Almost 10 years ago in Peterborough UK, the Alpha: 2014 UK Chrysalis Convention gathered stars, fans and an amazing exhibit like no other.
It was actually my first convention. I’m really glad I went, this time. Space: 1999 conventions never really turned me on in the past. I was always more focused on the merchandise since almost day one. I have been a collector (and now, some sort of merch historian from baptizing myself by fire) and throughout the years before eBay, things were getting harder and harder to come by. I have read about these “1999 Cons” in the past (especially the 1982 event in Springfield, MA) and thought they were pretty cool. I think the one that I would have loved to attend, though, was the Alpha: 2012 in Burbank, CA. An opportunity (and the last one) to meet both principles of the show where ultimately there. A friend of mine talked me into this event with the enticement of just coming out to the UK by way of Manchester Airport. He mentioned that we are not getting any younger. Boy, is that more apparent, even today.
On the day of the flight, we all boarded the jet to be on our way to Manchester. Would you believe that we got about as far as the Atlantic ocean just to do a 180 right back to Newark. Things were pretty tense and although the airlines rebooked me, I had to wait a solid 12 hours with a hope and a prayer that there wouldn’t be any continued jet malfunctions. That made for a long day. Contacted my ride to let him know that I was delayed. This didn’t improve my love for flying. Well, I finally made my way to the UK, went through customs and met my friend, hopped in his car and we were on our way across the country to Peterborough. When we got checked into our lovely rooms there at the Peterborough Holiday Inn, I started to roam around and made my way to the exhibit room, where for the majority of the time was severely mesmerized with all of the amazing original props, ships and outfits along with all of the amazing replicas.
Of course the first thing that grabbed my eye were the studio scale ships and goodies, especially the original shooting “Eagle 1” & “Eagle 2″ 44” models there in the same room at the same time and I was there to behold them both. And behind was the remaining original buildings of Moonbase Alpha (prior to restoration and placement in a whole new massive display in all its glory).
Another amazing highlight were the culmination of original spacesuits displayed as if they were in some sort of formation. An amazing collection ensemble to say the least.
It was amazing to see the massive collection of Alphan uniforms from both seasons (especially the Year 1 Koenig uniform) and all of the alien outfits, as well.
Another fascinating highlight was the comparison of the original screen used Stun Gun prop with a couple of some of the best scratch built hero replicas available in 2014. The screen used Stun Gun was one of the “vacu-formed” examples that were commonly used for regular none closeup use. There were a couple of original hero Stun Guns, but no know really know what happened to them since the Blackpool exhibits of the late 70’s. In the comparison lineup, the left SG is one of the SAW editions, while the one on the right was built by Roland Cormier, both out of Canada.
The miniature display didn’t disappoint at all. A magnificent collection of replicas, mods and some original artifacts for us spectators to gawk at practically all weekend. ASA even showed off some of the original SFX clapperboards that Brian Johnson himself created for the sequences he had to shoot.
Of course, let’s not forget the background work of the replica of the Command Center (complete with one of the original desks). ASA put on a grand exhibit, like no other and like nothing since with the largest original screen used items across the spectrum.
I’ll end with the highlight of Eagle 2. Andrew Frampton is the owner and was gracious enough to let me perform the right of passage by holding the 44. This convention sealed the deal on my commitment to own my very own 44″ Eagle. Well, we’ve come a long way since 2014, but attending this con was an amazing inspiration to my personal collecting. I want to thank Roy Bjellquist and Paul Stankevitch for their added photos to share with you in this article. Regarding the con itself, there was a lot more to it, but this was my personal highlight. Love the stars, love the fans, love the organizers and I have nothing but a huge appreciation for the work that went into this event. If you have the chance to attend, don’t miss out.