Saturday, February 18, 2006

Standing in a queue with Mickey from Doctor Who

So yesterday was day one of Gallifrey 2006, America's largest Doctor who convention. The new series starring Christopher Eccleston will hit US TV screens in March on the Sci-Fi Channel, so this con is mostly populated by the hardcore fans, rather than the new fan of enthusiasm seen in the UK. Guest of honour from the new show is Noel Clarke, who seems like the nicest guy you can imagine. It seems Mickey is in more than a few episodes of the 2006 series with David Tennant and Billie Piper. Rumours are swirling the convention about a startling new version of the character that will appear in the episodes set on an alternate universe Earth, which also features the Cybermen. I'm doing my best to avoid finding out too much about the new series, but apparently all those times when the Ninth Doctor kept calling the character Ricky will all make sense... What does that mean? I've no idea. Guess we'll find out in April or May.

Friday was day one of the con. I went on the main stage for a panel about writing Doctor Who audios for Big Finish now that Doctor Who is back on TV - the consequences, the advantages and the problems. Then it was an autograph signing session. Alas, the first of my Sarah Jane Smith audios hasn't quite arrived in the US, although I managed to buy a copy in the dealer's room and listened to it last night. So my brilliant masterplan to come here and talk about the SJS mini-series has been slightly blunted. Such is life. At six there was the official opening ceremony, where all the guests are trouped on stage to wave at the audience and say something droll or enthusiastic. There was a right thong of us gathered behind a TARDIS prop, waiting to come on. While the con organisers were getting the audience keyed up, everybody backstage was nattering. Such was th elevel of volume, nobody noticed when the first guest - Noel Clarke - was summoned on stage. Eventually I waggled my eyebrows at him and pointed a thumb towards the stage. He smiled and sprinted on stage to vast acclaim. Ahh, the joys of being beloved.

Today I've got a bunch of panels, another autograph sessions [you'd think the five people who want me to sign something would have exhausted their opportunities yesterday, but apparently not] and a bunch of other stuff. Plus at some point today I must try to remember to eat food. It was always the same when I was attending comics conventions on behalf of 2000 AD. The day would race by and at four o'clock you'd feel a gnawing hole somewhere below the ribcage. Speaking of which, it's time for breakfast...

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