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.)

I had several breaks between events early in the day. An hour or so after the live commentary ended, the next panel I wanted to see began. It was Writing About Humanity Amidst the Extraordinary. [Panel: writers Sarah Dollard, Jamie Mathieson, David Gerrold, Jenny Colgan, Peter Anghelides, Peter Harness, Rob Shearman, Rona Munro, and Stephen Wyatt] There was a great discussion about the balance between sci-fi elements and the human element in SFF stories, and it was lovely just to hear so many writers I admire talk about their own perspectives and (to some degree) processes.

Because I'd purchased a photo op with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, I had to plan the next chunk of my day around that schedule. As a result, I missed the panel I'd first intended to see, but as one of my friends and I had already made a pact to sit in Program A for most of the afternoon so that we could have good seats for the Murray Gold concert at 6:15, we ended up in the second half of the Matt Lucas interview that had started at 2:00. He was charming and down-to-earth, and I quite liked him.

Next was one called Circus Life: The Making of "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" [Panel: Andrew Cartmel (script editor), Dee Sadler (Flower Child), Jessica Martin (Mags), Mark Ayers (composer), Mike Tucker (model unit supervisor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Stephen Wyatt (writer), Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor); moderator: Steven Schapansky]. Since Seven and Ace are my favorite Classic-era TARDIS team, it was fun to hear a little more about one of their stories. The panelists seemed all to be genuinely fond of each other, and have distinct memories of the production (which almost got canceled). It was a great show.

The following panel was more lightly attended, and we moved up the room a smidge. Titan Comics: 2018 Preview [Panel: Paul Cornell (writer), Christopher Jones (artist), Richard Dinnick (writer), Cavan Scott (writer), Chris Thompson (brand manager), George Mann (writer), Jessica Martin (writer/artist), Simon Fraser (artist); I don't remember seeing Richard Dinnick, and Jody Houser, who wasn't in the program, was there] talked about the upcoming Doctor Who comic releases. Since this isn't particularly my fandom, I took the opportunity to get some food to bring back for both my friend and myself (food trucks!). I kind of wish I'd been able to see more of the panel, but sometimes one has to care for oneself.

At 5:00 was The Making of Doctor Who: Series Ten [Panel: Sarah Dollard (writer), Jamie Mathieson (writer), Brian Minchin (executive producer), Edward Russell (former? brand assistant), Hayley Nebauer (costume designer), Lawrence Gough (director), Lindsey Alford (script executive), Peter Harness (writer), Rachel Talalay (director), Rona Munro (writer), Steven Moffat (showrunner/writer), Wayne Yip (director)]. Again, it was a fun panel giving a few more insights to the process of putting together a series from idea stage onward. Some stuff I'd heard before, but I'd happily listen to these folks talk about their work for hours.

Finally the time for the Murray Gold concert rolled around, but Gally guru Shaun Lyon came out on stage to tell us all that they needed to clear the room for setup—a big change of plan. I give the Gally crew mad props, though, because they found a way to appease those of us who'd been in the room for hours just to get good seats. They promised—on an honor system—that all of us who had been in the room at 6:00 would get our same seats back. Some people put down snacks, business cards, notebook pages with names scrawled on them to help save their spots. Others just crossed their fingers and took note of exactly where they'd been.

Amazingly, it worked. When we all filed back in more than an hour and a half later, there were our seats. Folks who had queued for the Masquerade (which was to come right after) and hadn't had a seat at 6 moved off to the sides of the room until all the previous attendees were seated again, and then filled in at the sides. I am still amazed at how smoothly it went, but it's a testament to the fans here and the Con Ops crew that it worked at all.

Then we got to see Murray. It was ... simply marvelous. It was his first convention appearance, and I think he was a bit overwhelmed by the fan reaction. We were certainly overwhelmed by his music.

The Masquerade followed right on Murray's heels, and had a tough act to follow. There were some fabulous costumes, though a very small number of entries. As always, I enjoyed seeing them, but I was exceptionally tired and had little patience for the halftime entertainment. I left and came back for the results, and barely made it through those before turning into a pumpkin and heading to bed.

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