Let me preface this by saying that I am an academic, a professional student, and tend to approach all things with a critical eye and a desire to categorize and understand what I enjoy and participate in. Probably because I’m a music theorist. (As one of my supervisors likes to say, I’m more of a lumper than a splitter.)
Now that I have three Gallifrey One conventions under my belt, I’m beginning to notice a few things. Like how even though it is one giant convention, it really does seem like two conventions going at once.
As promised, here is the recording of Friday’s “More Magical Moments of Doctor Who Music” panel at this year’s Gallifrey One convention.
Here’s the abstract:
At our 2011 convention we focused on the unique and memorable music Murray Gold has contributed to the series since its return in 2005, but the rich history of Doctor Who music goes back nearly fifty years. We return to the joys of Doctor Who music as we open up the discussion to encompass the classic series, the most memorable pieces and themes it has brought us from 1963 to 2012.
Here’s a fancy picture of me:
Photo by RCIN Photography
And here’s the panel:
Special thanks goes out to Chip the Two Minute Time Lord for lending me his recording equipment yet again this year to record the panel. And thanks to my fantastic panelists CJ, Michaela, and Ramie! We’re quite a team. And a very sincere thank you to everyone who attended the panel, to all the kind words and remarks from attendees afterwards, and to Shaun Lyon and Gallifrey One for letting us talk about music again! Now to plot what to talk about next year …
Another Gallifrey One convention has come and gone. This was my third; as soon as you go once it’s hard to miss a year. As Gally approached, and the hype reached its height the weekend before the con was to take place, I got news that my dad’s wife was unresponsive in the hospital. While other people were planning panels, trading numbers, and packing costume pieces I was stressed out of my mind over her well-being. And on Tuesday, when people were on their way to the con and preparing for a weekend of nerdery and hangouts I got the news that she had passed away. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are a bit of a blur for me. I’ve never dealt with the death of a close family member in my adult life. And I am still filled with an incredible sense of guilt that I attended this big Doctor Who convention while my father was burying his wife, my step-mother, a friend of the family longer than I’ve been alive.
I found myself sitting quietly in the lobby for most of the weekend, when I wasn’t on a panel or sitting half-attentively in someone else’s. Chip‘s moving account on the power and family of Gally really got to me, because part of my own family had left us. And I’m still not entirely sure how I’m coping with it all. The stress of preparing for a panel in my research area (the music of Doctor Who), the game-face required when in constant contact with friends (and strangers) non-stop for four days, the constant buzz and noise of people who were committed to the experience while I felt like my mind and heart were in two places at once …
Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on the negative. But I’m having trouble feeling like Gally Was The Best Ever this year. Part of it may also be that my panel was on Friday, so I feel like my involvement ended early and the rest of the weekend was me killing time until I headed home. Not the most positive outlook, I know. But life has been weird lately.
I did really enjoy a few moments of the convention, like the “Doctor Who in the 60s” panel. William Russell! He was Doctor Who‘s first leading man. And this was his first Gallifrey One convention. He seemed so happy and had so many great stories. Toby Haynes was an absolute delight. Paul McGann is wee and adorable. People seemed to enjoy the music panel (that I’ll be posting this week here) though I feel like I stole the mic most of the time. The Inspector Spacetime panel was a real highlight for me; probably the only time of the weekend that I really had fun, laughed heartily, and enjoyed every second.
You can take a look at the pictures I took on my flickr account. Stay tuned for an audio recording in the coming days here on my blog. And I promise to be more chipper next year.
After the amazing Wee Beastie revelation of the Costumers Reception Panel we all headed to the main hall for the Opening Ceremonies. The ceremony was simple and to-the-point. Shaun Lyon, the organizer, came out to introduce the many guests of honor. And may I say, the lineup this year was absolutely incredible. Katy Manning, Tommy Knight, Georgia Moffett, Graeme Harper, Louise Page, Deborah Watling, Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, John Levene, Bob Baker, Andrew Hayden-Smith, Nicholas Briggs, Phil Ford, John Fay, Colin Teague, Alice Troughton, Rob Shearman, Paul Cornell, Gary Russell … and oh so many more. Shaun welcomed quite a few of them on stage, letting the fans see what they looked like in real life (or IRL, though I’m not cool enough to use internet acronyms and not sound totally lame), and giving us all an opportunity to welcome them for coming.
After some descriptions of what was going on, we were treated to some fantastic video hellos from well-known members of the DW family. Shaun was vague about the first one, but I totally nailed it! The conversation went something like this:
Me: I wonder who it is?
Iko: Well it wouldn’t be anyone in the new series … maybe DT?
Me (ignoring what she said, clearly): Matt Smith?
Iko: Naw … RTD?
Me: I bet it’s The Moff!
Iko: He’s way too busy for that …
Then the video came on and it was Teh Moff! What a lovely man!
Absolutely fantastic. And let me say here that I am not ashamed in how TOTALLY F’IN EXCITED I AM FOR MATT SMITH/ELEVEN/TEH MOFF. WOO!
There was also a fantastic video from Peter Davison, with guest appearances that I’m sure you’ve all heard about at this point. I don’t have video for that one, because I didn’t get the chance. Sorry! Look it up on youtube or something. It’s pretty funny!
Afterwards we did a lot of wandering around, hung out and depressurized in our room, then headed out to the Titanic Party. Which was brilliant. The room was decked out with props, toys, accessories, and posters remeniscent of the Xmas special “The Voyage of the Damned.” The hosts/hostesses were dressed in tuxes and maid dresses similar to those in the series, and there was a mock control panel made from an old touch-tablet PC.
Touch screen control
Who turned out the lights?
Guests of honor
A guest from the 51st century
Arthur Dent stopped by
If you don’t know who Arthur Dent is … well … you need to go find out. And I give you a giant bracket frown.
After that, Iko and I headed over to the Casino to see what was going on. Iko grabbed some chips and sat down at a blackjack table.
Blackjack with The Master as dealer
I can’t imagine it went well, what with The Master dealing. They did confront each other afterwards …
The Master and Eleven face off
After retrieving Iko from the casino I believe we went up to our room and crashed. We were knackered. And that was only after the first day …
The Knitters were out in full-force at Gallifrey One this year. Tara Wheeler, known for her amazing Fourth Doctor scarves and her life-sized TARDIS replica, commandeered half of the Philadelphia room at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and claimed it for her TARDIS and for Ravelry.com.
Practically a 24/7 stitch 'n' bitch
As soon as the doors opened on Friday morning there was a group of knitters in the TARDIS room, helping Tara mind her TARDIS, offering to take pictures of people with said TARDIS, and showcasing amazing scarves and Doctor Who-related knittery. One brilliant knitter even shared her fantastic illusion-knit Doctor Who blanket with us. From straight-on, the scarf looks pretty much like a bunch of garter stitch stripes.
Fantastic illusion-knit Doctor Who blanket
But at an angle, you can see Cybermen, Daleks, the letters W H O, and a ?. Simply stunning.
What the illusion knitting illuded to ...
And on Saturday the proud participants of the GOTSCARF Traveling Fourth Doctor Scarf KAL got together for a picture with the finished scarf and the TARDIS:
The Scarf KAL knitters (can you find me?)
We put the scarf in the auction on Sunday, which raised $250 for charity! Go us!
Other Fourth Doctor scarves were found all over the place during Gally. I saw over a dozen different versions, though most of them were either season 12 or 15 from what I could tell. When the wonderful Mr. Javier Grillo-Marxuach (creator of The Middleman, writer/producer of the first two seasons of Lost, etc.) arrived on Friday he was sporting his own (bought, based on the tag I remember seeing on it) Fourth Doctor scarf:
Michelle/Michelf with Javier GM!
Ravelry members also at the conference got our own ribbons, which were plotted on the Who Knits? forums and brought by Nancy/tigereye:
The Ravelers of Rassilon
Our hang-out spot in the Philadelphia room was also the “official” meetup spot for the lovely gentlemen behind the Doctor Who: Podshock podcast:
Unofficial DW podcast meeting spot
James Naughton, pictured on the right above and one part of the international Podshock crew, was sporting a lovely Fourth Doctor Scarf-inspired tie which I believe was made for him by Tara:
James and his ScarfTie
We even dominated the latest episode of The Happiness Patrol, a DW podcast co-staring the aforementioned Tara Wheeler!
The Happiness Patrol, ep. 15: “Gallifrey 21″
We also got a great shoutout (a few, actually) on the Gallifrey One edition of the 2 Minute Timelord podcast:
2MTL 106: Gallifrey One Wrap-up with Shaun Lyon (TIME DILATION)
The knitting love was all around at Gally this year. And it sounds like nearly all of us will be back again next year, ready to share the DW-inspired knitting love in 2011. I’m already plotting to make a knit Eleventh Doctor bowtie …
Check back soon for part 2 of my Gallifrey One: 21 recap!