On Friday morning, a lucky #gally1 hashtagger tweeted about sharing her exercise time with Paul McGann. In order to carry forth that dream (for the children), Sage made the sacrifice and rose early on Saturday to hit the gym. She did not end up on a treadmill beside the Eighth Doctor, but I want everyone to admire her dedication anyway. #noMcGannleftbehind
We were all up early that day, because good seats for the first event meant good seats for the second, and the second was McGann. The day began with a live commentary on “Closing Time” (it’s always been you, Craig) with director Steve Hughes. A fan of the show, Hughes had nothing but praise for Matt Smith. He also let slip a few entertaining on-set details, like the fact that the first cybermat scuttling across the floor is actually just a piece of tin foil on a string.
I can’t talk about McGann because Sage is going to talk about him and because I’m afraid that if I start I’ll end up writing the Whovian Anna Karenina.
Billie wore black overalls and bright red lipstick on Saturday. I texted this to a friend and she responded, “There are approximately 20 people in the world who can pull off overalls.” Billie Piper is one of them. We got her signature for Michelle, the friend I replaced last minute on this trip when she ended up in the hospital. Billie was so concerned for her. Her genuineness is overwhelming.
BPips also gave us “I am the Bad Wolf” ribbons, because she loves Rose Tyler as much as we do. She and Arthur spent the weekend locked in a battle for the most badge ribbons, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she overcame her flu primarily because she’d already made the ribbons and was really excited about them. When she handed them to us, she asked, “Would you like ribbons? They’re all I care about.” Sage and Kim then gave her one from Head Over Feels, branded with the most Rose/Doctory line of all: “Quite Right, Too.” Billie was delighted. Rest assured that next year, when I have more than two weeks to prepare, she’ll have a TVmouse ribbon too. And so will David Tennant.
Sage and I then jumped into the line for Paul McGann autographs, because that’s how great choices get made. Paul asked, so nicely, why the friend he was signing a book for couldn’t make it. I didn’t know how to say “When this event went on sale a year ago, neither of us knew who you were,” so I just told him she’d missed the boat on tickets. Which is true. We all missed the boat. All our lives.
He signed Sage’s “with love,” which is also how he lives. Do what you will with WHERE he chose to place his signature.
And THEN. Kim was on a panel about binge-watching with Jesse Alexander (whose writing credits include Alias, LOST, and Hannibal). As soon as he said his name, I flailed at Kim from the first row. Alias! He looked at me a lot throughout the panel after he said something about Alias starting “when, 2001?” and I rattled off the exact date. He’s also a huge Rose/ Doctor shipper. Public service announcement to watch everything he ever writes.
The panel would have been better off if Kim and Jesse were running the show, since its actual moderator was a grumpy older woman who claimed not to have invested in television since Alias Smith and Jones killed off the hot character. How this qualifies her to run a panel on binge watching escapes me. But beyond that, there was a lot of interesting discussion on how our media consumption has shaped the TV landscape. Not all shows are suited for binging, but my experience last May tells me that Doctor Who definitely is, so long as you don’t mind your roommates calling you maniacal.
We barely had time to collect ourselves before our photos with Paul. He greeted everyone so warmly. Immediately after reaching out to shake my hand, he recognized me and exclaimed, “Oh it’s you again!” Was there fear in his eyes? We’ll never know for sure. But he bid us goodbye with “Great to see you,” so I’ll always have that.
Saturday evening was the masquerade, a costume party/ contest. I’d thrown together a River Song outfit, which is my go-to on account of hair, but which made me feel like a bit of a traitor to my beautiful Rose/ Doctor OTP and their faithful robot dog.
Gillian and her roller skates made by far the best K9 there. Also, we discovered where this hotel draws the line, and it’s roller skates.
The best part of the masquerade was actually its intermission, which brought much of the Classic Who cast back to the stage for a game of “Just A Minute.” The rules? Speak on a topic for a minute without hesitation, deviation, or whatever the other thing is. If you fail, the rest of your time on the clock is stolen from you, along with your points. This is my new favorite game. It’s just about storytelling and interrupting people. England gets it.
Nicola Bryant ended up using almost all of her minutes to slowly unravel a story about a time when the cast went skinny dipping. She had no idea that was the plan, and she didn’t have her glasses, so she just thought she was the only one without a nude colored swimsuit. Think about this as you watch Classic Who.
And the obligatory karaoke note of the evening: there were shenanigans. People were definitely being moved up the list, and we never got the chance to sing–which was a shame, because we had big plans to do “It’s Raining Men” as “It’s Raining Tens.” Your loss, Gally.
Next day: Billie talks about David, Arthur talks about cake.