The annual L.A.-based Doctor Who convention “Gallifrey One” (Feb. 15-17th) has come to a close, and my wife and I were in attendance (as we have done for the last five years). We arrived at our hotel (the Residence Inn, across from the convention) late Friday afternoon, and it was pouring rain (yes, this is in southern California, believe it or not). Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to do a whole lot of anything that first rainy night, beyond checking into our hotel room, grabbing our badges and taking a quick perfunctory look around the convention.
The real fun began (in earnest) on Saturday when my wife decided to do a beta-test of her forthcoming WonderCon/ComicCon cosplay … as the character of “eBay Elayne” from “Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet” (2018).
She painted her neck, face and ears a bright green (with sealer to prevent smearing), wore a matching green wig (also dyed) with green stockings, custom-made green gloves and hand painted/dyed clothing. To make her cosplay Doctor Who-relevant, she brought along an eBay board of a Dr. Who TARDIS lunchbox (along with the prop itself) to make it appear as if her character was selling it on eBay.
The costume got attention, with most of the comments being along the lines of “Wow! That takes real commitment!” She only wore it from about 11 am thru 4 pm before she had to wash it all off. The ‘test’ was a huge success.
Beyond my wife’s terrific “eBay Elayne”, Gallifrey One was (as usual) overflowing with creative cosplayers…
I only attended a handful of panels this year (my wife attended many more), but the few I attended were of personal interest to me. I didn’t really attend any of the ‘big ticket’ events, preferring to spend my time in the more intimate venues this time around. There’s always next year to catch the bigger stuff, right?
One of my favorite things about attending a relatively smaller convention like Galley One (relative to San Diego Comic Con, anyway) is the less-fettered, generally easier access to some of the attendees, allowing for a bit more face time and casual conversation. And, of course, I swore I wasn’t going to get any autographs this year either, but, of course, I wound up getting two (but only two).
Here were my two autographs…
And here were some of the other good people whom I’d met previously and caught with a bit over this weekend:
First, a BIG shoutout to Chase Masterson (best known as “Leeta,” from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), who founded the non-profit anti-bullying, kindness-affirming “Pop Culture Hero Coalition”, along with various partners, including the Yale School Of Psychology, back in 2013 when she heard of a young girl named Katie who was being bullied at school for liking Star Wars. Partnering with the girl’s mother, Carrie Goldman, Chase pulled a few strings with her connections to fandom and let young Katie know that actor Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”) was in her corner as well. The event got some media coverage, and the Coalition has grown slowly but steadily over the last few years, offering merchandise for sale towards the development of an eventual middle-school curriculum that hopes to teach empathy, inclusivity and compassion. I had the good fortune to interview Chase almost a year ago for Trekcore.com (http://trekcore.com/blog/2018/05/interview-chase-masterson-returns-in-star-trek-online/) and I’ve been inspired by her group’s work. Chase’s invaluable aides during the weekend, Raymond and Niki, are also instrumental in trying to get their group’s message out onto social media, including Instagram & Twitter. To learn more about the Coalition, or to donate, here’s the site link: https://www.popculturehero.org
I also had the chance to catch up with author/screenwriter/producer/director Marc Scott Zicree (“The Twilight Zone Companion,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” “Deep Space Nine” and many other television credits) about his longtime project “Space Command”, which I got to see a half-hour preview of last year at San Diego Comic Con, and I’ve since watched the first full hour online. It’s an impressive, well-written, professional-looking crowdsourced film that aims to bring back some of the optimism of early Star Trek, which been sadly missing in a lot of sci-fi these days (in favor of more ‘edgy’ fare). One of the great themes of the first hour is altruism. Doing good whenever possible (or impossible). Helping one’s fellow creatures (or androids) because… well, why not?
I had the chance to interview Marc at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention last year and he was delightful (see: August 2018 archives of this site). He is a human dynamo who is literally willing a grand space epic into being with force of willpower and a lot of help from his friends/partners. “Space Command” is a true labor of love, with visual effects done by some high caliber industry professionals (Marvel & Star Wars veterans) and a cast that includes Doug Jones (“Shape Of Water” “Star Trek: Discovery”), Robert Picardo (“Star Trek: Voyager” “Innerspace”) and many other faces, both new and familiar. If you’re interested in aiding the further production of Space Command, check out Marc Zicree’s “Mr. Sci-Fi” channel on YouTube, and donate to the crowdsource effort here:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/58936338/space-command-redemption?ref=home_popular
“One day, I shall come back…”
That sums up another ‘adventure in time and space’, in this case, February 15th through the 17th, in the ‘space’ of Los Angeles, California.