Gallifrey One: 28 Years Later - Day Three

Sundays at Gally always have their own peculiar flavor. There is still a lot to do and see, but the specter of the end of the con hangs over everything, too. At the beginning of the day, though, it's relatively easy to pretend there's another two days of the con to go.

This year I spent most of my day in Program D at the discussion panels rather than in Program A at the main stage big events and interview panels as I have often done. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the day I wanted to be in both places at once. Program A held a live commentary screening of The Waters of Mars with actual NASA scientists giving the commentary. I know I would have loved it, and been nodding along (perhaps even noticing some of the same things as they were said), and both the tweets I read and personal accounts I heard indicated it was a hoot.

Instead, though, I chose to go to the panel about diversity in Doctor Who. It's unfortunate that programming came down to a single panel encompassing every type of human diversity in a mere fifty minutes (that's hardly enough to talk about any one, let alone all of them), but it was still good to have the conversation. Interestingly, the only time casting a new Doctor came up was at the end, when it was noted that it felt like this had been the only panel of the weekend that hadn't discussed it.

I considered staying in the room for the panel on the show's music (about which I later heard good things), but as I'd finally been able to connect with someone for a lunch date, I took that opportunity instead. Thus I missed two panel slots before returning to Program D for Verity! podcast's "In Defense Of" panel. Attendees volunteered to be contestants, and submitted suggestions for horrible aspects of the show to need to defend (e.g., the Doctor sending Tegan for snacks in The Five Doctors, Peter Capaldi's hair *not* having its own fan club, or Paul McGann's wig in the TV movie). Then each of the two contestants in a given round is required to spend sixty seconds defending the indefensible (bullshitting encouraged!), and the audience gets to vote on who they think was more successful. This is always one of my favorite panels, and it did not disappoint.

Next in Program D was "Celebrating Women Creators." Although it was intended as a way to talk up our favorite female creators, the early part of the panel seemed to me to spend more time discussing whether there is a need for more aggressive recruiting or if it's a pipeline issue that is in the process of improving. Either way, it was nice to spend some time talking exclusively about women doing great work.

I skipped out to a different venue for a little while to watch the beginning of the "Is It Meglos?" game panel. The quotes were deceptively difficult to determine, and I felt glad my other panel had prevented me from volunteering to be a contestant. It was incredibly tricky!

Soon 4:00 rolled around and it was time for me to serve on my one panel of the con. "The Keys to the Kingdom" was billed as a panel on how to introduce fans of the new show to the old (and was what I had planned for), but it spent more time on the issue of gatekeeping and the differences between fans of primarily the new era and fans of primarily the Classic era. It still felt like a pretty good panel, but I can't help but wonder how many of the attendees (there were a dozen or more—pretty good for the time slot) were disappointed by the direction it took.

By this point, the con was really winding down. I made it to Program A for the second half of the interview panel with eleven women guests, moderated by Verity!'s Deb Stanish. Every one of the guests (most of whom I'd seen before) was a delight, and Deb did a great job riding herd.

Then it was time for the Year in Review (sadly shorter than usual, with only a single new episode in 2016) and the Closing Ceremonies. Those last moments always go so fast it feels unreal, and then it's all over but the shouting (or the LobbyCon'ing, as the case may be).

Although I had been concerned about attending this year without most of my close friends being there, it was definitely the right choice to go anyway. Gally is always and forever a wonderful con, and I will love it forever.

See you next year, Gally!


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