Inside ‘sad and pathetic’ feud between rival Star Wars and Doctor Who fans

You could be forgiven for thinking Star Wars and Doctor Who fans might get along famously.

Kindred sci-fi-obsessed spirts, you might assume.

But if the bitter and long-running rivalry between two groups in Norfolk is anything to go by, you'd be wrong.

Nine years ago this month, in May 2013, things got rather heated at the Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention, which was organised by the Norwich Star Wars Club and took place at the University of East Anglia in the Norfolk city.

Things apparently turned sour when members of Norwich Sci-Fi Club, whose main interest is Doctor Who, turned up and approached two celebrity guests to ask them for autographs.

Graham Cole, who starred as both a Cyberman and a Melkur in Doctor Who in the 1980s, and Jeremy Bulloch, who played Bobba Fett in Star Wars as well as appearing in Doctor Who, were the event's VIPs.

Jim Poole, treasurer of Norwich Sci-Fi Club wanted signatures from Graham, best known as PC Tony Stamp in The Bill, and Jeremy, with the intention of auctioning them off for charity.

He was joined by three fellow club members, all of whom were in fancy dress, as Peter Davidson's Fifth Doctor, David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and Judge Dredd.

After a brief exchange, Mr Poole was asked to leave, reportedly sparking a stand-off.

Dozens of fans from the two groups, many of them in fancy dress, were then involved in bitter exchanges outside the venue.

Chaos ensued and police were called, with claims a man had been assaulted.

Mr Poole was put in the back of a police car to diffuse the situation, but police concluded there had not been an assault and that no further action was required. The two groups were told to stay out of each other's way.

A police spokesman said: "After lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault.

"The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of the way of each other."

The feud apparently dated back some time.

Organiser Richard Walker described the spat as a "long running saga," adding: "We aren’t a club to make waves and we have been going for 14 years without any problems until the Norwich Sci-Fi Club started making these demands.

"Mr Poole turned up with his three friends and were admitted because the person on the door did not recognise them."

Star Wars Club secretary Dominic Warner labelled the argument "very childish".

He added: "We are a Star Wars club and they are mostly Doctor Who. We have our events and they have theirs. All this is very childish.

"They are knocking our reputation and saying we are trading off them, but we have been going for 14 years and we don’t need to trade off anyone. It should be live and let live."

Mr Poole, however, argued that he attended the convention in "good faith," blaming Mr Walker for the trouble.

"There has been a longstanding feud between the two clubs because Mr Walker simply will not work with us.," he said.

"We got miffed when they decided to rename their event and call it a convention.

"It caused total confusion because people who had booked with us for our convention in September were thinking that the Norwich Star Wars Club was our one which had been moved to May.

"We have always wanted to see things smoothed over. We have held out the hand of friendship for a long time, but it has always been knocked back."

Reflecting on the incident, he later added: "I was put in a police car. We were both interviewed by the police and told to stay away from each other.

"This wasn't a fight between Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans with lightsabers and sonic screwdrivers drawn. It's a bit sad and pathetic. We're all in the same boat.

"We're not in competition. We'd like to extend the hand of friendship."

Mr Poole said his club was considering having uniformed security guards at their convention.

Mr Warner added: "It's been blown up as if it was a fight. There was no fighting. There is no bad feeling between the two clubs. We have never interfered with them.

"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."

Both groups later said they were having discussions about a meeting to settle their differences amicably.

Norwich Star Wars Club is still active to this day with regular posts on Facebook.

Meanwhile, it appears Norwich Sci-Fi Club only continued for another year with posts on their website and Twitter page drying up in 2014 – although fans still use their Facebook page for discussions.

I guess that answers the old age question, and the answer is Star Wars > Doctor Who.

For more of the latest showbiz news from Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

Source: Read Full Article