Thousands of sci-fi fans met their heroes – and some famous villains – at the National Space Centre this weekend.
Stars of Red Dwarf, Blake’s 7, Doctor Who and Space 1999 as well as props, costumes and dozens of Daleks were at the centre for the BritSciFi weekend.
The two-day event was dedicated to the memory of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson, who died in January.
On Saturday, people flocked from all over the country to meet Chris Barrie, Danny John Jules and Robert Llewellyn from sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf.
Danny said: “It’s fantastic to be here and it’s great so many people are queuing up and coming to chat with us and relive their childhood.
“We’re just had the 25th anniversary of the first episode of Red Dwarf so we’re on about the fourth generation of fans.
“I’ve been in Red Dwarf half my life and I love doing it, so it’s great to have people turning up to events like this and saying, ‘thanks for doing it’.”
Among the fans who queued up to meet them were Sancharie Sorefan, 25, and her boyfriend, Matthew Booth, 29, both from Loughborough.
Sancharie said: “The whole day has been great because there’s so much to see and so much freedom to see it all at your own pace and meet these people.”
Matthew said: “The most exciting thing was meeting Robert Llewellyn because I’ve grown up with him being on Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge.”
Charlotte Ramsell, 21, of Whitwick, said: “It was great because I’ve been watching Red Dwarf for years.
“Meeting them was so amazing and surreal but I was very nervous.”
There were also temporary exhibitions over the weekend and special shows in the planetarium.
Items on display included costumes and props from Doctor Who, Blake’s 7 and the Tripods, as well as costumes from the recent Judge Dredd movie.
Private collectors brought replicas from Gerry Anderson shows, including puppets of Parker and Lady Penelope, from Thunderbirds, and models of Fireball XL5, Stingray and the moon base from Space 1999.
Gareth and Tracey Pitcher, from the Hinckley area, were excited to meet Paul Darrow, who played Kerr Avon in Blake’s 7.
Tracey, 47, said: “If you had told the 13-year-old me that I’d ever meet him I’d have been so excited.
“I showed him my model of the Liberator spaceship which I made while watching Blue Peter ages ago.”
Many sci-fi enthusiasts were dressed up in costumes at the event.
Sandy Brophy, 34, who lives near Hinckley, said “I don’t want to ruin it by meeting them in person, but I love all the people dressed up as characters.
Her son, Damian, four, said: “I saw the Sycorax who chopped off Doctor Who’s hand and I’ve been pretending to be a Dalek.”
On Sunday, the event celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who with appearances from former doctors Colin Baker and Paul McGann.
Centre spokeswoman Malika Andress said: “We had a huge queue of fans to see Paul McGann and Colin Baker’s talk was standing room only.
“It’s all gone fantastically well. It’s the third year we’ve had the BritSciFi event and it’s getting bigger and bigger.
“We had more than 1,600 visitors on Saturday and expect the Sunday numbers to equal that.”
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