Catch-Up Post – Another February, Another LA Trip: Part 2 (Doctor Who Convention)

After spending Thursday visiting The Hollywood Museum with friends, it was time to kick off the actual weekend of Gallifrey One! As usual, my weekend was going to be all about hanging with friends, with some sprinkles of attending convention stuff as well. And of course, I had my convention duties as well – I was working with both Lisa Bowerman (she played Karra in the last televised story of Doctor Who’s original run and has since become a big part of the audio adventures from Big Finish, playing Prof. Bernice Summerfield and also directing loads of stuff) and Terry Molloy (he played Davros in all of his 1980s appearances). I was very excited to work with Lisa as she’s a friend of mine, so it was great to spend a good portion of the weekend with her! I had actually just seen her during January’s London trip, but working with her throughout the weekend gave us time to really catch up, which was fabulous. And Terry was great, too! He’s one of those guests I’ve seen at lots of events, but didn’t really know and had never formally met before, so I’m glad we were able to this time around. He was very self-sufficient and didn’t need me to do much, other than watch his table a few times over the weekend. Every time I went to pick him up to get him to whatever his next event was, he was already there! Anyone who’s worked as a guest liaison before knows what a treat that is. 🙂

In addition to working the convention, I did attend some panels as well. As usual, Gally was FULL of amazing guests, including Steven Moffat, Sylvester McCoy, Matt Lucas, Jemma Redgrave, and many, many others. And my dear friend Sophie was a guest as well! She hasn’t been for a few years and I’ve missed seeing her on my last few London trips, so I was happy to have a nice catch-up with her. I popped into a variety of panels and events over the three days, that covered topics like: the worlds of Big Finish, bringing the Sylvester McCoy era to DVD, the production of the final story of Doctor Who’s original run, a live performance of the Reality Bomb podcast, and more.

My convention experience is, as usual, probably best told through photos, so here they are!


You know the convention has really started when people start sporting their badges. Mine included a homemade Shrinky Dink made by my friend Jeff! Who can tell me what this Shrinky Dink is?


Stopping into the dance on Thursday night to say hi to my friend Paul, who was DJing.


The dance is usually on Saturday, but this year’s move to Thursday (due to a scheduling conflict) meant not as many people attended. It was still a lot of fun and Paul had great tunes pumping, as always!


I actually don’t remember taking this photo, but it came out good anyway.


Felicity and I took a quick selfie with Paul before letting him get back to DJing.


The boys from Radio Free Skaro always do a great job kicking off the convention with their live show.


They even got a pretty good crowd, considering this was 10a on the first day of the convention!


I enjoyed this sign outside the hotel’s lobby restaurant.


Sneaking a picture of Terry at his first photo session on Friday.


A panel in one of the smaller panel rooms featuring a couple of friends of mine (Kathleen and Robert).


Given how much I love DVDs and Blu-rays, it’s no surprise I was sitting front and center for this panel about bring the Sylvester McCoy era to life on DVD.


The crowd in the hotel lobby at a convention is often referred to as LobbyCon because it’s a convenient place for folks to meet, mingle, and hang out. This photo shows a pretty quiet LobbyCon, but it was taken on Friday afternoon, so that’s to be expected.


HUGE crowd in the main programming room for one of several of the weekend’s live commentaries.


Although Gally does an excellent job of making the convention feel less crowded than it is, there are times like this (usually when a big event has just ended) when a deluge of people are trying to get through the convention space at the same time.


Watching an interview with Lisa in the second-largest programming room.


Frazer Hines, who played companion Jamie McCrimmon, is a fixture at Gally. It wouldn’t be the same without him!


Writer and Doctor Who historian David J. Howe moderating a panel of stars of the classic era.


Sage and Kim from Head Over Feels playing their game This or That with guests Camille Coduri and Jemma Redgrave. Camille is another guest who’s a guaranteed laugh at every convention. I’ve met her at a few different conventions and was happy to have time to catch up with her again at this one.


Talking about Big Finish with some experts (i.e. – all these guys work for them).


Sneaking a peek at my friends Trey and Sam from my balcony.


My friend Charlie interviewing Matt Lucas, who played companion Nardole in Series 10.


Sneaking another picture of Terry at his Saturday photo session.


Attending the live recording of Reality Bomb.


Of course I had to get up close for Bill’s big moment in the Spoiler Cops sketch.


With Jason! After spending much of Friday evening asleep, due to having arrived very late the night before, too much drinking, and not enough eating, I was happy to have him out and about with me on Saturday.


Steve!


Steve had very fun hair on Saturday night. 🙂


As is a common occurrence at conventions, a group of us were hanging in my room drinking on Saturday night, including Trey, Sam, and Jason.


I hadn’t seen my friend Chris for awhile, so I had to get a picture with him.


I generally only get to see Mark in the green room, as he’s always minding guests as well, so it was good for us to both be out of there for a change.


A panel featuring Steven Moffat, Matt Lucas, David Bradley, and Jemma Redgrave, moderated by Edward Russell.


With all of those big stars on stage, I wasn’t surprised to see such a huge crowd in the audience.

And with that, another fun-filled weekend of friends and Doctor Who came to end. As many times as I’ve been to this convention (this was my 17th), I’m always surprised and a little bit sad at how quickly it flies by. But I’m always left with lots of great memories and the excitement of next year.

Since I was in LA until Tuesday, I had Monday to relax and hang out with my friends who were still around, which is always fun. Not much in the way of additional pictures, but I did get a few more.


The hotel went through a big remodel between last year’s convention and this one, so I snapped a photo of the swanky new lounge on the 18th floor.


Great views of the airport from the lounge.


We keep the vibe of the convention going into Monday each year by extending LobbyCon. As long as there are some convention attendees around, there will be some kind of LobbyCon. It’s a great way to catch up with the friends I don’t get to see enough of over the weekend!


Felicity and I made a lunch run to In-n-Out Burger because, why not?


To be honest, In-n-Out’s food is always fine, but not amazing, to me. It’s more about the experience!

And that truly brings me to the end of another great LA trip. Already looking forward to next year! I’m not attending as many conventions these days – Long Island Who isn’t holding a 2018 event (and, at this point, it’s unclear if they’ll ever do another one) and Chicago TARDIS is harder to pull off because of family commitments around Thanksgiving. I still have our local convention, CONsole Room, to look forward to in May though. It’s nowhere near the size of Gally, so I don’t get the big cross-section of friends I do at other cons, but it’s still fun (and it’s only 20 minutes from my house!).

Next up – Palm Springs! I’m actually there right now. 🙂 Read all about it soon!

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About thejeffelston

Based in St. Paul, MN and love to blog about travel. Comment, follow, and join me on my journey!