Gallifrey One

Gallifrey One: 28 Years Later - Day Three

Feb
20

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.

Gallifrey One: 28 Years Later - Day Two

Feb
19

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.

Gallifrey One: 28 Years Later - Day One

Feb
18

It's Gally time again, and the con has officially been in full swing since Thursday night. Unofficially, though, there have been folks around since at least Monday. I arrived Wednesday afternoon, but only made my way over to the Marriott Lobby (I'm staying elsewhere this year) on Thursday morning. Every year, it seems, things ramp up earlier and earlier as folks make the most of opportunities to play tourist while in town.

On Friday, the non-con story of the day was rain. The local news seemed to be making it out to be fairly apocalyptic—and to be fair, in some parts of the region there have been several inches since the storm broke—but near LAX, and for a Midwesterner, the rain seemed steady but light. I was fortunate enough to make it to the Marriott before the rain started, and I was extremely glad not to be out in it once the wind picked up.

I thus spent a couple of hours in the Lobby chatting with random folks until the con's opening salvo: the Radio Free Skaro live episode. I sat through the first two sections (interviews with Paul McGann and with Philip Hinchcliffe and Roger Murray-Leach, respectively) before making a couple of passes around the Dealers' Room to ogle swag and grab some autographs.

Gallifrey One - Station 27: Day Three

Feb
15

It's interesting how unique a character each of the three days of Gally has, and how consistent those characters are from year to year. For me, at least, Friday is fairly giddy, with a "pinch me; I can't believe how much awesome there is, and it's only just starting!" vibe. Saturday is the super busy con-in-full-swing day that never seems to slow down. Then there's Sunday, which always suffers a vague pall of sadness somewhere in that mental space between denial and acceptance as everyone tries to squeeze all possible awesomeness out of the last of our time together.

As the day marches inexorably toward Closing Ceremonies, the harsh reality of another ending becomes ever more undeniable and friends cling together or seek each other out, having somehow missed each other the rest of the weekend. So as I sit in the unusually empty lobby on Monday morning, I look back on Day Three with a combination of melancholy and gratitude for more great experiences.

My Sunday on the con floor started in the audience of an interview panel with Sir John Hurt. There were several memorable moments, including his answer to an audience question about whether he'd ever, shall we say, taken anything home from the set that he wasn't strictly supposed to take. He said that after the first Harry Potter movie (in which he played Olivander the wand maker from Diagon Alley), he brought home four wands for his two sons and a couple of nephews. Then he told us that people sometimes bring their wands in boxes to him to be signed and "I remember making every one of them."

If that comment didn't break a crossover fandom, the line readings that the moderator asked him to do broke those of us who love Hurt as the War Doctor. He read a piece of Tom Baker's famous speech from Genesis of the Daleks (the "could you then kill that child" part), the bit at the end of Planet of the Daleks when Pertwee's Doctor warns Taron and the other Thals not to glorify war (complete with audience participant as Taron; "you just acted with Sir John Hurt!"), and Capaldi's epic speech from The Zygon Inversion. To end the panel, though, there was only one possible choice—and let me tell you, Sir John Hurt delivering Hartnell's "I will come back" speech to Susan was nothing short of electric. I still don't know how I managed to keep from weeping openly.

Gallifrey One - Station 27: Day Two

Feb
14

Saturday at Gally always feels most hectic, though not in a frenetic way. The stress, at least for me, tends to come from the fact that there's always awesomeness available than it's ever possible for a single person to partake in (though I'll admit I've seen a few folks with time turners...). On the up side, programming never begins first thing in the morning. For some attendees, that means they have time recover a little from the previous night's hangover; for me, it means time to blog.

So after getting my Day One recap finished and posted, I had plenty of time to laze about our hotel room and get dressed in my cosplay for the day before my first event. That happened to be the second of my two panels. Just as my first one, "Ninth Symphony" (a review of Series Nine) proved to be a fascinating discussion with lots of input from both the panelists and audience members.

From there, I headed straight to the Verity! meetup where they were giving away Verity! tumblers, candy, and ribbons (each Verity had her own color). Someone even brought a cake to share (including the inscription "Because cake should be a business expense"). Everyone, fans and podcasters alike, was lovely, and I was sad to duck out early.

However, because I am still at the stage in my fandom where I like to collect autographs and have the occasional photo, my scheduled demanded that I spend some time in the following hours standing in lines to acquire these goodies. Because it is the way of these things, the photos were running a little late. I ended up missing a panel I'd wanted to see, but the need to roll with scheduling changes is part of con life.

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