Sunday, March 14, 2010

Speaking of Geeky...

All right. I've been asked -- more than once, now that I think about it -- to talk about my experiences at the Doctor Who convention last month. Well, your wish, dear readers, is my command! Actually, I did talk about it a fair bit to various people, just not on this blog. So much of this is lazily cut and pasted from e-mail or elsewhere:

First of all, yes, I enjoyed myself immensely and so did not want to return to the real world at the end of it all. I have to say, going with my sister turned out to be an excellent way to do it. The few previous cons I've been to, I went sort of on my own, and no matter how friendly and lovely everyone was, or how many good conversations I had, or how many folks I knew from online, I could never quite help feeling like a teeny bit of an outsider among people who all clearly knew each other very well and were busy being delighted to see each other in the flesh again. So it was great to have someone I knew very well and was delighted to see to hang out and experience the con with. (I also got along well with her friends, who we got together with off and on, mostly for meals.)

And the con itself was awesome. It's always great to be around fans, of course, and this con in particular seemed to have a great energy, a strong sense that everybody was having fun and was just incredibly happy to be there. That includes the con organizers and everybody involved in an official capacity, too. Those guys really know how to energize a crowd, and despite a few setbacks, they also seemed to be very organized and to really know what they're doing. (I guess after 21 years, you pretty much get this stuff down.)

The programming was great, too: the only problem was that there was too much of it, and there was no way to see everything I wanted to see! Since I hadn't been to a Who con before, though, and thus hadn't had the chance to see them in person before, I made a particular point of seeing as many of the guests as possible. (By the way, I like the format they used for the guest appearances, featuring an interviewer who would let them ramble as much as they liked and ask intelligent questions when they stopped.)

Unfortunately, they were missing a couple of guests, as Peter Davison (Doctor #5) had to bow out due to work commitments after they were forced to move the date of the con, and Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) had to cancel at the last minute due to a family medical emergency. (I haven't heard how that turned out, but my good thoughts remain with her and her family.) The remaining guests were terrific, though. Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria) told funny stories about practical jokes they played on the set, and you could tell that that particular Team TARDIS really was as close-knit as they've been reported to be. They were very warm and funny and entertaining, and I'm glad they were willing to go into stories that they figured we'd probably heard a million times already, because I hadn't heard them. Georgia Moffett (Jenny) was absolutely delightful, and she and director Alice Troughton (also delightful) did a wonderful and hilariously funny live commentary on "The Doctor's Daughter" as a last minute replacement for Sarah's scheduled interview. I don't think I'm ever going to be able to watch that episode again without thinking about Moffett's fish-phobia and chuckling. Tommy Knight (Luke Smith) is absolutely and utterly adorable in person, and I just want to cuddle him and floofle his hair. John Levene (Sgt. Benton) is wonderfully charming and has an amazing ability to make the oldest, corniest jokes somehow incredibly funny. Katy Manning (Jo) is a cute little bundle of insane energy. And director Graeme Harper rambles entertainingly. (Unfortunately, I missed Nicholas Briggs (who does Dalek voices, plus Big Finish audio stuff), and only caught about half of Anneke Wills (Polly)'s interview. I also missed most of Andrew Hayden-Smith (Jake from "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel")'s talk, but did get to see a short interview with him at a podcast show taping later. He comes across as very cute and personable.)

I also did a bunch of other stuff, including attending a demo of the new Who RPG (which I then plopped down far too much money for, even though I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, still), and catching a few random episodes of the new K-9 series (which I sort of wanted to dislike, because I look at the robot dog and can't help exclaiming, "That's not K9!", but which was actually pretty cute), and doubtless much more that I'm forgetting now.

Anyway, the upshot is that it was awesome, and I'm seriously tempted to show up again next year.

Also, I have been asked to answer the following questions:

1) Which actor(s) did you have yourself photographed with or get the autograph of?

I didn't get my picture taken with anybody, although I suppose it would probably have been easy enough to do so. Especially if I'd stuck closer to my sister's friend's wife, who had their six-month-old baby in tow. That kid was like some kind of magic all-access pass. You'd have thought the guests had come there to see her!

I did go to one of the autograph sessions, and got my program guide signed by Frazer Hines, Tommy Knight, Nicholas Briggs, and a number of other folks.

2) Were the talks as interesting as their descriptions?

I didn't get to hardly any of the panel talks. As I mentioned above, I mostly wanted to see the guest interviews, and there were always too many interesting things scheduled at once. I did catch the last half of one about adapting stories from one medium to another, as my sister was interested in it, but it was mostly comics-oriented, and not as interesting to me as it might have been.

3) How many fanboys/girls were walking around with big-ass scarves wrapped around their necks? (Bonus points if they were long enough to drag on the floor and everyone kept stepping on them.)

Answer: many. But these folks know how to wear a scarf, so I never saw any tripping.

There were also lots of people in costumes, some of which were extremely impressive. (Including, of course, the inevitable Dalek, who at one point was posing for pictures with the tipsy sorority chicks who were holding some kind of get-together down the hall.) There was also a big masquerade event, which was highly entertaining.


  1. I also thought the director's roundtable we went to was interesting.

  2. Oh, yeah, I completely forgot about that! That was interesting.

  3. 1) "Team TARDIS" would make a great T-shirt.
    2) "Floofle"?
    3) One wonders the benefits of a Dalek costume. Sure, it attracts tipsy sorority chicks, but it inhibits actually doing anything with them.

  4. It sounds like a great time - and, even with the absences, some great guests.

    I know what you mean about not wanting to return to the real world at the end. It's a huge come-down after a wonderful, and usually exhausting, weekend. I'm off to Eastercon here in a few weeks, and I think that's going to be the same...

  5. Captain C: 1) It kind of would.

    2) Yes. Floofle. It's a perfectly cromulent word.

    3) *refrains from making indelicate remarks about Dalek plungers* :)

    Paul: I'm really glad I arranged to take an extra day off work after I got back. Though it still didn't feel like enough.

    Have a good time at Eastercon!

  6. Betty, thank you, I'm sure I will!

    I think a day off afterwards was a good idea. Actually, I try to do something similar after any time away, to get used to the idea of real life again...

  7. Same here. Especially as travel of any kind tends to really tire me out, and I always seem to have a zillion things to catch up on when I get home, even if I've only been gone a few days.