Attendance at Space City Con in Galveston seemed a little sparse, most likely because it followed so soon after the New Year's holiday this year. One exhibitor that we talked with on Saturday afternoon said he was unlikely to come back the following day due to low sales.
Still, the largest ballroom filled up rapidly and spirits were high when it was time for a reunion of surviving cast members from Babylon 5. Actors from Game of Thrones were comfortable enough with the light crowds to do a little "window shopping" on the exhibit floor. It was a well-managed scene where everyone stayed cool and had fun. There weren't even many dumb or long-winded questions during the Game of Thrones Q&A session (which you know is miraculous if you've ever been to one of these things).
There were some giddy moments. When the Babylon 5 cast was asked what their defining moments were, actress Patricia Tallman (who played Lyta Alexander on the show) said, "When I read the script, I thought, 'They're going to give this to some star. This is the best script I've ever read.'" A male audience member shouted, "They did give it to a star!" and Tallman leaped off the stage, ran to his row and rewarded his flattering comment with a kiss.
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Tallman also was comfortable with the low key crowd, coming out from behind her autograph booth to interact with a cosplayer dressed as one of the scary "Weeping Angels" from Doctor Who.
There were some technical issues and annoyances during both the Babylon 5 and Game of Thrones panels. There were no floor monitors near the seating area and the Babylon 5 cast initially couldn't hear the moderator. Space City Con staff members moved some floor monitors from a band area to try and fix the issue.
As you'll see in the videos below, the stage was darkened during the Game of Thrones panel for some inexplicable reason. Even the cast members wondered aloud about the issue. "Why are we in the dark? Are we ugly?" asked Esme Bianco, who played the character of Ros. Still, the show must go on, so the actors gamely continued with the panel, fielding several questions from the audience with great aplomb and humor.
If you think the show is racy on screen, it turns out that some of the behind-the-scenes work is also...interesting. Current and former cast members regaled the audience with their embarrassing and hilarious stories of what it was like to film various nude scenes. Kristian Nairn (who plays Hodor on the show) described what it was like to film a nude scene that included the complication of an oversize prosthetic penis...complete with fake pubic hair. (WARNING: Vdeo has NSFW language.)
Nairn isn't the only Thrones actor who's had to contend with a nude scene. Jason Momoa, who played warrior Khal Drogo, describes how he tried to make the best of an uncomfortable situation. (WARNING: Video has NSFW language.)
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Other activities included some semi-organized "swordfight practice" that involved foam-padded "swords" and lots of giggling, photo ops in a Tardis and live music performances by Circa Paleo and Tartanic, a bagpipe band that likes to rock out with drums.
And, of course, there were the costumes. Members of the local Star Wars costuming group, the South Texas Squad of The 501st Legion, were out in full regalia, as were groups representing the Browncoats (Firefly fans) and Star Wars. Various independent cosplayers were in attendance, along with a few "celebrity" cosplayers. Check out the Houston Press slideshow.
All in all, it was a con with great people and unique experiences. So, while the winter Space City Con seemed a little low-key compared to the one in Houston this past summer, that just goes to show -- it's the quiet ones you've got to watch out for.