Although we're taking a break for the spring, next year's convention plans are still progressing a bit... and we've got a few guest confirmations to announce today.
BONNIE LANGFORD played the highly-controversial companion Melanie "Mel" Bush opposite Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in the mid 1980s, joining the sixth Doctor during the "Trial of a Time Lord" season and departing at the end of season 24, and later reprising the role for Big Finish (which gave the character a new life of her own!) A former child actress, pantomime celebrity and entertainer who has remained popular in Britain for decades, it is our great delight to welcome back Bonnie - who made her first US appearance in many years at our 2001 event - for her first repeat visit in twelve years. Ms. Langford's return visit is sponsored by our friends at Tenth Planet Events.
ANNETTE BADLAND made a big impression upon Doctor Who fans during the first season of the revival as the Slitheen warrior Margaret Blaine in "Aliens of London," "World War Three" and later in "Boom Town". More recently, Badland - who has featured in films such as "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" and TV series such as "The Sparticle Mystery" has portrayed Ursula on Russell T Davies & Phil Ford's new genre series Wizards Vs. Aliens. This will be her first US appearance and we are thrilled to welcome her.
Also making return visits as part of our "25th anniversary" celebration are television & audio writer ROB SHEARMAN and audio & comics writer TONY LEE, both multiple-year guests of the convention. Unfortunately, we must announce also that, due to schedule conflicts, Justin Richards will not be able to be with us.
We do expect some other announcements in the next month or two, so stay tuned!
Today, as we complete 2014 registration (selling out the convention in only twelve days!) and hotel rooms have sold out at both our facilities at our convention rate (though we reiterate there are still TONS of nearby rooms available), we have a few pieces of important convention business to relay... the last for a few months. Read on.
First, with the completion of 2014 registration (the event is sold out for 2014) and our stunning hotel reservations period (convention blocks booked up), Gallifrey One is going on vacation... that is, into quiet mode for the next several months, in order to give our team time to relax (after going directly into 2014 business after the end of 2013's convention). After today, please don't expect any news stories, Facebook posts or tweets on Twitter until early August 2013. Emails sent to the convention during this time (except urgent emergencies) will be filed and answered when we come back from our yearly 'vacation', so don't panic when you don't hear from us for a while. We'll be back in early August with new guest updates and further details about next year's convention at that time. Trust us when we say we have big plans, big guest announcements to come later in the year, and are doing everything we can to make our 2014 event the best ever!
If you registered for the 2014 convention, but didn't get a confirmation email... don't fret! You can simply check our Member Database to make certain that you're in there. Click the link, then enter your LAST NAME ONLY in the search field. Everyone who has registered for the convention to date is in the system.
We've also updated our Hotel Reservations page today. While the Marriott and Renaissance hotel blocks are full, there are still plenty of rooms in the area and we've prepared a handy guide on that page to finding them. Remember that some of these hotels haven't even opened up their reservation blocks for next February, so keep trying!
Finally -- before we go for a while, we have guest news to share. We have tons of actor and production team guests coming much later in the year, but there was something very special we wanted to do in the meanwhile; being our 25th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate our legacy by welcoming back many of the guests from our past who were so integral to the convention for many years, including guests who were with us during the 'wilderness years' (when Gallifrey One focused a lot of our effort on the BBC & Virgin books and the Big Finish audios) and guests who have been part of our family more recently, to help us celebrate this huge event in our history. And this block even has a new name on it...
So today we announce Gallifrey 2014's 25th anniversary guest block, as we welcome back many of the faces from our past and present. We start with PAUL CORNELL, writer of "Father's Day" and "Human Nature" and now a major comics writer for DC Comics; STEPHEN COLE, former range editor at BBC Books, and more recently author of several BBC Doctor Who novels as well as the popular "Astrosaurs" children's book series; JUSTIN RICHARDS, long time Doctor Who writer, editor and currently creative consultant for the BBC Books range (whose appearance is tentative at this time); KEITH TOPPING, the former popular Doctor Who novelist for BBC Books and for many years a Gallifrey One regular; and GARY RUSSELL, novelist, audio dramatist, audio producer, and script editor for both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures on television, who comes for his tenth Gallifrey One visit.
FRAZER HINES returns for his fifth Gallifrey One in a row; the legendary actor who played Jamie MacCrimmon is a huge fan favorite and friend to the convention. JASON HAIGH-ELLERY of Big Finish Productions also joins us, as well as BBC Books novelist PETER ANGHELIDES, Big Finish writer and animation producer SCOTT ALAN WOODARD, and Telos Publishing's editor DAVID J HOWE. Also, STEVE ROBERTS of the BBC and its wonderful Doctor Who Restoration Team makes his return, as do illustrator MATTHEW DOW SMITH, colorist CHARLIE KIRCHOFF and writers SCOTT & DAVID TIPTON, all from IDW Comics.
Our good friend PHIL FORD, co-creator of the new series Wizards vs. Aliens and former Doctor Who script editor, joins us again after a year's absence. We're also welcoming back our old friend, writer and now publisher ARNOLD T BLUMBERG, fantasy & horror novelist SAM STONE, Doctor Who nonfiction writers/editors GRAEME BURK & ROBERT SMITH?, and wonderful comics illustrator (who did our second postcard last year) CHRISTOPHER JONES.
And just to make things even more interesting, we're delighted to confirm a first-time guest for next year as well. DOMINIC GLYNN is the composer behind the iconic "Trial of a Time Lord" Doctor Who main theme and incidental music, as well as a television composer whose work has been featured on "The Simpsons," "Red Dwarf," "Eerie Indiana" and the recent "Blake's 7" audio drama revival. This is his first visit to our convention and we're delighted to have him, as we bring focus to some of the wonderful music on our favorite show.
Surrounded by our long-time friends (and in Dominic's case, new friends) above, and joining already confirmed guests Colin Baker, Katy Manning, John Levene, Richard Franklin and Bruno Langley, will be confirmation of literally dozens of new Doctor Who actors, production staff, directors, writers and much more over the second half of 2013 and early into 2014. We invite you to start checking out the Gallifrey One website beginning this August as we kick convention preparation into high gear at that time. We wish everyone a happy Spring and Summer 2013 and look forward to seeing you in 2014.
We've received tons of great feedback from our convention attendees in only the few short days that have passed since our convention was over. While the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from this year, we do know that there are some things that inevitably happen that we need to address. Additionally, now that we know what to expect with a capacity of the size we had in 2013 (and expect in 2014), we have plans of our own. Here's some of what you can expect for Gallifrey One: 25 Glorious Years next February...
Guests: The reaction to our guest lineup this year was universally positive, with the one exception being the number of cancellations we experienced. Of course, we need to remind everyone who has been concerned about this that it's a situation that happens *all the time* to conventions, because actors (who are usually the ones who cancel) must choose their working profession over a single public appearance. Nevertheless, one of the ways we're going to handle this is simply confirming some guests from the more recent Doctor Who series later than in years past... so do not be surprised if you don't see big names announced until *much* closer to the convention, possibly as late as the end of 2013, and almost certainly after we have sold out registration for 2013. (We will still be allowing membership transfers until January 31, 2014.) We must therefore emphasize that, when you register, you should be under no illusions about any potential guests, which we have not yet announced (so if you read somewhere "I hear that XYZ is coming to next year's con," don't believe it - it's not true unless we announce it here.)
Programming: We have already addressed people in the back of the room seeing what's going on (with the second screen); we know now, however, that there were audio issues. We'll make certain that these are addressed so that people in the back of the larger programming rooms can hear with no issue. We're going to flip the large program rooms on the western hallway a bit so there's less sound intrusion between program rooms. We're also going to end panels in our programming rooms (and the main ballroom) a few minutes earlier to allow more time for people to enter and leave, especially for the crowded sessions in the main halls; while this might cut panels or discussions a few minutes short, we think it will balance things out by not disrupting the next event.
Panel Discussions: We know a few people got confused by our use of Doctor Who titles for our panels; this was just for the anniversary, and they'll be more descriptive next year. (That said, we still think doing it this year was a neat idea - and always remember that there's a full written schedule with descriptions of everything that happens at the convention in your Program Book, in date & time order.) Next year, we'll be back to our traditional format with both Doctor Who and science fiction media discussion panel tracks, with the return of some of our popular general-themed events like the SF TV & Film Year in Review panels, our multimedia discussions and, yes, something with vampires because people enjoy them and we hear about it when we don't host one. We're also going to feature a much larger group of local television genre writers next year.
Autographs: While we did post our autograph policy on our website with clear instructions about who was signing and where, some people appear to have missed it; we'll make sure it's a bit clearer for 2014. We do want to let you know that most of our autographs will be moving to the Dealers Room for 2014, and the room itself will be enlarged a bit while still retaining the same number of dealers, so we'll have additional line control available for this. We'll hopefully be able to share the lineup areas on our website prior to the convention, so you know what to expect. Finally, we will attempt to have autograph pricing clarified earlier than the convention itself; while this is not something we can control, we'll do everything we can to get that information to you before you arrive.
Dealers: Speaking of the Dealers Room, every single dealer from 2013 is coming back for 2014. We know there were some comments about the lack of new Doctor Who books, and several dealers are looking into that (as our primary DW bookdealer folded after 2012). The heat issues in the Dealers Room this past year were caused by a fault in the hotel's air conditioning system and was rectified by Saturday afternoon, so we don't expect that again.
Volunteers Policy: Effective for 2014, Gallifrey One will be enforcing a volunteers policy that allows volunteering by attendees age 18 or over only; this is due to liability issues. Volunteers will be accepted for help with stage setup, for line control & door monitoring, and for teardown. We're going to change the way we interact with our volunteers for 2014 (details to be posted on our website soon).
Videotaping: Since we evolved from local science fiction conventions, we've always had a more relaxed policy of implied videotaping rules rather than stringent posted rules -- basically we have allowed videotaping for personal use -- but due to the recent issue with entire panels being posted on YouTube, we realize that this must be codified. Therefore, as of Gallifrey 2014, we are making it explicit that, with your registration for Gallifrey 2014, you consent that any videotaping you do at the convention within our programming rooms (Program A, B, C, etc.) may not be reposted/uploaded to video sites online including YouTube, Vimeo, etc., without the express written consent of the convention, with the exception of brief clips no more than a few minutes long and within reason. Videotaping of other activities including general cosplay, personal photos/video with the TARDIS, etc., are fine; we simply do not consent to our programming being rebroadcast to people who are not at the convention.
Lines: Several people commented that they were concerned about the autograph lines and the line for the Masquerade going outside where the smoking area was; we are looking at ways to improve this so that does not happen again. We are also investigating (and we stress INVESTIGATING, as this is nowhere near a done deal) the possibility of video simulcast of the Opening & Closing Ceremonies and Masquerade on the hotel television channel as a way to potentially alleviate some of the crowding issues for these events.
Gaming: We realized just how much of an issue the loss of our gaming lounge was this year, so we'll be bringing it back in 2014. (This is the area with the round tables for table and card gaming that forms part of the pass-through hallway between the western and central hall.)
For Kids & Teens: We realize that some of our younger folks have different priorities, so in addition to our daytime children's program for younger children, we're looking at some events in the evenings. For one, we're looking at some gaming options in the evenings for teens in our gaming lounge, as well as some child- and teen-friendly discussion panels on Friday night. We'd love to hear from you if you have an idea for something that might be more family-oriented for your children, as we want to include everyone.
Courtesy Policy: This is important - we've gotten a lot of feedback that some common courtesy was not followed by a few of our attendees this year. Therefore, for Gallifrey 2014 and beyond, we will be posting a Courtesy Policy for the convention. Among the items we will be asking are for viewers of events and panels to keep quiet and not chat amongst themselves while panelists and guests are speaking; for cellphones to be turned off or silenced during panels; for parents with small children who become noisy to leave a panel room with their child so as to not interrupt the panel; for attendees wearing hats to remove them in the main hall so that people behind them can see the stage; for people to quietly open and close the doors to panel rooms that have had their doors closed for sound reasons; and for people outside the doors to the programming rooms to keep their voices down so as not to interrupt the panels. In order to ensure that none of these items, or any other issues wreck the experience for others, we will be strictly enforcing this policy (soon to be posted on its own page on our website), up to and including asking offenders to leave the convention. We will very much appreciate your consent to and following of these rules to make sure everyone has a good time.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns via email - we look forward to hearing from you!
The 24 Hours of Gallifrey One (Gallifrey 2013) is complete... and by all accounts, it was a magical weekend for everyone. Wrapping up this year's event:
Facts and Figures: Gallifrey 2013 welcomed 3,578 attendees, staff and guests, the largest Gallifrey One event ever -- although everyone keeps telling us the crowds were more easily managed, the lines quicker, and except for a few select panels, never so full that standing room only had vanished. (There were rare exceptions, of course -- Sylvester McCoy's incredible Saturday panel event completely filled up, for example -- but we're very proud of our attendees who followed our suggestion to attend only one of Freema Agyeman's two panels, which helped everyone!) The convention raised a record $7,620 for our 2013 charity, the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.
Post-Convention Feedback: By all indications, the convention was a great success. We managed to keep the main foyer manageable, and enlarging the dealers room was a great success. We do agree that there were a few last minute changes to the autograph lines and we hope to work on that next year, but our autographs folks kept everything moving very well. If you'd like to let us know what you think, we welcome your feedback via email. Alternatively, keep an eye on our Facebook page as well as the Gallifrey Base forum, plus the #gally1 hashtag on Twitter for people's comments and feedback.
Pictures: We'd love to see your pictures of the convention! Send us email if you'd like to share them (either a link to your Flickr/Picasa/online album, or let us know you have some you'd like to send over and we'll give you an email address to mail them to!)
On-Site Photos: If you took your photo with the TARDIS console, please rest assured the guys are working through the list and should contact everyone in the next couple of days. Also, if you took a picture with Froggy's Photos with one or more of our guests and did not pick up your printed picture at the end of the convention, please email us as we have a few photos that were uncollected.
Our Thanks: As always, our convention never happens without tremendous hard work from our staff and volunteers, and this year we had more volunteers than ever - thank you all for your assistance. We'd also like to thank our amazing guests this year: Freema Agyeman, Sylvester McCoy, Philip Hinchcliffe, Mark Strickson, Peter Purves, Deborah Watling, Frazer Hines, Ben Browder, Mark Sheppard, Saul Metzstein, Douglas MacKinnon, June Hudson, Anjli Mohindra, Dick Mills, Daphne Ashbrook, Frances Barber, Michael Jayston, Stephen Thorne, Shaun Dingwall, Neve McIntosh, Dan Starkey, Ian McNeice, Nicholas Briggs, John Noble, Nicholas Pegg, Andrew Smith, Nina Toussaint-White, Lisa Bowerman, Chase Masterson, Finn Jones, Gary Russell, Paul Marc Davis, Richard Hope, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Dan Hall, Ed Stradling, Jane Espenson, Ashley Eckstein, Sarah Douglas, Julian Holloway, Julie Caitlin Brown, Andrea Thompson, Tony Lee, Denton Tipton, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Charlie Kirchoff, Blair Shedd, Charlie Ross, Scott Handcock, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Brad Bell, Barbara Hambly, Nancy Holder, Peter Anghelides, Sam Stone, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Natalie Morales, Gillian Horvath, David Wise, Craig Miller, Darin Henry, Trina Ray, Steve Roberts, Larry Nemecek, Sarah Milkovich, Bridget Landry, Richard Dinnick, Kim Steadman, Scott Edgington, David J Howe, Richard Dinnick, Travis Richey, Paul Hanley, Graeme Burk, Robert Smith?, Arnold T Blumberg, Scott Alan Woodard, Paul J Salamoff, Arne Starr, and Eric Hoffman. Very special thanks to Dawn Medina and the entire staff of the Marriott LAX for their tremendous support of our convention, and to Laurence Wreford, Jason Joiner, Paul Jones, Derek Hambly, David Bickerstaff, Julie Caitlin Brown and Andrea Thompson, Radio Free Skaro (Steven Schapansky, Warren Frey and Chris Burgess), Chip Sudderth, Vito Gregoli, Gary Russell, Gene Smith of Alien Entertainment, MaryLee Holzheimer, Piers Britton, Tony Lee, Richard Dinnick, James Kerwin, Denton Tipton of IDW Comics, Jason Haigh-Ellery and David Richardson at Big Finish Productions, Sarah Douglas, Dan Madsen at Her Universe Clothing, David Howe & Sam Stone, Craig Miller, Matt Dale, John Molyneux, Rob Thrush and TNT Films, and Donald Bonneau & the gang at Froggy's Photos.
Onward to Next Year: It's about time... for another anniversary!
Gallifrey One Conventions proudly announces Gallifrey One: 25 Glorious Years, February 14-16, 2014, at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, our celebration of 25 years of our convention. Confirmed guests so far include Colin Baker, Katy Manning, John Levene, Richard Franklin, Bruno Langley and dozens more to be confirmed soon! Pre-registration will open on Friday March 8 at 12:00pm Pacific time / 3:00pm Eastern time / 8:00pm (20.00) GMT. Unlike previous years, we have one ticket price for 2014: $80 per person, ages 17 and above. (Teens age 12-16 will still be admitted for $35; children under 12 are free but must be pre-registered this time!) Hoteling information will be announced later, and likely open sometime in April or May. What can you expect? More programming and panels, tons of new guests (classic and new series), tons of great programming, and so much more. We are just getting started, so be sure to be with us for the next Gallifrey One event celebrating the continuing adventures of Doctor Who.