Confessions

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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Confession #74: I Have a Vision

Jan
28

The last few days—since the full schedule got posted—I've been thinking ahead to this year's Gallifrey One, now a mere two(ish) weeks away. As usual, there are copious panels from which to choose; when deciding how to spend the weekend, one has to prioritize not only panels but meals, potty breaks, and time with friends. My first attempt at a tentative schedule is predictably bonkers, and I've found myself trying to decide whether or not the effort to get from panel to panel is worthwhile based on what is likely to be said (or not) in each.

There's one panel in particular that intrigues me, though probably not enough to pull me away from my usual "park myself in Program A most of Sunday" tradition. Because I won't be there to hear how the panelists approach the topic, then, I decided to share my own perspective now. So what's sparked my latest round of thinky thoughts? It's a panel called "The Missing Companion."

This panel has us looking to the future of the show. What will upcoming Companions have to offer? How will they be similar to or different from past Companions? What kinds of stories—in terms of who the Companions are and where (both geographically and philosophically) they come from—ought to be told? How would these Companions fit into how Doctor Who has been or "should" be (depending on individual visions) presented?

Not knowing any of the scheduled panelists personally (and only one or two by reputation/podcast), I have no idea what direction their discussion will take. If I were a panelist, though, I'd probably start by sharing what kinds of people I'd like to see in the TARDIS.

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Confession #73: I Think Callbacks Are Good

Jan
21

One of the delights of Doctor Who (or irritations, depending on how you feel about a particular one) is recurring characters. The tradition began decades ago, primarily out of necessity when the production team decided to take the show in a new direction and strand the Doctor on Earth. The team of humans at UNIT with whom he worked for the next several years became honorary TARDIS crew, even though most of them rarely (if ever) set foot inside the TARDIS.

To this day, Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (usually simply called "the Brigadier") is remembered fondly—so much so that his daughter Kate Stewart has followed in her father's footsteps and become a quasi-regular on the show in her own right. If Nicholas Courtney were still alive, it's a sure bet they'd be trying to find a way to get him a guest spot.

Since the show's return in 2005, others have wormed their way into fandom's collective hearts. Regardless of how you might personally feel about either of them, it's hard to deny that Capt. Jack Harkness and River Song each have a large following. River has appeared in a whole series' worth of episodes (thirteen of them) over the years, and though Jack only appeared in eleven episodes of Who, he also got three (or four, depending on how you count) series of his own show.

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Confession #72: I Don't Know What's Next

Jan
14

I recently saw a link to an article by someone in an online Who community of which I'm a member discussing his hopes for the upcoming Series Nine (which I understand began filming last week). Although I like to support other Whovians in their creative outlets, as many have supported me by reading what I write here, I will admit that I didn't click through. Why not? Well, because right now I don't have the emotional energy to spend.

I don't know whether online spaces have become more combative in recent years, or I was just blissfully naïve when I began blogging (though my money's on the latter), but it has begun to feel like expressing an opinion online is tantamount to taking one's life in one's hands. Heaven forfend that a blogger or podcaster say something that the larger community (or even a particular, vocal subset of that community) disagrees with—the torches and pitchforks won't be far behind.

Now this works both ways on any given opinion, depending on the space in question. For example, you can easily find vehement opposition to either side of the "Moffat's a misogynist / Moffat writes totally awesome strong women" debate. Similarly any of a gazillion other questions: there should be a female Doctor / the Doctor should never be a woman; Danny Pink was awesome / terrible; Nu-Who is nowhere near as good as the good ol' days / Classic Who is unwatchable; etc.

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Confession #71: I'm in Crossover Heaven

Dec
17

As an American growing up in the 70s and 80s, my exposure to Doctor Who was, to say the least, limited. Although my home state has been broadcasting the show on public television since 1974, it never even made a blip on my mental radar until I got to college—and then it was more as an indicator of which weirdos to avoid.

Star Trek, on the other hand, was regular fare.

I still remember afternoons after school parked in front of our little TV watching Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura (not to mention numerous redshirts) in action. My first specific memory is of captain and science officer in a jail with iron bars, and—I'm fairly certain—a comment about Spock's green blood (probably from the episode "Patterns of Force").

Later, when Star Trek: The Next Generation came on the scene, it was an easy sell. And just like the Whovian weirdos who met periodically in one of the dorm lounges to watch their show together (though I certainly didn't recognize the parallel at the time), my dorm floormates and I lugged one guy's TV into the floor lounge each week to watch the latest episode of ST: TNG together. The floor T-shirt that year was even based on that practice (including oft-used comments from the peanut gallery like "nice angle" and "Worf should kill them all").

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