Gallifrey One and the Pros of Cons

Next weekend, February 17-19, Gallifrey One, the world’s largest Doctor Who convention, will be celebrating its 23rd anniversary. Once again at the LAX Marriott in Los Angeles, fans will get to see members of the show’s cast and crew from both the new and classic series, attend discussion panels on a number of excellent topics, and even see our illustrious leader, Mr. Hardwick, on Sunday filming stuff.

But maybe the coolest thing about Gallifrey One and conventions of this kind is that fans get to meet other fans. Sometimes being a fan of something means you have to do so relatively alone. For a long while I was the only person I knew who enjoyed, or in some cases even knew about, Doctor Who and what a frigging amazing show it was. And, weirdly, no matter how many people you tell about the Daleks invading Earth, most people can’t seem to care. Last year, I attended Gallifrey 22 and met a whole slew of people who loved things that I loved and knew what I was talking about. There’s something fantastic about referencing Spectrox Toxemia and having people know what the hell you’re talking about. I made a lot of really fantastic friends last year, including the young lady who is now my girlfriend. See how things work?

This is the fun of conventions. Comic-Con is what it is and is amazing and enormous and fun, but since there’s so many people there, it’s hard to make friends. In fact, I’d always suggest going to Comic-Con with a buddy. It also has an incredibly wide appeal from people who might not like the things you do at all. But smaller, or more specific cons, are where you’re almost sure to meet people just like you. Maybe they won’t become your girlfriends, but I bet you’ll at least leave with some people you can shoot the shit with. Whatever you like, be it Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, playing pinochle, or tying shoelaces into portraits of all the Canadian Prime Ministers, there’s probably a convention for it and probably a bunch of people who don’t have friends in real life they can talk to about it.

If you’re in the LA area next weekend and are intrigued, I urge you to consider going to Gallifrey One. It’s a blast. This years guests include Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor), Mark Sheppard (Canton Everett Delaware III), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Louise Jameson (Fourth Doctor companion Leela), and William Russell (Ian Chesterton, one of the first crew of companions in 1963!) as well as a bevy of other actors, writers, directors, and producers who’ve made Doctor Who and its spinoffs what it is today. A day pass for Friday or Sunday is $40 and one for Saturday is $50, but if you go for all three days it’s only $90, which saves you a bundle.

It’s sure to be an amazingly fun time. Oh, and I’ll be there too. Just look for the tall bearded guy whose name tag says Kanderson and that’ll probably be me. Or my doppelganger. Or someone cosplaying as me. Wouldn’t that be weird? Feel free to find me say hello, I’d love to meet readers. And even if you can’t make it out this year, conventions are fun. Go forth and nerd!

-Kanderson will try to live tweet the con for those who can’t go. Follow him on TWITTER and use the hashtag #gally

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