Friday, 11 October 2013

KNIGHTCON: STAR CARS & HEROES CONVENTION REPORT

KnightCon: Star Cars & Heroes
by Sandra Scholes

Saturday September 7th 2013

There are the standard conventions in Manchester and London and there are the unexpected ones. KnightCon is one of the latter. It is held once a year at the Xscape in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England both out at the car park, and inside, though only one floor was used. Unlike most cons, this celebrates the many vehicles used in popular TV series such as Knight Rider, The A Team and The Dukes of Hazzard. Many bring these vehicles to the event for both old and new fans of the series to see them up close and personal.

Getting there extra early in the morning is a bonus as you get a closer parking spot to the cars on show as the vast majority of them were exhibited outside Xscape. The first thing you notice are the rows of KITTs from Knight Rider, but only one shows the genuine flashing lights at the front and the audio from the series. Just being there is enough to bring back memories of the intro where KITT swerves into view and the iconic music blasts out in the background. It was obvious that they had been shined to perfection and a lot of care had been taken to keep them in such great condition.


It is great that we have KnightCon on our doorstep as being a Yorkshire lass myself, it's rare for us to have anything TV, movie or Sci-Fi to shout about, so once a year we get that chance, and boy did it go off to a great start with the first parade. It proved that it was a fun day out whether you were six or sixty. As well as US TV series being popular, 80s US movies are also essential viewing in this event with many coming dressed as their favourite character. I remember a particular teen dressed as Spiderman, but  rather than there being too many serious lookalikes, the children had the chance to shine in the Star Cars & Heroes Kids Parade and Hero Fancy Dress Competition. Kids from all corners of the UK came as Spiderman, Batman, and Iron Man.


Everyone got the chance to see lookalikes dressed as everyone's favourite movie and comic or TV goodie and baddie, and there was no shortage of Batman, Spiderman, a reluctant to be photographed Catwoman, an unusual female Joker, a very shiny Robocop, and extra shiny Iron Man and several impressive Daleks. They all strolled out to a very welcoming audience who lapped up the pomp and circumstance, but to be honest the second parade was much better as the crowd roared for two characters in particular when they came on; Iron Man and Batman with his entourage of goodies and baddies, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Bane. They appeared and staged realistic fights. This also seemed to happen when Spiderman came on with the infamous Doctor Octopus from the Tobey McGuire movies. These seemed to know what the crowd would like and gave them a show to remember. And for those who didn't get a chance to photograph them during either of the parades, they had a chance once they were over and the lookalikes would pose next to their cars or bikes. Of the posing characters, Wolverine, Bane and Batman were the most convincing and really got into the roles they were playing.


KnightCon is held in honour of Knight Rider, Michael Knight the character and of course, the icon that is David Hasslehoff. Once a year fans and organisers alike wonder if he will actually turn up to this event, though so far it is more likely that another actor or actress from the series will come to sign autographs. Perhaps next year he might make an appearance, fingers crossed. This time around we weren't left without some celebrity glamour as sensual femme fatale, Rebecca Holden, famed for playing Michael Knight's assistant April Curtis was around to make men's hearts melt as soon as she strolled down the red carpet.

The dealer tables were a bit thin on the ground, but as the sheer number of people who attended was amazing, it's a good thing there weren't more dealer tables around as there would not have been room. The dealer tables that were there showed us a few displayed Star Wars miniatures; a Millennium Falcon, AT-AT etc as well as some masks from famous science fiction movies, one of them being an Iron Man that was shined to perfection. Next to this was a an author signing table for N.M. McIntyre who was publicising her new novel Kingdom of Caelum, this being part one of a trilogy of fantasy themed novels. Tom Seymour's collection of Dr Who costumes from the Tom Baker era to Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton. All were in mint condition and as with the TV and movie cars in the car park outside, they brought back a sense of a bygone time nothing else can compare to.

With the sheer crowds around the place, it could be said that it's all happening up north, and that would be true considering the fun everyone had - looking forward to next year now!