Gallifrey One 2015: A Randomly Wonderful Weekend

So you’ve read about my adventures in Disneyland and are wondering what happened at Gallifrey One after that, right? If so, read on!

We took the shuttle from Anaheim to the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, where Lobby Con (the con before, during and after the con) was already in full swing. This is basically when people just hang out in the lobby and around the bar and meet up with those friends we only get to see once a year. Some people were already in costume, ribbons were already being handed out and some folks were even giving out candy, including these adorable chocolate Daleks.

Chocolate Dalek

My friend and I wore our mouse ears from Disneyland because we learned at Disneyland that there are a lot of cross-over Doctor Who/Disney fans. Interestingly enough, people took our photos because they thought we were cosplaying! We attended the ice cream social, and then decided to call it an early night, because we were still tired from Disneyland and needed sleep to prepare for Gally, which officially started the next day.

So we slept, and on Friday, I dressed up as The Moment from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special.

The Moment

It’s a really comfortable costume, save for the boots, which are probably about a half-size too small, but I haven’t been able to find a larger pair that works, so I suffered (although I discovered they were more comfortable without insoles). Friday was mostly the day we wandered around, thrilled just to be at Gallifrey One and see and do all the Gallifrey One things.

We attended a panel with Eve Myles of Torchwood,  and I discovered that she is freaking hilarious. I also now have this song stuck in my head that she later sang with Burn Gornman about sexy naked ladies on her t-shirt that has everything to do with her audition for the series. I also got her autograph and she drew a halo over herself.

A photo posted by Robin Burks (@robinburks) on

I told her that I enjoyed her voice acting work in Dragon Age 2, and she acted a little surprised that I would mention that, grinned and said, “Oh, that was so much fun to do.” It’s the only reference to the video game I heard all weekend, so go me!

Friday was also the day of The Idiot’s Lantern Doctor Who skit show, which was hilarious and probably even better than next year. I’m totally biased because I knew a lot of people involved with it, but, in particular, the Dead Rory skit had me rolling (think Monty Python meets Doctor Who).

Before we knew it, it was late Friday, so after some more mingling at Lobby Con, we made it to nearly 11 p.m. (that’s 1 a.m. my time, so this means we were slowly adjusting to West Coast time). Saturday rolled around, and with it, came John Barrowman, one of this year’s guests.

Saturday is also the biggest cosplay day of the con, so I rolled out my BioShock Infinite TARDIS dress, which made its con debut. The dress was a hit: a lot of people got the BioShock reference, but even those who didn’t complemented me on the dress, which really helped my confidence as both a costumer and cosplayer. This is the first thing I’ve sewn by hand, so YAY.

Of course, more exciting was meeting John Barrowman. I’d practiced what I wanted to say with him, especially since I’d been told he was up for anything in photo shoots. And strangely enough, I didn’t blank when I looked at the gorgeousness that is Captain Jack Harkness. The conversation went something like this: “What do you want to do?” asked John. “I’m the TARDIS,” I said. “Cling to me.” John said, “Turn around.” I complied and the result was this most awesome photo in the history of photos. Which is funny, because I THOUGHT I was going to get a photo with him in my Rose Tyler costume, but the con schedule and my cosplay schedule didn’t quite work out. However, I LOVE this photo more than anything ever. Me and John Barrowman And so began a very random weekend. When John signed the photo, he looked at me and said, “Hey, I’ve been in you.” Although I thought that made me a very special snowflake, I later learned that he said that to all the TARDIS costumes. But it was still wonderfully awesome.

That was followed by a few panels and then the Masquerade. Here’s the funny thing: I hadn’t planned on even seeing the Masquerade (the costume contest) this year, but 15 minutes before the show, someone came up to Rachel and me and asked us if we wanted to do something with it. We’d been drinking, so we agreed, but had no idea what was going on except that we had to meet this person backstage before the contest began. So we did and were informed that we were back-up singers and dancers for Tony Lee, who was doing this opening singing number for the show. So that happened: I was a back-up dancer for Tony Lee. Unfortunately, no one has yet found footage of that to prove that it happened, much to my chagrin. Like I said, random.

After the Masquerade, we danced until the wee hours of the morning. I saw Paul Cornell getting down to the Spice Girls, which seemed odd, but also perfectly normal. More randomness. I made it almost until 2 a.m. and passed out shortly after that.

Sunday brought the final day of the con, which always comes with a little sadness. I dressed as Rose Tyler from “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances” episode.

  A photo posted by Robin Burks (@robinburks) on

I spent most of Sunday in panels, including the John Barrowman panel, where I laughed like I was attending a stand-up comedy event. The man is… just… yeah. I have no words. NO WORDS.

I went to more panels, including The Inspector Chronicles, which as you may know, I cover a lot of. I’m working on a feature piece for Tech Times T-Lounge, so keep an eye out for that.

After that, it was time for closing ceremonies, where I always cry a little bit, and then dinner. But dinner was random, too, as Chase Masterson came up and thanked us for attending The Inspector Chronicles panel. I explained that I was writing up something for the site I work for, and she asked for my card so that she could contact me about a potential interview. WHICH IS AWESOME. And she is a really cool person, by the way.

And so Gallifrey One ended on a high note, although when I returned home, I didn’t really return home. Thanks to some rather nasty winter weather, I got stuck in Memphis, TN (about a 1-1/2 hour drive from home) overnight. Boo, winter.

So is it 2016 yet? I’m ready for the next one already. However, next up is Con GT next month, and for the first time ever, I’ll be a guest there.

For those of you interested, too, I posted a gallery of cosplay photos from the con over at my day job: Tech Times T-Lounge.

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