Don't be surprised if you are in Burton this weekend and you spot a few strange, but recognisable people including Time Lords, intergalactic soldiers and maybe even EastEnders Nick Cotton for example.

This is because science fiction convention, Em-Con is returning to the town for a second year.

Headline appearances are already confirmed from not one, but two stars from Doctor Who, the fifth doctor, Peter Davison and fellow time traveller, Colin Baker.

Taking place at Burton Market Hall on Sunday, February 25, the pair will be joined by Pirates of the Caribbean's star David Bailie, who played mute pirate cotton framed for having a talking parrot, and Nick Cotton star John Altman, among others.

The market hall will be transformed in to a snapshot of science-fiction wonder and imagination for the day.

Market stalls will sell a host of memorabilia and gifts, with visitors encouraged to don their own fancy-dress outfits to help them get into the mood and transform the market hall into a gallery of "weird and wonderful" characters.

Organiser, Lee Wallis has told the Burton Mail that he is anticipating the same number of visitors as the 1,500 who turned out for the conventions maiden event in March, 2017, will turn up.

The original Darth Vader, David Prowse with Glenn Baggaley at last year's convention
The original Darth Vader, David Prowse, with Glenn Baggaley at last year's convention

He said: "They always say that the second year is always the trickiest, so we'll have to see. But we're expecting the same sort of numbers as last year.

"We had roughly 1,500 people last year, and we're really expecting the same again this year.

"People can still buy tickets right up until Saturday night, but even if they have got one, they can turn up on the day and try to get in."

Em-Con holds similar conventions up and down the country, including an event in Worcester on April 8, at the Worcester Arena, and at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, on May 5 and May 6.

Mr Wallis oversees five or six shows each year, but said that Burton is one of his favourite places to hold them because of the impressive market hall building and the pedestrianised area surrounding it, which works really well with so many people going along

He continued: "It's really all about the venue, it's just fantastic. The market hall, you really are lucky in Burton to have it.

"It's a beautiful building. It's old and beautiful; a true Victorian building. All of the staff here are brilliant.

"And really the thing that really makes it is the people of Burton who have really embraced the convention and brought it to life."

The market hall will transformed into a sci-fi wonderland
The market hall will transformed into a sci-fi wonderland

When asked if there was much chance of a return to the town next year for a third convention, Mr Wallis responded: "Definitely. We’re already looking at a few different dates for next year."

As mentioned by Mr Wallis, tickets can be purchased online right up until the evening of Saturday, February 24 and are priced at £10 for general admission.

Under-eights can get in for £5, but must be accompanied by an adult, while youngsters aged before two can get in for free.

If you have already got your ticket, doors open from 10am, right through to 5pm.

More information can be found online at

Who will be making an appearance?

Fans of Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Red Dwarf are in for a treat, with a total of 10 guests ranging across the sci-fi landscape announced so far.

Peter Davison, the fifth doctor will be joined by Colin Baker, the actor who succeeded him in the blue telephone box, and is best known for his role as the sixth Doctor Who.

David Bailie played a mute marauder - as well as best friend of a parrot - in Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean.

David Bailie
David Bailie

Bailie, now 80, spent his early career working for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, before breaking into the world of television with roles in Doctor Who and Son of Dracula.

One of the most surprising names in the line-up is former EastEnders actor John Altman, who played the son of Albert Square stalwart Dot Cotton, 'Nasty Nick' Cotton.

Altman first appeared in the London soap drama in 1985, continuing to make brief cameos in the show until his character was killed 30 years later, in 2015.

One of the organisers for Em-Con Burton, Lee Wallis, told the Burton Mail that Altman had appeared at a number of conventions in the past and had always proved popular with fans.

Colin Baker who played the sixth Doctor
Colin Baker who played the sixth Doctor

Game of Thrones lovers are also in for a treat, with two actors making an appearance from the acclaimed television series.

Ross O'Hennessy, who portrayed the Lord of Bones, will be attending, along with Luke Barnes, who was Rast, one of the rangers in the Night's Watch, making appearances in series one, three and four of the show when he was eaten alive by a giant wolf.

There will also be a trio of stars from Red Dwarf – Chloe Annett, Norman Lovett and Mark Dexter.

Annett portrayed Kristine Kochanski in 1999 in Red Dwarf VIII and Lovett played the male incarnation of the sentient artificial intelligence on board the Red Dwarf ship in series one, two, seven, eight and 12 of the science-fiction show.

John Altman has been described as a 'curve ball' guest
John Altman has been described as a 'curve ball' guest

Dexter appeared in a 2012 episode as the brother of Arnold Rimmer, Harold.

Also recently announced, and the last currently confirmed to be attending, is Christopher Patrick Nolan, who most recently appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Nolan played one of the Rebel guards escaping from the villainous Empire with plans for a mega-weapon able to destroy whole planets at a time.

Norman Lovett, from Red Dwarf
Norman Lovett, from Red Dwarf

Em-Con 2017

The maiden Em-Con took place in the town in 2017, with more than 1,500 flocking through the doors of Burton Market Hall.

The convention, which is typically held at larger arenas like the MotorPoint in Nottingham, saw a number of traders, celebrity guests, artists and even zombies making their way to Burton.

Easily the most memorable guest last year was the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars, Dave Prowse.

Also in attendance were Danny John-Jules and Norman Lovett from Red Dwarf, Josef Altin and Annette Hannah from Game of Thrones and Michael Fielding and Dave Brown from The Mighty Boosh.

The event proved so popular that the venue was rebooked immediately following last year's event for this year's convention.