A DOCTOR Who assistant with fond memories of shooting the show in Dorset will be a guest at a big science fiction convention.
Sophie Aldred – who played Ace with Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor from 1987 to 1989 – will be among the stars at the SF Ball in Bournemouth from February 7-9.
Several stories from her time in Doctor Who were shot locally.
“It was always a delight. I love Dorset and it was great to be filming there,” said Sophie.
In fact, the last shots of the show’s original 26-year run were filmed in Dorset.
“It was due to be in Perivale but we ran out of time and so we had to find some bushes in Warmwell and went there instead,” she remembered.
She has several happy memories of the county, including the Doctor Who team playing skittles in a pub near Warmwell against the cast and crew of Rockliffe’s Babies.
“I remember having a barbecue on the sand at Lulworth Cove. Somebody had managed to wire up lights on an extension cable. We had a bit of a disco,” she said.
“Then we would go for walks off along Durdle Door.
“I remember watching shooting stars one night. It was wonderful.”
Sophie said her character, a leather-jacketed 16-year-old, had turned out to be inspirational for some young women.
“Even now I’m getting a lot of young women at conventions dressing up as Ace,” she said.
“The gear is all available on the internet. You can see the badges and it’s quite an easy costume to replicate. It’s brilliant – I love it. People still come up to me, even young people, and say, ‘She’s my role model’.
“A woman came up to me – it was very moving – and said she had been very shy and awkward as a teenager and Ace had been her saviour because she’d modelled herself on Ace.”
She said she loved meeting Doctor Who’s “eclectic mix” of fans.
“They are incredibly bright people,” she said.
“Doctor Who attracts really brilliant, brainy people. You meet people in America who work for NASA,” she said.
Now 51, she has two children who love the new Doctor Who and think it’s “pretty cool” to travel to conventions around the world.
She admits she never realised how the role would stay with her.
“I never thought in 25 years’ time I’d be coming to the SF Ball in Bournemouth,” she said.
The SF Ball takes place at the Carrington House Hotel from February 7-9.
Other guests signing autographs will include the eighth Doctor, Paul McGann (Friday and Saturday only) and Marina Sirtis of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
For details of the remaining tickets visit sfbevents.com