Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day Three

Feb
19

I always get surprised by how fast Gally is over on Sunday. Objectively, it's a shorter day, ending after Closing Ceremonies around 7pm instead of programming running into late night hours. But even knowing that and that LobbyCon will still be in full swing into the wee hours like every other night, I can never quite believe it's time to say goodbye to my friends for another year.

The day started off great, though, as I finally had the chance to spend time with my local friends. We had a lovely time together, and they got me back in plenty of time to go grab my badge and such and head down to the con floor.

Aside from snagging my last couple of autographs, my first event was a panel called Stories from the American Trenches [Panel: Ken Deep, Jan Fennick, Steven Warren Hill, Jennifer Adams Kelley, Shaun Lyon, Robert Warnock]. It covered both the production and contents of the book Red White and Who: The Story of Doctor Who in America. The main goal of the work is (I would say) to collect, clarify, and preserve stories and facts about fandom in the US, from the beginning until 2017. The result is a 700-page tome filled with treasures.

Although when specific experiences were discussed, they were pretty much those of the panelists and thus primarily from the perspective of those who came to the show as children in the Classic era, there is more in the book. I found myself having an odd reaction to the conversation, and realizing I fit in a really weird in-between space. I am of an age with those panelists, and have an innate cultural understanding of things like the public television pledge drives that were such a big part of American fandom in the 1980s—but my own fandom is only ten years old. That made for something of a surreal panel.

Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day Two

Feb
18

For a day spent primarily sitting in one room, my Saturday at Gally was really tiring.

It started in Program A with the live commentary on Twice Upon a Time, the most recent Christmas special and Capaldi's final episode. The guests were Stephen Moffat (showrunner/writer), David Bradley (First Doctor), and Brian Minchin (executive producer). It's always as fascinating to hear the kind of personality each guest presents as the behind-the-scenes tidbits. Moffat is certainly funny and personable, though his opinions also shine through (which can be good or bad, depending on to what degree one agrees with them).

One of the highlights for me, though, was the roaring cheer that encompassed the room when Jodie Whittaker appeared on screen. There's been a lot of love for her here this year (so much cosplay!), and it's been wonderful to see. I can hardly wait for next year, when we've had some actual episodes upon which the cosplayers can build their ideas.

Speaking of cosplay, Saturday was the day for my costume. I finally put together my Seventh Doctor costume, complete with big, flowy pants; a nice, soft cardigan; custom brogues; and a hatband ribbon on the end of my hair fork. It got me noticed by Andrew Cartmel (script editor from the McCoy era) on my way through the Dealers Room. (The man's got a good sales game; I bought his book, even though I wasn't in the market.)

Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day One

Feb
17

It's feels really strange to be posting my first update when the con is effectively half over already, and yet here we are. Though Gally "officially" opens on Friday morning, there's an organized event on Thursday evening (the ice cream social and dance), and LobbyCon begins well before that.

As I understand it, the term LobbyCon began as a description for the pre-con socializing in the lobby on the Thursday night before Gally. Over the years, though, as people arrive earlier and earlier (some folks get in on Monday or even Sunday), LobbyCon has expanded to fill the available space. There was already plenty of LobbyCon'ing happening on Wednesday night (my first night this year), and I imagine there was even some on at least Tuesday.

As for ribbon trading, that began in earnest this year in the early afternoon on Thursday, an hour or two before registration even opened for folks to pick up their badges. I didn't bother to attach them all to my badge that night, starting fresh on Friday, and I literally have a stack of ribbons 2-3 inches thick waiting for attention. The ribbon game is still strong.

However, I think I can safely say this year that a trend I had started to notice in the last couple years is now a full-blown Thing: ribbons aren't the only tradables changing hands. Aside from my friend's fabulous and ever-popular commemorative coins, people are making their own knitted ribbon/badge bling, tiny bowties, or buttons. So. Many. Buttons.

Bon Voyage: It's Gally Time!

Feb
14

This morning I'm off at a ridiculous time of day (at "the sparrow's fart," as some Brits and Aussies might say) to haul my carcass across the continent to Los Angeles for my annual pilgrimage to Gallifrey One. Every year, though there are obviously common elements, the con is its own unique experience. For me, at least, every single one (this will be my seventh!) has been wonderful.

I haven't been to a whole lot of cons—there've been three, maybe four different venues I've attended since my first-ever con at Gally 2012—so I don't have an extensive base from which to draw comparison. But there's something special about Gally that I've not yet found anywhere else. It has an energy about it, a warmly friendly, familial atmosphere that makes one—makes me—feel instantly at home.

Aside from seeing all my many friends (which is, let's be real, the most important part of Gally for me now, and has been since my second, or possibly third, year), there are several things I'm especially looking forward to this year:

Nu-View #21: Disgust & Side-Eyes

Jan
24

Love & Monsters (Series Two, Ep. 10; 2006)
Viewed 15 Jan 2018

Doctor/Companion: Ten, Rose Tyler
Stars: David Tennant, Billie Piper
Preceding Story: The Satan Pit (Ten, Rose)
Succeeding Story: Fear Her (Ten, Rose)

    It's been some three-and-a-half years since I last did one of these. Aligning four adults' schedules often enough to keep up on new episodes with the Ladies—let alone review old ones—has proven a serious challenge. We are, in fact, still in the middle of Series Ten. I'm hopeful we'll get caught up with the Christmas episode by midsummer.

    When Verity! podcast released their Love & Monsters commentary a couple weeks ago, though, I knew it was time to relaunch a new version of the NuViews. It felt like Fate, because my 11-year-old twin daughters' introduction to the modern show had paused right at that exact episode. If I could convince them to watch with me again, I could both get them back in the proverbial saddle and share their unique perspective with my readers.

    The girls were game, and so we sat down (not without trepidation on my part) to watch Elton's vlog about his encounters with the Doctor. I realized immediately that this would be a different kind of experience than watching with the Ladies. To start, H & V are still quite new to Who; they don't have a whole lot of context upon which to draw for comparison. For another, they are for the most part still simply absorbed in the story; any comments they make tend to be direct gut reactions rather than the snarky comments of jaded adults. It's refreshing, even if it means there are fewer mid-episode impressions to report.

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