Gallifrey One: Upstaging Rabbits, Delightful Demons and Crikey, Crocodiles!

Well, it’s official: day one of Gallifrey One programming is officially done and over with. All that is left to do is hang out in Lobby Con and write up a recap of all the goings-on. So I put on my Dr. Grace Holloway costume and hit the floor running thanks to the Starbucks in the hotel lobby.

First up was the Radio Free Skaro live podcast that happens annually at Gallifrey One. Although I had already said hello to 7th Doctor (and The Hobbit‘s Radagast) the night before, the podcast was the first time I’ve really seen McCoy. He bounced onto the set, a pure ball of solid energy. Although he’s a little guy, the presence with which he carried the room was impressive. But mostly, he was funny. No, he was hysterical.

I will admit that I know McCoy mostly from the Big Finish audio adventures moreso than the actual television series, and, obviously, I adored him as Radagast in The Hobbit. He spoke about the joy that the audio adventures gave him, but he also spoke about his time in New Zealand on set with Peter Jackson and crew. McCoy compared his time on Doctor Who (at a time when the series had a very low budget) to his time on The Hobbit. Obviously, there were huge differences, the largest being the special effects. In The Hobbit, McCoy’s character has a lot of furry little friends, including an entertaining entourage of rabbits. Yes, those were all CGI. McCoy jokingly complained, though, “I had no idea the rabbits would upstage me.”

I also had the wonderful opportunity to see McCoy again in a photo opportunity and a signing. He was wonderfully amusing and charming, as always.

Most of my afternoon was spent perusing the hallways and photographing all the wonderful cosplay. I have scores and scores of photo that I will share sometime after the con. However, as I was wandering aimlessly around the convention area, I bumped into the delightful Mark Shepard, who may have had a role on Doctor Who last season, but in some circles is known as the wonderfully wicked demon Crowley on Supernatural. Shepard told me that he is thrilled that Supernatural has been picked up for another season and that for those of us who are big Crowley fans, “Just wait.” Sounds juicy, doesn’t it?

Gallifrey One Daleks
Gallifrey One: Here there be Daleks.

I have to admit that I am only familiar with the classic Doctor Who character Turlough through the Big Finish audio adventures. However, the actor who portrays him – Mark Strickson – is one of the most interesting people I have ever shared a room with. After Doctor Who, Strickson went to Australia to get a degree in Zoology and is now well-known for being partially responsible for launching the late Steve Irwin’s career, along with giving us several other nature-inspired documentaries. Obviously, he spoke about crocodiles and shared a few secrets. “We always carried hollow bamboo poles,” Strickson said as he explained that crocodiles feared larger animals than themselves. Citing the small brain and large head of a croc, he continued to explain. “You can knock a crocodile on its head with a bamboo pole and it will think a larger crocodile is what it’s dealing with.” And therefore, Strickson may have saved some future crocodile hunter’s life.

And that’s just day one, folks! There’s so much more coming tomorrow. There will be Inspector Spacetime (who may have some time to chat with me this weekend) along with (hopefully) a meeting with John Noble and Ben Browder. The very lovely Freema Aygeman will also be present and I hope to ask her about those wonderful clothes she gets to wear on The Carrie Diaries.

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