As a blogger who posts a lot of travel photos (the 21st Century equivalent of forcing your friends to watch your vacation slideshow) and vegan recipes (who doesn’t love those?), I am clearly quite in tune with the kinds of things that excite the interests of the public. So heed my warning here: If you are not a fellow geek or at least geek-friendly, then this will hold no interest for you. This is all about Doctor Who, the most amazing science fiction franchise of all time. Suck it, Star Trek!
Why do I love this show so much? I could answer the obvious way, in that I love the genre as a whole and don’t typically trust anyone who isn’t fascinated by the concept of space and time travel. I could say it is because the show has managed to capture such a diverse audience in its 50 years of existence. It may be because a considerable amount of it (though it could indeed be terrible at times) has been extremely exciting, well-written, and inventive. We as fans take the concept of regeneration for granted now, but in 1966 it was just a really inventive way to keep the show going when the lead actor was unable to continue. I could go on indefinitely about why the show itself is so appealing, but I think the size of its fanbase over time is testament to that without many more details.
I have adored it since I was a small child, huddled up on the sofa after a bath on Saturday night, surrounded by my family. I would fall asleep watching Tom Baker and later Peter Davison battle whatever evil or monster was on the menu that week, and usually had to be roused to be taken to bed. To this day–if I am feeling depressed or unable to sleep–I can pop in one of those classic stories and find a bit of peace. Even the bad ones (I’m looking at you, “Time Flight”). So it’s about the magic of the show itself and its magnificent history, but with a large chunk of nostalgia. People often wonder why fans get this nutty, and that’s my personal story. I wanted to give some idea of how it made me feel to attend this celebration in the city where the whole thing started.
Now. Vacation photos. Slideshow. Please watch.
I’ll get my complaining out of the way, because–overall–I had the time of my life. The convention was fairly frustrating at first, however. We were expecting things to be a bit crazy given how immensely popular the series has become since its revival. Considering the current Doctor and companion were in attendance, we knew this wouldn’t be like the Gallifrey One convention to which we had grown accustomed in Los Angeles every year (which is more intimate and usually more focused on classic series personalities). We were even expecting to wait in a queue/line or two. But, as the photos show, the lines were a tad longer than even I could have imagined. And there were several. And a few seemed entirely meaningless, as even the event organizers were unable to explain why we were all being forced into walking in the same direction.
Once we crossed through those “IM Foreman” junkyard doors, the reason for the cattle herding became clear. That’s where the merchandise was. Thanks, convention organizers. We would have spent money in there anyway. No reason to be rape-y about it.
Everything else about it was a dream. The hall with the dealer’s shops was more massive than anything we’d seen at any other conventions (though–admittedly–most of the merchandise can be found anywhere). There were demonstrations of special effects, music, and makeup. Real props and costumes from both the classic and new series were on display, including outfits worn by each of the Doctors and many of the companions. Even Bessie was there!
We attended the classic series panel with Doctors 5, 6, and 7, the new series panel with Matt Smith, Jenna Louise Coleman, and current head writer Steven Moffat, and a classic villains panel that included Rani, Lady Peinforte, Sutekh, and Davros. On the way to the villains panel (where we saw several more queues), we walked right past Matt Smith. I may have giggled like a school girl. It was all pretty overwhelming, but in a very good way.
We were in London for four days, but the convention only took up a single day of that. The rest of the London trip will be in another non-Doctor Who related entry, but I did see some things on my walks around London that will definitely look familiar to most fans. Since only fans are likely reading this, I don’t need to caption the photos. Also, I need to make dinner and don’t feel like it right now.