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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gallifrey One - the most awesome Doctor Who convention evah!

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
From L to R Sylvester McCoy, Mark Strickson, Daphne Ashbrook, Michael Jayston, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling, Peter Purves
Last weekend, I went to the 24th Gallifrey One convention in LA and had such a fantastic time.  I didn't get to bring anyone with me (I got the ticket last minute through a transfer - they sold out earlier!) so even though I was a loner for some of the time, I didn't mind as I got to meet up with my favorite actor who played the Valeyard, Michael Jayston, and he was so lovely to meet up with me for a meal before and after his panels and interviews every day.  Really, the highlight of the convention was talking to him and hearing all his fabulous stories and insightful thoughts.  And his silliness.  I've been a huge fan of his work for several years, have been lucky enough to maintain a correspondence with him because of the fan site I run for him, and this weekend has only cemented my impression of his genuine kindness, charm and modesty.  He was just the absolute best, and much more welcoming to me than I deserve!  However I did see many of the actors and writers from the Whovian world mingle with the fans and I'm sure that all of these people are just as genuine and kind to all the convention goers.  And definitely from my interactions with them, they are very wonderful.  I'm not sure how it is at other conventions, but going to the lobby area to see Ian McNeice sitting at a table with an iPad, then turning around to see Sylvester McCoy walking with his jaunty cane or passing Freema Aygeman as she goes to the restroom - it's all pretty amazing.  And the fans are just as amazing - I loved seeing all the cosplay outfits!  There were some pretty kick-ass Weeping Angels, an amazing Clockwork woman, and people in spacesuits and Ood faces.  And life-sized Daleks and K-9 roaming the halls!

I went to a few panels - mostly the main ones, and probably the one that blew me away the most was the Q&A session with Mark Sheppard.  (Although I did miss Sylvester McCoy's interview where he went into the audience to take questions - so awesome!)  Usually the interviews are moderated - with someone to ask questions and then field questions from the audience, but Mark came up solo, and totally commanded the audience with a wonderfully down-to-earth wit and a genuine connection with the audience.  He's been in some amazingly popular shows, and I was surprised by how much he seemed to enjoy just talking to people and engaging with fans.  He's a big fanboy himself, so he understands.  There was one girl who got up to ask a question and was super nervous - and Mark made her stop and told her not to be scared, he's just a guy with a really cool job.  Which definitely wouldn't help my nerves, but it seemed to help her (and she was really brave to get up in front of that audience anyways!).  I really regret not getting his autograph or a picture, but he seems to love doing the convention, so I hope to catch him next time.  And I definitely found a new favorite actor!

I mostly saw Classic!Who stars and the handful of New!Who - Freema and Mark and the deliciously evil Madame Kovarian, Frances Barber.  But for the Community fans, I also saw the panel for the new web series of Inspector Spacetime (although not called that for legal purposes) so the "Untitled Web Series About A Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time."  (Yes, it's really called that)  It's headed by the original Inspector from Community who regenerated (with the same face) and has a new associate (aww, no Constable Reggie), and I was completely amazed by how much I loved it!  The show is so funny and has all these cool nods to Doctor Who! (The associate is named Piper Tate :D) I highly recommend watching the first part - the quality is top notch as well!  The "optic pocketknife" is probably going to be for sale some day soon, so I can't wait for that!




It was a very tiring weekend in some ways, but worth it for the time I spent with my favorite actor, and the amazing energy of the best kind of people in the world - the Whovians.  I got to talk to a few people, collect a few ribbons (it's a con thing) and see actors as just the regular people they are. If most regular people had adoring fans.  The vibe of Gallifrey One is very low-key, it's a volunteer run event, intentionally kept on a small scale, and very focused on giving fans an opportunity to engage with the actors easily.  It's such an exciting event, and I loved indulging my Whovian nerd for three whole days!

Next year has Colin Baker (the 6th Doctor) and Katy Manning as some of the main guests confirmed at the moment.  They did mention that David Tennant was asked for this year, and although he considered it, he had to turn it down because of a work conflict.  So.... next year?


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6 comments:

  1. Oh, my! That would be a blast. I have just recently gotten back into Dr. Who and love the newer version. Sounds like you had an awesome weekend.

    P. G. Shriver
    pgshriver.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh cool! I love the new series as well - although I did start watching the old series, it's the new one that really brought me into the fandom.

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  2. Sounds like you had an amazing time (and about made a billion and one people super jealous!)

    Amber
    @bookgeekspeaks

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    1. Totally the best time, and if you have the chance to go, I highly recommend it! Even without someone to go with, it's so easy to chat to people and everyone is so happy to be there! :)

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  3. This sounds so epically awesome I am so envious and the fact your had dinner with Jayston!!! Gah..awesome!

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    1. I know, I still haven't really processed how lucky I've been! I hope you guys can come out to Gallifrey One one of these days! I know you would love it!

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