A couple of weeks ago I had the crazy idea of heading to London for the day to see the UK premiere of Whedonverse actor (who I am also proud to call friend) Jonathan Woodward’s new film, Drones. My decision to go apparently caused about six other people to purchase tickets too.

Arising at the crack of why am I awake, I set off for the 7:50 train to Leeds. I am not generally very enamoured of the folks that inhabit my town but I manged to share my journey with the vilest of Jeremy Kyle rejects one could hope to meet.

Grandmother reject (all of about 30) bounced babe in arms reject, who appears to have the added misfortune of the burden of the name Miley for the rest of her life, on her knee while mother reject was encouraging said child to ‘bitch slap’ and ”headbutt”. Miley performed the actions flawlessly while giggling happily.

In contrast, on the Leeds to London train I met a lovely couple who were heading to Bruges for their silver wedding anniversary. We chatted the whole trip away.

On arrival at Kings Cross I was rather surprised and confused to find Ash waiting for me. Mainly because I was expecting Grant and Fiona, who were actually waiting at St Pancras, with Syriah.

From there we headed to the cinema to pick up our tickets and then to lunch where we were joined by Connie and Emma. We lounged and chatted until it was time to go back to the cinema an meet up with Ben and and the rest of the crew.

Things were running a little late and there was more hanging until Jonathan flurried in with hugs all around.

The theatre itself was plush and packed. Lovely, comfy, roomy chairs and I had a great seat with a centre view. I was surprised at how many faces I didn’t recognize. The film, which was directed by Amber Benson and Adam Busch, and written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, was a sell out and appeared to have a good non fanbase turnout which was awesome.

Drones, with the tagline ‘Close Encounters of the Office Kind’, is described as ‘The Office’ meets ‘Third Rock From The Sun’, and is delightfully quirky, at times cringingly awkward, with plenty of laugh out loud funny moments. It was written in a week with the mandate, ‘we have an office space in Louisiana to film in, write something set in an office that can be filmed in two weeks on a budget of peanuts and jelly beans’. Most of the parts were written with the specific actors in mind, which I always find helps with the naturalness of the performances and the flow of the story.

Moving on to the story, without giving too much away, this revolves around office drone Brian (Woodward) who is perfectly happy with his corporate office droning life, until he accidentally discovers that others in the office, including his best friend Clark (Samm Levine), are perhaps not all at they appear to be and have their own otherworldly agendas.

Drones certainly makes for easy and enjoyable viewing and the cast, particularly Woodward and Angela Bettis (who plays love interest Amy), have great comedy timing and some rather brilliant reaction shots, one of which, Jonathan explained, was achieved by seeing how long he could hold his breath, a tactic which backfired when cast member, Marc Evan Jackson (who plays Ian), took longer than expected over the scene.

It’s certainly great to see Jonathan in a starring role as it’s often easy to forget he is an actor when one sees him so often off the screen. Maybe now he is based in the UK, it’s time we saw him on the stage, too.

The film was received very well and got a nice round of applause at the end and then it was time for a brief Q&A, the highlight of which was an unenlightened member of the audience who asked exactly what Joss Whedon projects Jonathan had worked on. The spurt of hilarity that came from a large section of the audience surely sent him as far down in his chair as he could manage (in case you don’t know too he played Holden in the Buffy season seven episode ‘Conversations With Dead People’, Tracey in the Firefly episode ‘The Message’ and Knox in the season four finale of Angel, ‘Home’ and then recurring through Season Five).

After the Q&A session we hung back and chatted with Jonathan for a little while and then left him to chat up the guys from Blizzard with a view to getting his hands on the latest Diablo.

Our group then split, some heading home and the hardcore five heading back to the pub.

All in all an amazing day and well worth the day trip to London. Now to pack for my next trip down on er… Wednesday.

For more information on Drones including a trailer and details of future screenings go to www.dronesmovie.com.

You can find Amber Benson on Twitter @Amber_Benson, Adam Busch @adambusch and Jonathan Woodward at @jonnywallet.

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