Gallifrey One

Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day Three


I always get surprised by how fast Gally is over on Sunday. Objectively, it's a shorter day, ending after Closing Ceremonies around 7pm instead of programming running into late night hours. But even knowing that and that LobbyCon will still be in full swing into the wee hours like every other night, I can never quite believe it's time to say goodbye to my friends for another year.

The day started off great, though, as I finally had the chance to spend time with my local friends. We had a lovely time together, and they got me back in plenty of time to go grab my badge and such and head down to the con floor.

Aside from snagging my last couple of autographs, my first event was a panel called Stories from the American Trenches [Panel: Ken Deep, Jan Fennick, Steven Warren Hill, Jennifer Adams Kelley, Shaun Lyon, Robert Warnock]. It covered both the production and contents of the book Red White and Who: The Story of Doctor Who in America. The main goal of the work is (I would say) to collect, clarify, and preserve stories and facts about fandom in the US, from the beginning until 2017. The result is a 700-page tome filled with treasures.

Although when specific experiences were discussed, they were pretty much those of the panelists and thus primarily from the perspective of those who came to the show as children in the Classic era, there is more in the book. I found myself having an odd reaction to the conversation, and realizing I fit in a really weird in-between space. I am of an age with those panelists, and have an innate cultural understanding of things like the public television pledge drives that were such a big part of American fandom in the 1980s—but my own fandom is only ten years old. That made for something of a surreal panel.

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.)

Gallifrey One: The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One - Day One


It's feels really strange to be posting my first update when the con is effectively half over already, and yet here we are. Though Gally "officially" opens on Friday morning, there's an organized event on Thursday evening (the ice cream social and dance), and LobbyCon begins well before that.

As I understand it, the term LobbyCon began as a description for the pre-con socializing in the lobby on the Thursday night before Gally. Over the years, though, as people arrive earlier and earlier (some folks get in on Monday or even Sunday), LobbyCon has expanded to fill the available space. There was already plenty of LobbyCon'ing happening on Wednesday night (my first night this year), and I imagine there was even some on at least Tuesday.

As for ribbon trading, that began in earnest this year in the early afternoon on Thursday, an hour or two before registration even opened for folks to pick up their badges. I didn't bother to attach them all to my badge that night, starting fresh on Friday, and I literally have a stack of ribbons 2-3 inches thick waiting for attention. The ribbon game is still strong.

However, I think I can safely say this year that a trend I had started to notice in the last couple years is now a full-blown Thing: ribbons aren't the only tradables changing hands. Aside from my friend's fabulous and ever-popular commemorative coins, people are making their own knitted ribbon/badge bling, tiny bowties, or buttons. So. Many. Buttons.

Bon Voyage: It's Gally Time!


This morning I'm off at a ridiculous time of day (at "the sparrow's fart," as some Brits and Aussies might say) to haul my carcass across the continent to Los Angeles for my annual pilgrimage to Gallifrey One. Every year, though there are obviously common elements, the con is its own unique experience. For me, at least, every single one (this will be my seventh!) has been wonderful.

I haven't been to a whole lot of cons—there've been three, maybe four different venues I've attended since my first-ever con at Gally 2012—so I don't have an extensive base from which to draw comparison. But there's something special about Gally that I've not yet found anywhere else. It has an energy about it, a warmly friendly, familial atmosphere that makes one—makes me—feel instantly at home.

Aside from seeing all my many friends (which is, let's be real, the most important part of Gally for me now, and has been since my second, or possibly third, year), there are several things I'm especially looking forward to this year:

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.


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