Monday, February 16, 2009
ANOTHER FEBRUARY, ANOTHER GALLIFREY!
Yes, in my home February is known for lots of things: my birthday, my dad's birthday, Valentine's Day, Black History Month, plus the occasional leap year. But as important as all of these are, nothing compares to another GALLIFREY CONVENTION, LA's annual celebration of all-things-DOCTOR WHO.
This year was Gallifrey's 20th Anniversary. Twenty Years! Now my first Who Convention was as a kid in the mid-80s where I met John Pertwee (The 3rd Doctor) and Anthony Ainley (The 2nd Master), but I've been attending Gallifrey Cons ever since "Gallifrey Goes Fourth," back in 1993 and have only missed one or two since then.
This year was another great time, although due to prior commitments (family, work), I was only able to hang out for the Saturday events. As a writer, I always love listening to other writers talk about their craft. Pictured above is this year's Writer's Panel featuring (from left to right): Robert Shearman ("Dalek"), James Moran ("The Fires of Pompeii"), Paul Cornell ("Human Nature," "Family of Blood"), Keith Temple ("Planet of the Ood") and Phil Ford ("Sarah Jane Adventures"). For those wanting to know more about the craft, I always recommend checking panels like this out. Not only do they give you insight into the professional writer's life--"Write as much as you can in a variety of mediums" was this year's big piece of invaluable advice--but they're also funny as hell, because.. hey, these guys are writers.
And they're British. Which makes them even funnier.
Also amongst the many guests of honor this year was the Sixth Doctor, COLIN BAKER. That's him pictured above being interviewed by Big Finish's Jason Haigh-Ellery. Colin's always wonderful, nice, and damn entertaining. And it was great to discover what I've known for almost a decade: The Sixth Doctor (according to Haigh-Ellery himself) is now officially the most POPULAR Doctor for the BF Audio line! Again, you didn't have to tell me that. I loved the Sixth Doctor back in the Eighties, and always felt he got a bum rap. Probably because of that annoying jacket...
Oh, and if you still haven't checked out the Big Finish line of audio dramas, I highly recommend you do so. Go to the link below and start with Robert Shearman's "Jubilee" (the basis for his episode "Dalek" in Doctor Who Series One) featuring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor or "The Chimes at Midnight" featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. If you love Doctor Who, you'll love these stories!
Of course, you can't have a Doctor Who convention without companions. Thankfully Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe) were there to entertain fans. There was also a strong TORCHWOOD presence this year with Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones) dropping by. But one thing I like most about these conventions is that you never know who else you're going to run into from your other favorite genre series. As my Facebook friends have already found out, I met BUFFY'S Tara aka AMBER BENSON this weekend, and was not too proud to geek out and get an autograph! When asked what she was up to, Amber reported that she has a fantasy novel coming out at the end of this month. Can't wait to check it out...
Of course now it's Monday. The con glow is starting to fade and I'm already looking forward to next year. Word is that the Fifth Doctor, PETER DAVIDSON, will be the guest of honor. Hmmmm. Maybe he'll sign my Key2Time poster...