I have never been to a Doctor Who convention. The legendary franchise
has been part of my life for many years, as I am married to a devout "Whovian," a dedicated fan of the iconic sci-fi
series. In my travels I have enountered many players from the series. I have also rubbed elbows with thousands of Doctor
Who fans at all the various conventions I cover ever year. With that in mind, I was finally ready for a
brand new convention experience: Gallifrey One.
First and foremost, this is a fan convention, created by
the fans, for the fans. I think that's the primary reason why the show is so great. There's a real sense of dedication and
community. I have to give kudos right off the bat for putting
on a show that covers so many aspects of Who fandom. Everything from the TV series, to the comic books, novels,
and the radio dramas. It's all here. I had no idea the Doctor Who universe was so vast. Then again, seeing as how the
franchise has been around for over fifty years, I shouldn't be too surprised.
Every year the convention attracts a wide variety of talent, both in front of and behind
the cameras. This year was no exception as such notables as Steven Moffat, Sylvester McCoy, David Bradley, Camille Coduri,
Jemma Redgrave, Rona Munro and Murray Gold, along with dozens of others were on hand for various panels, photo ops and signing
The show also had a number of special panels that piqued my interest.
There was a little something for everyone. From celebrity guests, trivia, crafting and much, much more. Many of you may know
David Bradley from his roles on Game of Thrones or the Harry Potter films. However, he is known to the Doctor Who
community for portraying the late William Hartnell (the very first Doctor) in the BBC production called 'An
Adventure in Space and Time.' A show that dramatizes the early production days of the TV series. He also recently appeared
again as the first Doctor in the episode 'Twice Upon A
Time'. He talked about his long career and shared a few anecdotes about coming up in the same theater group as a young Alan
Another highlight for me was the panel Scoring the Doctor 101.
Murray Gold, the music composer for Doctor Who is stepping down after 13 years. He leaves behind a vast library of beloved
music and at this panel, he shared insights into certain fan favorite themes and what went into their creation. We were treated
to several live performances throughout this touching look back at the music that has embellished Doctor Who for so long.
One more highlight was 'The Time of the Doctor' during which
Steven Moffat, David Bradley and several others talked about their time working on the series, as well as sharing stories
from the previous season working with Peter Capaldi. Easily the liveliest panel I sat through this weekend. Yes, it was sad
in one sense as a major chapter of Doctor Who comes to a close, but there was also a deep feeling of love as the panelists
all genuinely have a strong affection for the show and were honored to simply have been a part of it.
As a quick aside, I witnessed something during various panels that
I have NEVER witnessed before at any previous con. When someone sat down in the row in front of someone else, the person turned
and asked if they were blocking the view. It may sound silly but I've not seeing this kind of courtesy in a panel before,
especially at some of the larger conventions. Maybe Doctor Who fans are just a special breed of polite fan?
What would this convention be without a wide assortment of
Doctor Who cosplay? Along with three different full sized remote controlled Daleks roaming the halls, all entities of the
Doctor were represented. My favorites were the life sized Tiki Dalek and the motorized Davros. I appreciate the time and skill
that go into making some of these elaborate outfits.
As you might exepct there was plenty of great things to purchase at
the show. One of the biggest draws was an art exhibit and auction featuring several unique hand made items. There
was also a separate room for vendors selling all things Who-related. Another aspect of the show that was unique compared
to other conventions I've attended were all the colorful ribbons. I'm used to seeing fans wearing and trading button at various
cons. At Gallifrey One, it's all about ribbons that you attach to your badge. They are all made by fans to trade with others
and they feature a wide variety of lines of dialogue from the show, or other aspects that true Whovians would instantly recognize. By
the end of the show I managed to obtain over a dozen. I'm already thinking about what ribbon I could make to bring to
the show next year.
All in all, it was a great opportunity to dip my toe into a new
level of fandom. It was a fun time with a fantastic community of truly dedicated fans. I will definitely return next
year. Lucky for us, plans are already being made for the 2019 show. See you then!
For more information on Gallifrey One please visit the Official Website.
Click HERE to view our Gallifrey One Image Gallery featuring over 50 exclusive photos!
About the Author: Abel S. Pinedo has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He's also an annual visitor to such conventions
as WonderCon, San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World and More. When he's not touring the convention circuit he can usually be found
at his keyboard telling the World about his adventures.