Next Thursday [that's Thursday of next week, not the next Thursday that occurs which is this Thursday, but the Thursday after that i.e. next Thursday] I begin the long trek to LA for Gallifrey 2006. This is primarily a Doctor Who convention, but also a rare opportunity for me to catch up with old friends, hopefully make some new ones and do a little light networking. My first Gallifrey was 2004 at glamorous Van Nuys's Airtel Plaza, a hotel notable for being adjacent to Van Nuys airport which sometimes crops in episodes of 24. The hotel was adequate at best and an inordinately long distance from LAX. Happily, the convention has resited itself to the LAX Marriott, meaning the trip between hotel and airport is merely a few minutes in a free shuttle bus - hurrah!
All things being equal, I'll arrive in LA on Thursday afternoon, squeeze in some shopping that night or first thing on Friday, and then fling myself into the madness and mayhem of the convention itself. Should be a blast. The final schedule for the con has been published online and here's what I'm listed as doing during the weekend, should anybody need to know where I am at any given moment of the three days:-
DAVID BISHOP’S GALLIFREY SCHEDULE
Friday, February 17, 2006
• 2pm • Autographing in Autograph area: David Bishop, Arnold Blumberg, Noel Clarke, Nev Fountain, Louise Jameson, Jon Miller, Jill Sherwin, Jim Swallow, Caroline Symcox, Mary Tamm, David Warwick, Scott Woodard
• 3pm • Main Programming Area • Future's Past: Writing Big Finish Audio in the Modern Era • Panellists: Gary Russell, David Bishop, James Swallow, Caroline Symcox, Scott Woodard, Nev Fountain
Saturday, February 18, 2006
• 10am • Big Finish: The Miniseries • Panellists: Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs, David Bishop, Rob Shearman [Main Programming Area]
• 12noon • The Parting of the Ways: Examining The Critical Success of the New Doctor Who Series • Panellists: Gary Russell, Steve Roberts, Shaun Lyon, David Bishop, Nev Fountain, Roger Anderson, David Howe [Programme Area #2]
• 1pm • Roundtable: Darin Henry, Scott Woodard, David Bishop • Meetpoint Room
• 4:30pm • Autographing in Autograph area: David Bishop, Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss, Ian Hallard, Darin Henry, Jon Miller, Pamela Salem, James Swallow, Caroline Symcox, Mary Tamm, Keith Topping, David Warwick, Scott Woodard
• 5.30pm Four Colors to Silver Screens: From the Comics to Film and TV
Panellists: Arnold T Blumberg, Scott Armstrong, Bill Taylor, Craig Byrne, Arne Starr, David Bishop • Programme Area #2
Sunday, February 19, 2006
• 11am • Searching for Christopher Eccleston • Panellists: David Bishop, Graeme Burk, Karen Baldwin, Nev Fountain, Derek Kompare • Programme Area #2
• 12pm • Autographing in Autograph area: David Bishop, Paul Cornell, Nev Fountain, Darin Henry, Jon Miller, Gary Russell, James Swallow, Caroline Symcox, Scott Woodard
• 1.30pm • The Changing Face of Doctor Who: What The New Series Means For Writers, Fans, and the Classic Show • Panellists: Nicholas Briggs, Paul Cornell, Rob Shearman, Gary Russell, Nev Fountain, Keith Topping, James Swallow, Caroline Symcox, Darin Henry, Jon Miller, David Bishop [Programme Area #2]
• 3.30pm • Television Shows on DVD: Year Four • Panellists: Scott Woodard, Bill Watson, Paul Salamoff, Arne Starr, David Bishop, Keith Topping, Arnold Blumberg [Programme Area #2]
Once all that fun's said and done, it's back to LAX for the 8.45pm flight back to Blighty. That should touch down mid-afternoon local time on Monday February 20, then a much shorter flight back to Edinburgh and a taxi home. With a decent following wind, I should stagger back into the house early in the evening, gibbering like a loon and weighed down by a suitcase laden with new Region 1 DVD boxsets of my favourite TV shows.
Don't say you weren't warned.