Gallifrey One 2022

Well! After spending the better part of two days doing things other than attend the convention I traveled to LA for in the first place, it was time to get down to business. And by “business” I mean spending a few days getting geeky about my favorite TV show, Doctor Who. Panels! Photographs! Autographs! Etc.! Conventions are always a ton of fun and this one especially so because it’s the biggest and longest-running. It was also the last convention I went to before the world stopped, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic (hell, it was the last time I traveled at all until this past Labor Day weekend). And because that meant the convention couldn’t happen in 2021, I was more excited for this year’s iteration than I’d ever been before. And, as always, it didn’t disappoint!

As you’ve likely read in previous posts about Gally (the nickname most of us attendees use for Gallifrey One), there’s always something going on throughout the long weekend. There are all sorts of panels about Doctor Who, not to mention other TV shows and movies (Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel, etc.), plus other topics, like science (there’s always some NASA content), comics, and more. You can really spend every hour from about 9 AM – 6 PM, plus more time each evening, in panels. And I’m sure some people do that! There are also autograph sessions, a dealers room full of goodies, a photo studio where you can capture a moment with the guests, and much more. Even with this year’s event being smaller than the last several years’, there were still plenty of people there (~2,200) and lots to see and do. Oh, and there were guests, too! Gally always has a ton of great Doctor Who guests and this year was no exception, even if there weren’t quite as many as normal. While the 2020 convention was very much tailored to my tastes (there were several guests there from my favorite era of the show), this year’s had a great variety of folks from both the classic and modern eras of Doctor Who, including Mandip Gill (companion to the current 13th Doctor – she’d never even been to a convention before!), Jo Martin (a previously-unknown incarnation of the Doctor), Sacha Dhawan (a new incarnation of the Doctor’s best enemy, the Master), Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor), and plenty of others. Knowing how many people aren’t ready to travel yet, especially considering the distance from the UK to LA, it’s amazing that so many great guests were there!

As always, I didn’t actually see much of the convention proper as I continued working in my traditional role of guest liaison. While on paper it doesn’t sound that exciting (I make sure the guests I’m working with get to all their events on time, run defense if they’re cornered by excited fans, make sure they have what they need at any given time, etc.), I love volunteering to do this as much now as I did when I started doing it about a dozen years ago. While that does mean I don’t usually get to go to many (if any) full panel discussions/events throughout the weekend, it does allow me to pop my head into several to hear bits and pieces of them. And sometimes if I’m interested in the panel/event I’m taking my guest(s) to, I’ll stay for the whole thing. That works out in my favor sometimes as there are some separately-ticketed meet-and-greet events (say, one guest with maybe 20-25 attendees in a room) that I get to go to for free. The same is true of photographs – since I’m on the convention staff, I can get photos with my guests (and other guests!) without needing to wait in line. Those benefits certainly aren’t the reason I volunteer, but it’s nice to get those “extras” in exchange for giving up a chunk of my convention experience. And the guests I got to work with this year were all excellent:

  • Anjli Mohindra – she was in four seasons of the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures (and has actually been in an episode of Doctor Who proper, too). I’ve worked with her twice before and she’s remembered me each time. Very sweet!
  • Sacha Dhawan – as mentioned above, he plays the most recent incarnation of the Doctor’s primary villain, the Master. He was also one of the stars of An Adventure in Space and Time, the movie about the origins of Doctor Who that came out for the show’s 50th anniversary in 2013.
  • Jo Martin – also mentioned above, she has played an unknown incarnation of the Doctor in a few episodes over the past couple of seasons of the show.

If that sounds like a lot of schedules to try and coordinate, it kind of was! But it worked out perfectly because Anjli was only there on Friday, Sacha was only there on Friday and Saturday, and I only worked with Jo on Sunday. It was a pleasure to get to know them over the weekend and hopefully I’ll get to cross paths with them in the future!

As always with conventions, the experience is best told through photos, so enjoy them below.

Literally the first thing I did when the convention started on Friday morning was buy this book from my friend David in the dealers room! Really looking forward to reading it as it’s about many of the books published during the period from 1990 – 2005 when Doctor Who wasn’t airing (we fans call that period The Wilderness Years).
Checking out the nice seating area outside the convention level. There were food trucks here all three days, which was a perfect way to allow for somewhat distanced, outdoor eating.

A couple of photos of Steven from Radio Free Skaro interviewing two guests during the first panel of the convention.

Behind the scenes at Sacha’s first photo session.
A meet-and-greet with Mandip and a small group of attendees. I stopped in for part of it as Anjli asked me to drop something off for her.
Stopping into another main stage panel, this team featuring Sylvester McCoy in an interview with my friend Ken, who runs a convention in New York, Long Island Who.
Steven with Sacha again, this time with Doctor Who executive producer Matt Strevens, doing a live commentary of An Adventure in Space and Time.
I got a few of my own photos with guests on Friday, starting with Mandip.
Of course, I had to get a picture with the guests I worked with. First up, Sacha!
My friend Felicity and I also got a photo with Sacha, along with Eric Roberts, who played the Master in the Doctor Who TV movie.
Next up was Anjli, with a bonus appearance by Tommy Knight, who worked with her on The Sarah Jane Adventures. I first met Tommy nearly a dozen years ago and it was great to see him again!
Zooming in on someone in cosplay in the pool courtyard while on my balcony on Friday afternoon.
Me, Bill, and Felicity at dinner on Friday night.
Felicity took a nice glamor shot of me at dinner, too. πŸ™‚
A good-sized group of attendees in the lobby on Saturday morning. Although it got busier in the evenings, the lobby was never as jam-packed as it has been the last several conventions.
The first thing Sacha had on Saturday morning was a meet-and-greet. The group there had good questions for him!
From a meet-and-greet to an autograph session in the dealers room. He had a long line every time he was signing!
This sign from Tommy Knight’s signing table made me laugh. πŸ˜€
Another behind-the-scenes shot of a photo session, this time with Jo Martin. There were lots of people there to get photos with her!
Behind the scenes of another photo shoot, this time with Sacha and Eric Roberts, who played another incarnation of the Master in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie.
I ran into this fabulous cosplayer in the lobby!

All three of the guests I worked with on stage for a panel with executive producer Matt Strevens. Plus a peek at what I could see from backstage.

There was a full house in the audience for the panel! Plus, a few of the amazing tech crew running the show in the main hall. Also, note all the masks – they were mandatory!

One of the photos I got on Saturday. Jo was fabulous!
Actress Sophia Myles, who featured in a 2006 episode of Doctor Who.
On the escalator with Felicity!
Saturday night dinner in the steakhouse again! From the top: Steven, Erika, Barsky, Bill, Shaun, Felicity, and me.
What a room can look like during the convention! Lots of cups just means lots of friends have stopped by. πŸ™‚
I always get a photo of the TARDIS in the dealers room, usually with some of my friends. We didn’t get it together to make the group photo happen, so I had to settle for a picture with just the TARDIS.

Jo started Sunday morning with her own meet-and-greet. I really love how she looks in the second photo as she listens to a comment from an attendee. And the last photo is so fun because the three attendees are cosplaying as Jo’s Doctor.

Immediately after the meet-and-greet, Jo did a script reading event with a different group of attendees, hosted/planned by my friend Tony (standing on the right).
Another shot from the script reading. It was neat to see the attendees be part of it!
Poking my head into the video room, which the convention brought back after eliminating it in 2020. The fans love it!
Sylvester and other guests on the main stage.
Another day, another behind-the-scenes view of a photo shoot with Jo.
For funsies, I also got a green screen photo with Jo. Too bad I didn’t match my expression to hers! πŸ™‚
I also *had* to get a photo with the fabulous India Fisher, who plays companion Charley Pollard in many Big Finish audio adventures. I first met her in 2003!

From a photo shoot to the main stage! A collection of photos of Jo doing an interview with Kim and Sage from Head Over Feels. And once again, a very full (masked) audience!

A green room full of guests getting ready to head to the main stage for the closing ceremony.
Our friend and convention showrunner Shaun during the closing ceremony.

I didn’t stay for the entire closing ceremony (it always gets a little too crowded for me), but I did stay long enough to get photos of the two Doctors as they said their goodbyes.

Me, Felicity, Barsky, and Bill on Bill’s balcony. My eyes may look a little crazy, but these guys are the best!

Well, I think that’s about it! It was another amazing weekend of fun, friends, and geekery, plus some great weather to boot. I always have so much fun at Gally and it felt extra special to come back together for the first time since 2020. While many friends couldn’t be there for very good reasons (some from the US and several from the UK), I know we all appreciated seeing the ones who could. And even though there’s no way to know what will happen in the world over the next year, I feel strongly that 2023 will be the year when we get the whole family back together again. Here’s to the next Gallifrey One!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About thejeffelston

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