Destiny (US multifandom con)

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Name: Destiny
Dates: the second one was in 1988
Location: Houston, Texas
Type: fan run, celebrity guests
Focus: Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Robin of Sherwood
Organization: Blake's Several Club
Founding Date:
cover of the 1988 program book
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Destiny was a multifandom convention held in the US. There were at least two.


The second one was held March 25-28, 1988. Celebrity guests were Mark Ryan and Terry Nation.

a flyer for the 1988 con, the illo of Avon and Vila is by "Stanford"

Paul Darrow and Michael Keating were invited but did not attend.

Con Report: 1988

There is an old saying that goes. "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade" That could well have been the motto for DESTINY II. Although last-minute professional commitments prevented Paul Darrow and Michael Keating from attending as hoped, the Con staff managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, bringing Blake's 7 creator, Terry Nation, and Mark Ryan (Nasir from Robin of Sherwood). (Mark said the DESTINY convention came highly recommended from the folks behind SCORPIO). Unfortunately, the late cancellation of Mssrs Darrow and Keating took its toll on this intrepid group. Several key staff members decided that the con was now not worth supporting, and the Registration, Art Show/Auction, Program Book and Dealer's Room chairpersons quit about a month before the convention. It was their loss, and Con Chair Kathryn Scarritt has my heartiest congratulations for pulling the con through with as few hitches as there were. (And lets not forget the freeway construction outside the hotel, making a smooth exit from the freeway into the hotel parking lot near1y impossib1e )

Con workers had a chance to meet the guests before the Con itself at a special buffet held Thursday evening at the hotel. The theme was The South, and attendees were greeted at the door by hostesses wearing Antebellum-style ball gowns. Women received flowers for their hair, and the gentlemen received boutonnieres. Terry and Mark mingled, and I was impressed by the professionalism of both men. Mark was witty and charming, regaling his listeners with stories about "The Merries." Terry was eloquent, as usual. After the buffet, people adjourned to the bar, and a good time was continued by all.

Friday morning brought me to the Hospitality Suite early to help the Suite Chairperson, Sondra Denney, set up along with the other workers, we sliced and diced and did everything but make julienne fries as we fixed vegetable trays, cookie trays, banana bread trays, English muffin (of course) trays and coffee. We raided the ice machine to chill down the sodas and then prepared the room for the onslaught. Judging from the number of people in the Suite whenever I went up, it was definitely a popular hang-out.

The panels were interesting and informative. At Mark's panels, I learned that there is indeed a Robin of Sherwood movie in the works. They have backing and are looking for a distributor. Mark talked about the fans and how very nice they have been to him and to the "Robin Hood" people. He introduced us to Bert and Celia (two very good friends he just met) and regaled us with stories about his expressive eyebrows. (Seems his eyebrows, as expressive as they are, have been getting a little uppity lately, wanting to fly First Class everywhere while he flies coach, demanding stunt doubles for dangerous expressions, and the like.) However, I must confess that I was never able to make Terry Nation's talks. From all reports, I hear that they were every bit as informative and interesting as Mark's.

Destiny II hosted a number of interesting contests and games, from Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune to a Caption Contest and Masquerade Contest. All the games were well-attended and lots of fun. (My favorite caption, which, unfortunately, came in second, was for a photo of Michael Praed as Robin Hood with a flaming bow and arrow. It read, "No, a BUD light.") ORAC's own Jean Lusky walked away with First Place in the British Media category for the Masquerade (which was combined with the Cabaret to become the Federation Follies) and Apryl Raitt also returned to Dallas with a ribbon or two. (BUT - will there ever be Gravity Surges at an ORAC meeting, Apryl? Inquiring minds want to know...)

Many interesting British programs were shown in the Video Rooms, with Houston people digging into their private collections as well as a representative from ITV contributing several shows. Sapphire and Steel had several converts that week-end. Of course, the Blake's 7 episodes were well-attended. [And special thanks to the people from the Robin of Sherwood North American Branch (ROSNAB) for bringing the Robin of Sherwood blooper tapes They were wonderful.]

Although I was unable to attend any of Terry Nation's panels during the convention, I was fortunate enough to be picked to sit with him at his brunch table on Sunday. My initial impressions of the man as an articulate, intelligent man were confirmed, and we talked at great length about the current state of artificial intelligence, public television and the differences between the British and American judicial system (Animagic has contracted with Mr Nation to bring him as a guest for this summer's Star One. I heartily recommend that everyone attend each and every panel he is on. If he is as interesting on a panel as he was at that brunch, no one will be disappointed.)

DESTINY II was a small convention, under 300 people, but it appeared to be well-liked and received. Almost everyone I spoke with enjoyed themselves and had a good time. For some, the convention started slowly; for others, it ended slowly. It's all a matter of perspective and expectations. Personally, I had a great time.

I have just learned that there will be no DESTINY III, but several key members ARE putting on a con they have named REBELLION I. It should be great. [1]

The weekend of Destiny 2 in Houston was spent with grey skies spouting intermittent drizzle, but no one seemed to mind. They all seemed quite content to stay in the hotel and enjoy themselves. Scheduled for March 25-27, 1988, we expected to have Paul Darrow and Michael Keating as our guests, but both had to cancel out during the last week of February, so we were scrambling to provide guests that our attendees would find interesting and fun. Terry Nation and Mark Ryan more than filled the bill. They both agreed to step in at the last minute, and none of the fans seemed disappointed. Terry Nation is well known and admired by everyone, but Mark Ryan was anew face to most Houston fans. 'Robin of Sherwood' was only carried on Showtime, a cable channel that not everyone has, and it has been a few years since it had been on. But before he left he had made many, many new fans with his charm and wonderful sense of humour. The daytime hours on Friday and Saturday were taken up with the usual panels and autograph sessions with the guests. We tried to mix it up abit and have something for everyone, not just the Blake's 7fans, so there were panels on Doctor Who, Robin of Sherwood, Little Known Fandoms, Fan Fiction, and even an Avon Insult contest and Vogon Poetry contest. We planned the evenings for everyone to let their hair down and get a little strange. On Friday, we held the SF versions of the game shows 'Jeopardy' and 'Family Feud' which we renamed 'Fandom Feud.' They were great ice-breakers, as complete strangers got together to form teams to compete. The games were such a success we plan to do them again next year. Saturday night was the combined costume contest and cabaret which we called 'The Federation Follies', We had sketches and costumes that covered the spectrum, including the 'Wicked Wenches of Wickham' singers, a silver-haired Soolin giving us the 'real' story of Xenon base, and yours truly in a costume modeled after Paul Darrow's in a Hammer House of Horror story called 'The Guardian of the Abyss.' I called myself 'The Abyssal Guardian' and my companion/stand-in for 'Corunzun' (that's my best guess as to how that name is spelled) was a rubber chicken. The fan favourite was Houston's own James Doyle (our Captain Video who ran our video room operation) as Paul Darrow doing 'The King Of Rock and Roll.' As most everyone knows, Paul Darrow had to cancel out on our convention because he got the part of Elvis in the play 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' James called his little skit 'Are You Tone-Deaf Tonight?' Mark Ryan said later that James had Paul's speech patterns down perfectly when he intoned in his most serious Avonish tones 'It', ... two... for ... the show' and then stopped to count on his fingers what came next. When he left the stage, one member of the audience ran up the aisle after him waving her room key frantically shouting 'Elvis, Elvis!' It was hysterical.

Sunday was the brunch, art auction, awarding of contest prizes a»d closing ceremonies, by then, everyone was exhausted, but everyone I talked to before they left said they had a good time. We hoped so. We wanted our convention to be something the fans could participate in, not just sit and watch. For the most part, I think we succeeded. [2]


  1. ^ from Tarriel Cell #3 (June 1988)
  2. ^ from Oracle #17