Gallifrey One: Celebrity Panel Edition

By February 19, 2013

Like all conventions, one of the highlights of Gallifrey One is the multitude of panels and events. In one room, episodes of New and Classic Who air continuously. In others, topics relevant to fandom are highlighted and discussed. One of the greatest draws, of course, are the celebrity guests; their panels in the main room are often packed; attendees will often sit or stand at the edge of the room when no more seats are available.

The liveliest panel of the weekend was, perhaps, Sylvester McCoy’s. Eschewing convention norms, he meandered through the audience, walking stick and microphone in hand, personally taking questions throughout the entire event. He received and accepted a same-sex marriage proposal, then promptly divorced his ‘husband’ to be a woman’s belated Valentine. Hugs were given to children, questions about favorite childhood books answered, and audience members frantically raised their hands for the whole hour, hoping for their personalized Q&A with the Seventh Doctor (also of Hobbit fame).

A few interesting tidbits gleaned from the various celebrity panels of Gallifrey One:

Peter Jackson owns both a Seventh Doctor costume and a Radagast costume. Sylvester McCoy is carefully guarding his street clothes; he’s concerned that Peter Jackson might want those too!

Sylvester McCoy also expressed his amusement at being called “The Real McCoy” when his birth name is, in fact, Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith.

According to Freema Agyeman, Russell T. Davies had one very important reason for pairing Mickey and Martha: their last names. Because Martha first appeared in the episode “Smith and Jones,” Davies was excited by the prospect of making her Martha Jones-Smith, and bringing her name full circle.

Martha was meant to represent the every man/woman. Her relationship with the Doctor was not intended to be one of fantasy; rather, the experience of unrequited love was one that the audience was supposed to connect with.

Daphne Ashbrook would like to take a TARDIS to find out what happened to her character (Grace Holloway) after the end of the film. Sylvester McCoy, on the other hand, would like to use his TARDIS to take a trip to the Apple Store…tomorrow.

While filming Classic Who, retakes were a rarity. If a shot was missed, an effect gone haywire, or dialogue blown, it stayed in the final version of the episode.

Mark Sheppard admires cosplayers, whom he thinks are incredibly brave for wearing their fandom on their sleeves.

Daphne Ashbrook is very proud of the fact that Grace was the Doctor’s first onscreen romantic encounter. At her autograph table, she handed out “Grace Kissed First” badge ribbons…and stuck one on Sylvester McCoy’s hat during a joyous reunion in the hallway!

And finally, at the Closing ceremonies, the guests returned to the stage to say their farewells.

Daphne Ashbrook came out wearing an exploding TARDIS t-shirt, while Dan Starkey (Strax) playfully accused the audience of being “human scum.”

Frazer Hines wore a Doctor Sheldon Cooper shirt, and gave a Doctor Who-style rendition of “Soft Kitty.”

Freema Agyeman thanked the fans who helped her build up a substantial collection of badge ribbons over the course of the weekend.

And, ever the character, Sylvester McCoy pantomimed his farewell.