Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Gallifrey One Postgame Show - Part 4: The End of the Line

I wanted to embed this video, but embedding's been disabled. So, go to this link here and enjoy Ed Stradling's tribute to Gallifrey One "The End of the Line" (and see if you can't spot a certain somebody at the far right of the screen at 2:23 wearing her Fifth Doctor hat and taking pictures at Freema Agyeman's interview Sunday morning)

All good things must come to an end, sadly.  But before I get all verklempt and sobbing (in my defense - I am an emotional person by nature) - I have a few more things to talk about in my Gally Postgame, so bear with me.

I haven't talked much about the panels yet.  Before I went to Gally, I made a promise to myself that I would sample everything (or as much as I could).  Cosplay, panels, dealer's room, interviews - if it was at Gally, I wanted to experience it.  But when I got there, I realized that there was so much going on that I needed to be cloned or steal borrow a time machine to get it all done.  The panels are a great example of this.  Looking at the panel schedule, I saw that so many great topics would be covered and I wanted to go to all of them!

This is but a mere portion of the things I wanted to accomplish. Not shown: Autograph lines, Cosplay Hall, Pictures with the TARDIS shell and TARDIS console, Browsing the Art Show, Lunch
Well... that didn't happen.  Some were scheduled at the same time, others were during other things I wanted to do.  And there was that little matter of finding food and restroom breaks at regular intervals (Sadly, the "no eating, no peeing" thing only works for Jack Bauer).  But the panels that I did get to go to (with the possible exception of one, but it was still okay) were some very enjoyable discussions and I cam away with some new perspectives on Doctor Who that I hadn't thought of before, but are now my personal headcanon (making the Peter Cushing films part of Handy!Doctor's future continuity actually works very well in my head. That might give someone else heartburn, but I like it!)

Sunday was the day I decided to camp out in the Main Programming Hall (the Ballroom, the Interview Room, Program A - whatever you want to call it) because I hadn't really seen any of the guest interviews - not since the Radio Free Skaro show on Friday.  Those interviews - holy cow - so much fun!  My favorite had to be the one with Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling where they just reminisced about their time on Doctor Who and told stories and joked with each other (of which the Crowning Moment of Awesome/Crowing Moment of Funny I was fortunate enough to be videoing and had the good sense to keep going even after the set-up story was over and was treated with Deborah's very well-thought-out punchline).  It was brilliant watching two people who were still very good friends talk about something they still loved so very much and sharing those experiences with a few hundred of their fans and friends.

Speaking of Radio Free Skaro - this was my favorite picture that I managed to get. Sylvester McCoy realizing just how tall Chris is (yeah, he is that tall. And a super-nice guy to boot).  It was great.

The Dealer's Room: Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt. SO MANY PRETTIES!  They didn't allow pictures in the Dealer's Room, otherwise I could have shown you the complete and total joy of all that Doctor Who merchandise! (someone commented that this year's Dealer's Room didn't have as much as last year's, to which I have to say that I don't know if I could have handled last year's!)  Luckily, I had resolved to look around first before deciding on buying anything.  I didn't want to blow all my money on the first thing I saw and then find something else I wanted more and have no money for it.  I'm not really big on buying action figures, but there was a really cool '60s Dalek figure (the silver and blue ones that are my absolute favorite - for no real reason, actually) that I wanted to buy, but I thought I could find it online for cheaper (turns out I can't - not just the Dalek by itself).  I did get a couple of t-shirts, though.  And I hit up the Big Finish booth, which I would have easily given Big Finish my entire bank account if I hadn't been careful (as it was, I bought three CDs - I would have bought the Big Finish Companion book if they'd had Volume 1 there, but they sold out).  Oh! And I found this really sweet postcard from the 1980s of the Fifth Doctor! It was only a buck, but I was super-excited to find it! (I like old school, throwback stuff)  Pictures:

And a special nod to the Art Show - while not part of the Dealer's Room, there were some very nice things for purchase there as well.  That's where those fez-and-bowtie Eleven Doctors buttons came from (coming home, I realized I'd seen this particular fan art on Tumblr as part of a countdown for Series 6 - damned if I can find it again :/)  But they were cute and I needed something bright and happy after I made Shaun depressed over the buttons I got at LobbyCon that paid tribute to the Who actors we've lost in the recent past (and these were very nice too)

Tributes to Nick, Lis, Carrie and Mary *sniffle*
Speaking of Big Finish - This is somewhat unrelated, but Nicholas Briggs brought the trailer for Big Finish's 50th Anniversary Extravaganza! (they didn't use those words, I did!)  Which I share with you now - the trailer for "The Light at the End" -

Bringing It All Home -

In years past, I've heard lots of people talk about Gallifrey One.  They say it's like a big family reunion - there's so much love between the fans and the guests - it's like coming home - it's just the best little convention a Whovian could ask for.  Everyone says the same things about it.  And there were moments where I wondered if people were getting paid to say this.  From what I saw online from people who went, it looked like it was a blast and I certainly wanted to go, but I was the teensiest bit skeptical that it really was as good as everyone made it out to be.  Trust, but verify.

Well, I can verify that Gallifrey One is everything they say and more (and no money changed hands. Except in the Dealer's Room, but that's for entirely different reasons).  Even after four blog posts gushing about how great it was, I'm still not entirely sure how to describe it fully.  Before I got there, I felt a little bit like an outsider - much the way I felt when I first started watching Doctor Who.  There was an established fanbase and to intrude on that sense of family felt wrong somehow.  But even before I got to the Marriott - when I got on the shuttle from the airport - I met Gally people and I was welcomed like a long-lost friend.  Much the same as I felt soon after I really got into Doctor Who.  It was like The Greater Cosmos was saying "Here you go kid. This is what you've been looking for. This is your tribe. Go have fun."  It was a gorgeous feeling - and still is.  But it's difficult to put into words.  The entire time I was running around the Marriott, I had this voice in the back of my head going "How are you going to tell people about this?  How are you going to explain why this means so much to you?"

And the Sunday afternoon at Gally, I had my answer.  From the most unlikely of places (for me, anyway).

Sunday afternoon, I sat in on the Mark Sheppard panel.  I'm not particularly a huge fan of Mark Sheppard, though I do like his characters in Doctor Who and Firefly (the man isn't lacking for fangirls, I'll say that much).  Toward the end of his panel, he said something to the effect of being a geek and coming to conventions takes bravery.  To come and wear your fandom on your sleeve and to dress up and talk to the actors and do the things fans do takes courage.  While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm afraid I must diverge from Mr. Sheppard on one point - it does not take bravery to be a geek at a convention.  It takes bravery to be a geek in reality.

Here's what I mean about that: Coming to a Doctor Who convention, I finally feel like I can let loose and be the insane, crazy, free-spirited, Whovian - just letting myself love this show with reckless abandon because I have such an intense love for it ... and because there are 3000+ other people doing the exact same thing.  It is not hard to be a geek at a geek convention - no matter what that convention is (though San Diego ComiCon is it's own animal, which I may discuss in another post).  I can walk around in a Femme!Five cosplay and people appreciate the work and love I put into it.  They ask to take my picture - they ask me to be in their group cosplay photo - they ask how I made it and where I found the pieces.  And I ask about their costumes and they proudly share their work.  If I were to wear that costume to a work Halloween party, people would just think I was supposed to be a crazy old gardener lady (while a bunch of other girls would come in their underwear and bunny ears).  But at Gally, I can talk Who with random strangers and they get it! Standing in autograph lines or out in the hall - we can talk about our favorite Doctors and companions and stories.  We can debate canon and things we'd like to see and how we came to Who in the first place.  We all speak a common language.  With real people - face to face.  These Twitter handles and podcast voices and LiveJournal userpics and bloggers have real names and real faces and they're real friends. And it's glorious.

So, leaving Gallifrey One and leaving my new friends - yeah, I shed a few tears (okay more than a few tears, - hell, I broadcasted that to the entire internet on Gally Update 4 -_-')  But I left feeling like this was all worth it.  The weird looks I get and the dopey questions and the teasing at home - it doesn't matter.  Because there is a place where I am the most normal person in the room (where the standards of "normal" have been thrown out on their ears).  I still can't describe what that means to me, but maybe you already get it.

I still think the Two-Minute Time Lord segment from the Radio Free Skaro show at Gallifrey 2012 sums it up the best - Gallifrey is our childhood and our home:

Yup - Gallifrey is home. And I'm going back next year.

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