict these things,  why ruin the suspense! 

What Did We All Think of Sherlocked Con? 

L-R: Ross, Kayleigh, Neil & Matt.
When you bought tickets for Sherlocked, what did you expect the convention to be like?

Kayleigh: I thought it was going to be full of sets we could take photos in, bits and pieces from the show, lots of stalls all over the place of mercandise, talks and photo opportunties. Sure, there WERE photo opportunities, but you had to pay for the majority of them, and all the main actors were hidden behind screens, so us folk on budgets could not even get a glimpse of them. Even most of the talks were paid ones!

Ross: I expected a celebration encompassing all the Sherlock fans, an extravaganza that treated the fans with respect. Not what it was, money grabbing galore. Treated us as is we are nothing but walking money purses, waiting for us to overflow so they could catch it all.

Neil: I was unsure what it would be like. I saw that there were a lot of different type of tickets and the thought that it might not be very good crossed my mind. I've been to similar show specific conventions that have been awful with absolutely nothing to do.However, the website looked promising and my friends were going so I thought I'd give it a go!

Matt: I was expecting private vendors, programmed talks throughout the day and lots of props. Just a large amount of small exhibits to keep a large crowd engaged. 

How did you find the Sherlocked con? Was there anything you wish they would have improved upon?
Part of the Costume & Prop of the only free sections!

Kayleigh: Really disappointing. We paid £29 (plus a ticket validation fee) to get into what was essentially an empty room with extra charges on pretty much everything. The John Watson section had a tank and some badly photo-shopped posters, a bus in the centre of the room you couldn't enter, and a prop section that could've been presented much better in all honesty. 

I didn't like that most things had extra charges, and the merchandise was expensive (some of it could be bought in Forbidden Planet for much cheaper). It felt like a money grabbing opportunity, rather than a celebration of Sherlock for the fans.

Ross: Disappointing. When I go to the Excel I expect a grand display, this kind of event would have been more at home in a town hall. That way it could have maybe looked more impressive.

Neil: It was dull. For the lowest ticket price of £31 (including booking fee's, etc) there was almost nothing to do. A lot of floor space was just empty and the so called museums were pathetic. A cork board and some costumes hardly count as museums. Especially so, when these very same attractions had been shown at other events for no cost at all.

Matt: Most of it.  Harsh I know, but considering the cost of the ticket and the validation fee, there was not a lot available unless you were willing to part with a lot of money. Photos were £25 per person per print, to enter into a talk would make you 30 quid lighter, and asking £15 for a Baker Street sign printed on photo paper is insulting. 

It was a pretty pricey event. If money was no object, what would you have paid for there?

Kayleigh: I would have liked to met Benedict and the other cast members, or maybe attend some talks, but the price was so extortionate for me, unfortunately.

Ross: In all honesty I was so let down with the lack of things, I would probably just left much like we did. It would have been nice to meet Benedict, but I was so let down with the overall execution of the con.

Neil: I don't know, really. I would have liked to have seen some of the talks that were being hosted. However, photos with actors and photos on sets don't really interest me all that much. Also, the pricing was incredibly bizarre - in the hundreds of pounds. It might have been nice to meet the actors but I don't know what that is worth to me. I probably wouldn't have gone to the event at all and just saved my money for things I want or need.

Matt: Autographs and meeting the cast. That's it and in my opinion those were the only things you should have had to pay for. 

What was your favourite part of the event?
Costume Gallery.

Kayleigh: I liked looking at the props and special effects, that was pretty interesting. The costume section was also good, it just needed to look a bit tidied and be more presented though.

Ross: My favourite part was either the prop department with all the fake blood and glass etc., or the costume gallery.

Neil: They did have a really cool section set up with all of the special effects that they would use on the show. Things like gummy glass, severed limbs and corn syrup blood. Very cool!

Other than that small part, I would say that spending time with my friends was the best bit.

Matt: The Baskerville APC. 

SFX Department
What was your least favourite aspect of Sherlocked?

So much empty space!

Kayleigh: In all honesty? Most of it. There was nothing to do for those of us with standard tickets. You had to pay extra on top of your entry fee to access most things, the layout was poor and even the merchandise was over-priced. We all ended up leaving after a mere 45 minutes. As a fan, the whole event screamed of money making, rather than a celebration of a great show.

Ross: The part of the event that was my least favourite was the fact that there was nothing to do if you didn't pay extra for things. The poorly constructed sets for pricey photos, and the general sense of them only catering for people with lots of money.

Neil: It was very sparse with not a lot there. On top of this it seemed overly money grabbing with signs up all over the place telling you that you had to pay to do anything.

Matt: I world have to say, the lack of things to do or see.  For such a large area that was allocated in the Excel, there was a lot of empty space.  Now granted we did attend on a Sunday, but it still seemed lacking. 

If they held another one, would you go again?
That's a no, then.
Kayleigh: Nope! We ended up calling it "Shitlocked" by the end, so go figure.

Ross: No.

Neil: I don't think I would. I feel like I should have learned my lesson with smaller cons like these. I'd rather save my money for the bigger conventions that have more variety and entertainment.

You tend to pay less and get more with those type of events. I feel like I wasted my time and money on the Sherlocked convention.

Matt: Not unless they improved it greatly.

Disappointed, we ended up having a day in London after 45 minutes...

Forbidden Planet, Tokyo Toys, M&M World, Golden Gate Cakes, Five Guys and a general browse! 
M&M World!

Golden Gate Cake Shop in Chinatown. Amazing place!
A trip to Five Guys!
The Force was strong with this one...
What did you think of the Sherlocked con? 
Let us know in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. I'm super sorry the convention was shit but...

    You have Five Guys in England?! No way! Your lives will really change when you get Portillo's....


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