Confession #119: I Love Sharing Who With My Kids


Over the last couple of weeks, I have had the immense pleasure of binge-watching Doctor Who with two members of the Target Market™. My daughters, who became fans by watching Twelve and Bill and later fell in love with Seven and Ace, have been getting up-to-speed on the modern storyline. It's been a richly rewarding experience for me to watch them watch Who.

They liked Nine and Rose (especially Rose), and weren't so sure about this weird-looking replacement guy. Pretty soon, though, they were fully invested in Ten and Rose (especially Rose). When Doomsday rolled around, there was ugly crying—which, I have to admit, they come by naturally; that was pretty much me ten years ago, when I first saw it. RTD did his job well, ripping out their hearts. They just weren't quite ready for a new Companion.

But then they got to know Martha, and let's be honest—she's actually pretty damn awesome. Soon they were just as attached to her as they'd been to Rose (or very nearly). And when we got to Blink—well. Let's just say all of their reactions were exactly what I imagine the production team envisioned with wicked glee as they wrote (Moffat) and created (RTD) the episode.

As the Series Three finale approached, the girls got nervous. How would Martha's time with the Doctor end? They'd been burned before. One girl wanted me to tell her before we went any further; the other was in favor of a just-watch-and-see-how-it-plays-out approach (let no one ever tell you that identical twins are "the same"). I told the former in private just enough to satisfy her: after bad stuff happens, Martha chooses to stop traveling with the Doctor. Hers is the best departure (from the characters' POV) of the modern era.


Cirque du Docteur


Review of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (#152)
DVD Release Date: 05 Aug 08
Original Air Date: 14 Dec 1988 - 04 Jan 1989
Doctors/Companions: Seven, Ace
Stars: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred
Preceding Story: Silver Nemesis (Seven, Ace)
Succeeding Story: Battlefield (Seven, Ace, the Brigadier)

Usually in mid- to late February, I post a recap of my entire Gally experience for the year, complete with photos. This year I didn't have much in the way of shareable pictures, though, and I didn't want to let February slip away without including a monthly review.

It seemed appropriate, therefore, that I compromise by giving a nod to Gallifrey One 2018 by reviewing a serial that was relevant to the con. Since many of the cast and crew of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (TGSitG) were guests at Gally this year (including Sylvester McCoy [Seventh Doctor], Sophie Aldred [Ace], Jessica Martin [Mags], Dee Sadler [Flowerchild], Adrew Cartmel [script editor], Stephen Wyatt [writer], and Mark Ayers [composer]), it seemed a perfect choice.

I don't actually remember when I last watched TGSitG, but it has definitely been a number of years—enough so that my perspective on the setting seems to have changed significantly. I am fortunate to live in an area that has a circus school, and I've seen the students there perform some amazing feats over the last several years (including my own kids), so something that stuck out like a sore thumb this time around that I seem to have glossed over before is the nature of the "circus skills" the members of the Psychic Circus possess.

Bellboy tells Ace at one point that all the circus members had their own specialities, and that his was creating and repairing the robots that play such a prominent role (they are most of the background performers—clowns who tumble and ride unicycles). Flowerchild's "skill" was creating kites. What the hell sort of circus has robots and kites? A psychic one, I guess, but it threw me for a loop when it was stated outright that those were the things that allowed those folks to become an integral part of the circus.


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


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


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


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.


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