Confession #75: I'm a Bit Boggled

Feb
25

In a few months, it will once again be time for CONsole Room, the new Doctor Who convention in the Twin Cities (now in its second year). Having fallen in love with the con scene after my first Gallifrey One in 2012, I was thrilled when one cropped up local to me, and I've been trying to get some of my Gally friends to join me here for CONsole Room (because seeing them once a year is just not enough!).

Its first year seemed to go pretty smoothly, and from what I could see was well received. Since I want to see it continue to thrive, I would like to do something to contribute to its success—without getting into any con ops/volunteer roles. (Sorry; simply not one of my strengths.) When the call for panelists came, then, I was happy to respond.

What I didn't expect was to be put on all the panels I'd listed as interests.

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Gally 2015 Recap

Feb
18

I did a bad job taking my own photos this year. In fact, as I was packing up, I realized I'd never even taken my actual camera out of my bag. While I do have a few taken with my iPod, they're low quality and exceedingly sporadic. Therefore, it is only through the generosity of others that I am able to bring you a photographic recap of the 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One.

In previous years when we've done our group cosplay, we've taken the opportunity to get a photo of all of us with one of the guests. Due to the pricing changes for those photo ops, we weren't up for it this year (though now we can plan ahead for next year). So although several of us have individual shots with Barrowman (and goodness are they fun), we don't have the entire League of Doctors (our Who character/comic character mashups) with him, which is a shame, as he's been both Who and DC characters himself.

However, one of our friends (Andy Staats) had agreed to be our "official" photographer. With his kind permission, I've included a few of my favorites here. (Unless otherwise noted, all these are his; see more at flickr.) First up is the whole group of us.

We've got our Fifth Doctor/Power Girl mashup, our Poison Ivy/Amy Pond ("Poison Amy"), our Harley Quinn/Fourth Doctor, our Loki/Eleventh Doctor ("Elevki"), our River Song/Catwoman, and our Eighth Doctor/Thor ("DocThor," which is me).

Of course, then we had to have some fun with posing. Most of the ones I was in involved messing with Sonic Mjolnir:

The 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One: Day Three

Feb
16

There is a sudden, subtle melancholy to a Gally Sunday. Everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's the train barreling down on us.

Most folks seem to start slowly on this last day of the con. That worked to the advantage of the poor organizers, who have had to switch schedules around due to Alex Kingston's absence. So instead of the Program A lineup beginning with Barrowman at 10am and Kingston going on at noon, with a live commentary in between, they screened Last Christmas at 10am and had Barrowman start at noon.

My day on the con floor started at 11am with that live commentary, which was writer Jamie Mathieson talking about his episode Mummy on the Orient Express. Episodes I really like are harder commentaries to sit through for me, because I kind of just want to watch what's happening on screen, but it was interesting to hear his comments about how the story evolved from early drafts through the finished product. My favorite story, which I actually first heard in a panel earlier in the weekend (though I doubt I'll ever tire of it), was that the cigarette case full of jelly babies was nowhere in the script—that was all Capaldi.

Although attendees were supposed to choose either the Saturday or Sunday "interview" panel for Barrowman, I doubt I was the only person who attended both (yes, yes—I'm very naughty). The problem is that there is no way in hell they would be the same, simply because John does the entire thing by taking questions from the audience and letting those take him where they will.

The 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One: Day Two

Feb
15

My Saturday was panel-rich. I jumped in right at the beginning of programming with "The Gallifrey Genderbend," a panel discussing the pros and cons of a future incarnation of the Doctor being (or at least presenting) female. There was some rich conversation, including a rapid shift near the beginning from "should it happen" to "who should be cast." Later, the panelists conducted an informal poll asking who thinks the Doctor should at some point be a woman—yes, no, or don't care. There were some hands for each option, but the solid majority voted "yes." Time will tell.

Next I sat in on the interviews of Carole Ann Ford (the Doctor's granddaughter Susan) and Wendy Padbury (Second Doctor Companion Zoë). Each of them had some fabulous stories about things besides their time on Doctor Who. Carole Ann talked about her early career in a rambling, roundabout way that included getting in a cage with a tiger at the London Zoo, among other things. Wendy talked a little about her time as an agent, including how she became Matt Smith's first agent (and got him his first job within days of first seeing him). Both are delightful people.

I took a short break to grab lunch and get Carole Ann's autograph in the dealers' room before heading to the next panel to meet some of my friends there. On my way into the dealers' room, I ran across said friends, though. One of them was still shaking from the adrenaline rush of getting her photo taken with John Barrowman. For the past three years, since she first made her 60's style TARDIS costume, she's wanted this photo, and she finally got it. I have to say, "Captain Jack" clinging to the TARDIS is among the best celebrity/fan photos I've ever seen. She had every right to be excited.

The 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One: Day One

Feb
14

Gally started full speed this year. LobbyCon was already in progress Wednesday night, and by Thursday it was insane. People had Fourth-Doctor-sized ribbon chains well before the con even began.

As for me, I had the chance to hang with the awesome local friends after I got in on Wednesday night. I'd planned to spend Thursday sitting in the lobby writing and socializing, but another pair of friends roped me into an excursion around town. So we traipsed off to the La Brea Tar Pits (equal parts fascinating and disturbing), then had lunch at Pink's Hot Dogs.

Somewhere along the way, we heard the disappointing last-minute news that Alex Kingston had to cancel her appearance, since poor weather at her current filming location (Vancouver) had pushed filming out through the weekend. I think the screams of tortured Whovians could be heard throughout LA.

By about 5pm, when we got back to the Marriott after further tourism, LobbyCon was already a massive frenzy of ribbon trading. Even though I didn't manage to connect with my ribbon supplier until about 10:30 (and therefore didn't have any to trade), I still got a couple dozen ribbons. I turned in for what was my latest night to date, and counted myself well served.

Cosplay ate up much of Friday morning. This year's group cosplay (dubbed "League of Doctors") involved mashups of Who characters and superheroes/villains. We planned to meet up right before the live Radio Free Skaro episode, but as often happens with such things, the costumes my roommates and I had chosen gave us more trouble than anticipated. Despite an early start, we were fifteen minutes late for RFS.

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