Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Gallifrey 2007

The 18th Amendment of Gallifrey One happened last weekend. The first two photos are the guests (actors & writers) on stage during the opening ceremonies. LtoR it is Shaun Lyon (con organizer), Colin Baker, Caroline John, Geoffrey Beevers, Maggie Stables, Terry "Davros" Molloy, Scott Alan Woodward, Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg, Keith Topping, Lars Pearson, Krista Dickson, Caroline Symcox, Paul Cornell, Ben Aaronovitch, Tom MacRea, Simon Guerrier, Steven Moffatt, Gary Russell, Jason Haigh-Ellery, and David J. Howe. Hiding behind Krista Dickson might be Peter Anghelides.

The group photo at the bottom is from the Sunday morning brunch. It was nice to chat with the guests, and hearing Colin complain about having to pay $35 for an Eric Roberts picture...

This year's Gallfrey was a good one, the highest attendance ever with a lot of new attendees that discovered (or rediscovered) Doctor Who with the new series having aired for the first time in the US on SciFi last year. As usual, there were panels I'd like to have seen but didn't due to other panels or other things I wanted to do. Some of my highlights:

  • Steven Moffat and Tom MacRea - They did a panel together talking about their experiences on the second series. Steven's The Girl in the Fireplace didn't have a detailed premise from producer Russell T. Davies, just Madame De Pompadour. Or as Steven put it when he saw the plan for the second season - Cybermen, Werewolves, The Satan Pit, and he ended up with Frocks! He knew he had to put a spaceship in there otherwise the 12 year old boys wouldn't be too excited about the episode. As for Tom, his Cyberman two-parter had a few more requirements, with setting up the parallel Earth and a new origin for the cybermen (for which toys were already being designed before he wrote his script). Moffat has the "Doctor light" episode for the third series. Moffat's live commentary for his episode was a lot of fun as well. I got a chance to chat with him for a bit about his Nebula script nomination. I'm hoping the SFWA writers will vote for him and he might just make the awards ceremony to accept it.

  • Colin Baker - Colin was fun as always (between four Gallifreys, a DW Fan Club appearance in Mesa, and the 30th anniversary Chicago con, I've seen him six times now) and completely blew away the competition in the Just a Minute game show emceed by Paul Cornell.

  • Paul Cornell - Paul has been going to Gallifrey for ten years now and it was somewhat strange to see some fan girls squeeing over Paul. Between writing Dr. Who episodes, Robin Hood episodes, the Wisdom comic for Marvel (with some other Marvel titles in the works), pitching a new TV series of his own creation, and his original novels, Paul's definitely got a lot of things happening, which is good to see. Things were dampened for Paul a bit when the cricket match planned for Monday got rained out yet again. As I mentioned in my Dalek Gel post, Paul blogged about the con over the weekend about his experiences.

  • Mysterious Theatre 337 - A fun look at the Patrick Troughton episode The Krotons, done MST3K style by Steve Hill and company.

  • The Ten Doctors play by the Offstage Theatre Company - A fun romp through the history of Doctor Who on the screen and behind the scenes, adapting the basic plot of The Five Doctors. A bit long and slow at times, but still a good time, even with the fire alarm in the middle of the second act.

  • The Gallfrey committee & Staff - As always, they put in a lot of work at the con and leading up to it to make it happen. Its always nice to go to a con I'm not involved in running.

  • Meeting up with some other online people - I got a chance to chat with Jason Davis, former TV Wasteland columnist for Cinescape and Craig Byrne, who runs and Craig has been able to do some neat things recently, like visit the Smallville set and also interview Christopher Eccleston about Heroes (but he couldn't ask about Doctor Who). I also got to say hi to some of the SFTV subscribers and people like Benjamin Elliott (This Week in Doctor Who)

  • I only ended up doing one panel, The Current State of SFTV with Craig Byrne and Rhonda Krafchin. We had a good turnout considering the main room panel was one on the New Series with the TV writers and the Charity auction was going on in the adjacent room (I didn't hear how much they raised, but Tadao Tomomatsu was doing a great job as the auctioneer for close to four hours. A crew of Torchwood garbed fans helped out with displaying the auction items).

It was good to see a lot of new fans, including a Phoenix fan who recently found our local group, T.A.R.D.I.S., and was attending Gallifrey for her first time.

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