Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Gallifrey One Postgame Show, Part One: Learning the Ropes

Cosplaying as Femme!Five and stepping out of the TARDIS. Gallifrey One - I have arrived.
I started a blog post an hour after I got home from the airport yesterday - and it just kept going and going and going and it was then I realized that I needed to split this up.

What can I honestly say about Gallifrey One?  Well, I started crying during the Traveling the Vortex "Say Goodbye to Gallifrey" update podcast.  Now, if you don't know, I'm a sentimental dope by nature and cry easily at various things.  And, apparently, I can now add the ending of a fantastic convention to the list of things that make me cry (it's a long list).  But, I'm going to save the sentimentality for my third (or fourth - depending on how long I go with this) Gallifrey One recap post.  For now, I want to hit some of the highlights of my weekend -

(I'm purposely not telling everything that happened because I talked about a lot of this on Traveling the Vortex.  To be sure, there will be some repetition.  But if you want to get a more complete picture, go listen to the TtV Gally Updates: LobbyCon, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

The Classic Companions Panel. I predict that this will be the most understated panel of The 24 Hours of Gallifrey One.
But no less powerful. And I need a better camera.
Gallifrey One is sheer joy packed into one weekend.  The best instance of this happened Saturday night during the panel with the Classic Who companions plus Michael Jayston (who played the Valeyard - but we love him anyway).  We talked about that panel on the podcast, but it was a powerful moment - several powerful moments, really.  But it was at the end when the audience gave the stars a standing ovation - for being there to be the companions and give us this show that we all love so very, very, very much.  But then, the stars all stood up as well and applauded us, the fans, for being loyal and coming to see them.  There was a lot of love and admiration and friendship in that room.  And it makes sense the more I think of it.  Doctor Who is the little show that could.  It came into some pretty heavy opposition back in the day - I can't imagine working on a show that you enjoyed doing, but the Powers That Be were bound and determined to get you off the air.  Even the public seemed to write you off at the time and the fans more or less had to go underground (so to speak).  But here it is in 2013 and there is a room full of people who've been coming to see you, ask for your autograph, shake your hand - and are even dressing up as your character - how amazing is that?  As a fan, I was humbled by these stars' attitudes towards us.  We all have a deep love for this show - even while we're being silly with Paradox Apples and Tiki Daleks and Sylvester McCoy popping the bubble-wrap on a Zoe cosplay (I didn't see that firsthand for myself, but I heard about it and from what I did see of Sylvester over the course of the weekend, I am not surprised).

- The live director's commentary of "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" with Saul Metzstein - This was an episode that I didn't really like at first, but I think I have some new perspective on it since then and this commentary certainly helped.  He even acknowledged that some fans were upset about the Doctor seeming to kill someone  What was funny was when Metzstein was talking about CGI vs. puppets and he dared us to find the puppet pterodon chasing the Doctor, Rory and Brian in the hydro-engines (the whole sequence went like this: "That's pretend... that's pretend... pretend... pretend... pretend... PUPPET!" We all laughed).

- Freema Agyeman on Sunday morning - So wonderful, so happy to be there, so amazed that so many people showed up for her second panel. And props to the audience for asking smart questions. I can't remember exactly what they asked, but I just remembered thinking that Doctor Who fans ask some really great questions of the guests (unlike some of the cringeworthy stuff that makes it into the Comic Con YouTube videos - guys, you're making us look bad!)

- The North American premiere of "Galaxy 4: Airlock" - I mentioned this on Twitter, but I loved watching an actual episode of Doctor Who with a huge room full of Whovians.  There was a smaller viewing room showing Doctor Who throughout the weekend, but it seemed silly to sit in a room watching TV while the convention was going on (sort of a strange thought, but there you are).  But the Galaxy 4 showing was different. It was in the main ballroom immediately after Opening Ceremonies, first of all.  Plus, this was one of the lost episodes that was found last... April, I want to say (nope, sorry - it was a year ago last November), so that makes it an even bigger deal.  I had seen a reconstruction of Galaxy 4 once. I liked it well-enough (for a recon, anyway) but seeing it as an actual episode was great! In this one short part, Vicki kicks ass, the Doctor snarks and Steven gets captured by a bunch of Amazon-type warrior women (oh, I feel so sorry for Steven). Maybe now that an episode exists, someone will make a better recon of it.  But if not, it was still cool to be part of the audience that got to see it at Gallifrey.

This was the line for Gallifrey 101, which is a panel for newcomers to the con. It went out the door and wound around the driveway of the hotel. Just to give you an idea of how many people were there (LineCon - I'm telling you!)
- I got in the autograph line for Sylvester McCoy pretty early on Saturday, so I was one of the first to see him.  But before the line officially opened, I met a lady who was at the convention with her 10- or 11-year-old nephew.  I was so impressed with this kid (and his aunt, let's be honest) - his favorite Doctor is McCoy and he was pleased as punch to meet him.  I talked with his aunt for a little bit, just that I was impressed that her nephew liked one of the Classic Doctors so much.  The kid had started with the new series, but he'd branched out into Classic Who and latched onto Seven.  And Sylvester was so cool with this kid  Really, I enjoyed talking to a lot of people when I was in line for various things.  Over and over, the Gallifrey One organizers kept asking for patience with the lines and whatnot, but I did not mind waiting at all.  Mostly because I could talk to people about Doctor Who and we were all on the same page.  We could talk about our favorites, our not-so-favorites and just have some wonderful conversation.  It's was like LobbyCon, but with less booze (maybe we should call it LineCon or something).

My First Photo Bomb - Nicholas Briggs was such a great guy
- Speaking of LobbyCon - THAT was a new experience.  It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but I was content to sit in the lobby and just watch everyone else interact for a little while.  I wore my Fifth Doctor hat on the plane because I didn't want it to get smashed in my luggage and I ended up keeping it on through LobbyCon and that became probably the best idea I had the entire weekend.  People came up to compliment me on it and ask where I got it/how I made it (bought a light straw Panama hat at Wal-Mart and made a new hatband with fabric from Spoonflower, if you're curious).  It was a great icebreaker!  I got to talk with so many people - and I got a picture with Nicholas Briggs while he was eating dinner more or less on a dare.  I met Sara and Sarah from Texas earlier and told them I wanted to get pictures with the guests, but I was still a bit too chicken to do it on my own.  Later when they were in the bar, they got me to come over and helped me get the picture. Nick was a great guy to do it too. He didn't act like I was bugging him at all - plus, I wanted to tell him how much I loved Big Finish as well as his work as the voice of the Daleks and he seemed genuinely touched that I would say something so nice (even though I'm sure he'd heard it before - but it's good to hear that people love you for your work, no matter how many times you hear it).

Sara and Sarah from Texas. I met them at LobbyCon and they were so great!
I need to find them on Facebook or something.
- I've got to talk about the time I spent with Shaun and Glenn and Mel.  First off, I met up with Shaun and Mel at LobbyCon and it was seriously like meeting friends I'd known for years, even though this was the first time we'd ever met in person.  Plus, they had the Traveling the Vortex ribbons and I directly credit them with helping me get a ton of ribbons that first night (it helps to have friends who make ribbons ^_^ - I'll make my own next year, don't worry).  Then I snagged Glenn before the opening Radio Free Skaro panel.  Really, it was great of them to let me tag along (and even record podcasts with them - THAT was fun!) and we all just ran around photo-bombing people and taking each other's pictures and having a grand old time (and came thisclose to getting an interview for the podcast with... somebody and I don't want to say who in case something else works out. But I was really bummed that we couldn't get it to work out because I was over the moon when Shaun and Mel came back saying they wanted me in the interview too).  I said that Gallifrey One is like a big family reunion, but I feel like the Vortex Boys (and the Vortex Girls, as we now seem to be shaping up to become) are like my immediate family within the larger, crazier Whovian clan.  Now we just need Keith and Sarah to come next year!

Farewell to Mel and Shaun. Glenn left before we could get a group photo - but NEXT YEAR!

I have a very packed week with work and stuff and while I have so much more to talk about, it will have to wait until tomorrow (or the next day). Stay tuned for further Gally recaps! (including autographs and cosplaying and the Dealer's Room and whatever else I can dig up in my brain)

91 Ribbons! Not bad for a newbie.

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