Gallifrey One: 28 Years Later - Day Two

Saturday is traditionally the biggest day of the con, as a day that local fans don't have to take off work in order to attend, and kids are out of school. The halls are thus especially crowded with fans of all sizes in costumes that run the gamut complexity. For most of the day, I was among them reprising my TARDIS dress (at my daughters' insistence—"It matches your hair!").

Once again the first hours of the day were spent hanging out in the Lobby until the first panel at 10. Then it was time to listen to a thoughtful conversation on "Changing Critical Perspectives," about how both received fan wisdom and the process of criticism itself has evolved over the lifetime of the show. Paul Cornell, who moderated, apparently had tried to participate in this panel last year, but said panel drifted so far off course he felt he needed a do-over. I'm glad he did, because I really enjoyed the conversation.

After slipping away to get one last autograph, I returned to the same room for a panel about shows that had ended precipitously on a cliffhanger. There were plenty of passionate fans with opinions in the room, so although it wasn't my cup of tea, I'd still call it a successful panel.

A little more aimless wandering brought me eventually to the Catrin Stewart interview on the main stage. It's always fun hearing from actors I've never seen at a con before, and Catrin continued the trend of being absolutely lovely. I particularly enjoyed her stories about having to have the innuendo in her first appearance explained to her, and the discussion of how Jenny and Vastra's relationship has been received.

I had a decent gap between panels then that allowed me plenty of time for lunch and another round through the Dealers' Room. Down time is an essential part of a con, in my experience.
However one doesn't want too much free time. The "Days Gone By" panel rolled around just in time to keep me from getting bored. Anecdotes from Michael Troughton, Katy Manning, Prentis Hancock, Peter Purves, Fraser Hines, and Anneke Wills were predictably entertaining (Katy Manning is such mass of positive energy it's nigh impossible to maintain any sort of poor mood in her presence; I might even go so far as to call her aggressively cheerful). Someone even managed to make Peter swear ("F*** off!") by asking him to sing "Last Chance Saloon" (it did eventually happen, sort of).

Next came a panel on the Chibnall transition, which I'd really been looking forward to. Both panelists and audience offered some great perspectives about hopes, fears, and predictions for the coming two series (Moffat's last and Chibnall's first). Perhaps my favorite part of the panel was the discussion of how we'd like to see the next regeneration happen. The general consensus was that the "banana peel" sudden death would be better than a big arc, which we've had too much recently. My personal favorite suggestion was that Capaldi should regenerate into another white dude at the end of the Christmas special, but then in Chibnall's first episode should start to "well, actually" someone and immediately regenerate into a man of color, a white woman, or—best yet—a woman of color. "Death by Mansplaining" will forever be one of my favorite headcanon images.

The following panel was about whether the science in Doctor Who is really science, and how much does it matter if it serves the story. This was one of the panels I'd expressed an interest in serving on, so I constantly had to guard against becoming That Audience Member (you know the one—their questions are really comments and they go on for far too long). The panelists covered most of what I'd have wanted to cover anyway, so I came away satisfied if still itching to jump into more conversation myself.

When that panel ended, I was left with several unscheduled hours until the Masquerade, which allowed for a change back into civvies, dinner, and LobbyCon first. The Masquerade itself was a delight. Emcee Tony Lee was well prepared for the shouts of "Drink some water!" this year, though "Hail Hydration!" when he obliged gave him pause. The costumes themselves were absolutely top notch this year, too, from Exhibition through Master categories. And though I was disappointed not to have a game show to pass the time while the judges deliberated, Awesome City Limits, the band that performed, played really good covers of SFF themes from Who to Harry Potter to a video game medley.

I managed to stay up a little while longer for some LobbyCon, since I could join a conversation with some friends and Nicholas Pegg already in progress (we commiserated about politics). True to form, though, I turned into a pumpkin around midnight. We'll see whether or not I got enough sleep to make it through Sunday.

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