I know. This is late. This is insanely, abnormally, ridiculously, inexcusably late. Normally I am so good with writing blog posts like these when they still have…you know, validity.
But man, February is SUCH a busy month. Right after Gallifrey One, I had an exam, my birthday party, a LADA event and then my actual birthday. I am such a busy girl.
March is even better as well. Lauren Oliver’s new book, Requiem, is coming out tomorrow and I’m attending a Q and A/autograph event on Sunday. And on and on…
So I apologize. Immensely. For delaying this as much as I did.
This is the first year that I attended the good ‘ol Gallifrey One, which makes sense. I started watching Doctor Who on Netflix right around the time of Gallifrey last year, in 2012, so obviously I hadn’t quite gotten addicted yet. Of course, I finished the series in a few weeks and was immediately donning a fez, brandishing a sonic screwdriver and running around saying “Allonsy!” and “Geronimo!”
So when my friends told me about Gallifrey One, and urged me to join them, I couldn’t say no. I love cons and I’ve been so disappointed in San Diego Comic Con and the INSANE badge prices and RIDICULOUS crowds so I was so down.
I had SO MUCH FUN! Seriously, it was a weekend of epicness. I came home with absolutely no voice, which you know means I had a good time, because that almost never happens. I have a nice strong voice. But it was an epic weekend.
There are so many good, good, GREAT things about this convention. Here is a small compacted list, not in special order, but all good reasons.
First off, the fact that the convention itself is in a hotel. This is an amazing thing. I advocate this 1000 times. Its so insanely convenient. The hotel itself has decent prices, at least from what I know of what I paid with my friends, and its just so insanely convenient. All you have to do is take an elevator up or down. Just woke up at 9:30 and the first panel is in 30 minutes? No biggie! Throw some clothes on, slap on some make-up and take the elevator down and you’ve made it with time to spare. Hungry? Go upstairs and grab some food that you’ve brought along with you. Thirsty? Ditto. Sleepy? Go upstairs and take a nap. Brilliance. It also means that everyone can stay up super late (430 am, anyone?) and there’s no worries about drunk driving or drunk nerds in public. Its also a nice safety issue. I loved it.
Oh and the ribbons? The ribbons thing is the first thing I’ve ever seen like this at a convention. Basically you can order your own unique ribbon; it could advertise your club, maybe have your favorite quote, whatever. Ours personally said “Expelliarmus! Good ol J.K.!” of course, referring to the Harry Potter reference in the Martha Jones episode, “The Shakespeare Code” in series 3, because all of us are Harry Potter fans. You can collect them, attach them to your badge, as seen above on mine and laugh at all the different ones you get. Some people get intense about it too so that they make skirts or dresses out of the ribbons from the previous year! Crazy! But its fun though, and its fun to see what different quotes are on there, or what silly things people have come up with.
The panels are great, and I never really saw a line for any of them. If you wanted to see a panel, you saw a panel and the guests were all super awesome. Some people may say that there aren’t enough things to make panels from one TV show, but they would be very wrong. I went to panels that were director’s commentaries on different episodes (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three). I went to panels for Sylvestor McCoy (the 7th Doctor), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), and Mark Sheppard (who has pretty much had a role on every nerd show ever). I even went to a Game of Thrones panel. And they were all personable and awesome. Some panels I’ve gone to in the past at cons have literally made me want to go to sleep but all of the actors, writers, directors, etc. are all so funny.
The people. One, its just great to be around a bunch of nerds. Its always where I feel the most comfortable, when I am surrounded by people like me. And everyone is so friendly and ready to party. How many places can you go, where you can see a Dalek and a few different Doctors, Madame da Pompadour and some Cybermen hanging out, sharing some drinks and doing karoake (which mostly consists of Les Mis songs). These are all people just like you, obsessed with a TV show because they know its so much more than a TV show. I met a lot of really cool people, mostly at early hours of the morning, and it was a great, great time. There was also the awesomeness of timelessness. When you go to Comic Con, it seems more and more nowadays to be an overcrowded blob of twenty-somethings, where Doctor Who had people of all ages. Think about it, Doctor Who has been on since the 1960s, and it continues to dazzle audiences of all ages.
And yeah, I got up and did some karoake. Didn’t even know I had that in me!
The GUESTS. Freema Agyeman. Sylvestor McCoy. Mark Sheppard. Finn Jones. Nicholas Briggs. Tony Lee. Richard Dimmick. Anjli Mohindra. Neve McIntosh. Ian McNeice. So so many.
They all had great panels and they obviously care about the fans. They really are there for us. I mean, Mark Sheppard ran his own panel, basically, and was hilarious. Sylvestor McCoy didn’t sit up on stage while he took questions, he got up and walked around, and he’s no young sprout anymore. And he was hilarious as well. They all were amazing guests. And the best part of it is that none of them had this special air to them. You didn’t seem them walking around with bodyguards, heads down until they were on stage. They were in the crowds. I shared an elevator with Nicholas Briggs (who voices the Daleks). Ian McNeice was hanging around the lobby the entire time. Tony Lee and Richard Dimmick were hanging out, singing karoake with everyone. I think I ran into Finn Jones (who you may know as Ser Loras from The Game of Thrones) at least four times.
And everything was so decently priced. I mean, food prices sucked but that’s to be expected. Food prices always suck. But the prices for pictures and autographs, prices for different artworks and such in the auction room, and prices for Doctor merch in the vendor room were all decent. I didn’t bring a lot of spending money because, well, I’m a full time college student working ten hours a week and I’m broke but I managed to get a 10th Doctor screwdriver, 11th Doctor screwdriver, a Doctor Who shirt for Her Universe (which you should check out, nerd shirts made for GIRLS! Finally!), Doctor Who buttons, River Song’s journal and a badass dragon artwork from the art auction. I hate going to cons where I’m like “Okay, you have 100 dollars to spend…and you’re probably going to spend it all on one thing…”
All in all, the convention was amazing. It was a place where you could just be a fan, you know? Sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy being a fan. That’s why you go to baseball games, its why you go to the movies…and its why you go to conventions. And its always that much better when the convention is a good as Gallifrey One was. Tickets go on sale for next year, this Friday the 8th, and I’m already really excited about next year. They are 80 dollars for the whole weekend, which may seem hefty but they’re a WHOLE lot cheaper than Comic Con and this convention is way more personable and awesome than Comic Con. (Not that I’d turn down free tickets to Comic Con…) This con will be hitting its 25th year, just months after the Doctor Who 50th anniversary so there will be so much in store.
I can’t wait.
Doctor Who returns for the rest of series 7 on March 30th.
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3 thoughts on “My First Trip To Gallifrey One”
Sounds like what I’ve heard about at Leaky Con, which also has those ribbons. I’ve never seen them personally, but my husband got some at a work convention, so they are a thing. If love to see them at WonderCon or Comikaze, but i can imagine them get ridiculously out of hand.
I think the smaller cons are probably a better idea for the ribbons, because I can completely imagine them getting out of hand.