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» Sunday, May 26, 2013Exiting the Timegate
Second verse, same as the first re sleep. You know, some people go away for the weekend to relax and sleep. Apparently I'm not one of them.
This morning we had one other thing to do: take the animals home. I figured we would eat breakfast, pack the car, take them home and come back. We could check out of the hotel when we returned. And the car had a new battery so we shouldn't have the same problem as last year.
But there was one problem: James wanted to see the ten o'clock panel and I wanted to see the eleven. This is why, after we had breakfast and loaded the car, I was the one heading home, while he saw "The SF Mystery: Does It Work?" Since it was Sunday, bad traffic was nil, but the Sunday drivers were aggravating. Still, I made it home, settled Schuyler and Willow in, and got back in 55 minutes, enough time to see most of my panel, the one on the new incarnation of Doctor Who. But this panel made me laugh, because most of it appeared to be complaints about the "new regime" of Steven Moffat. It wasn't two years ago that we were hearing the same complaints about Russell T. Davies, and how glad everyone was that he was leaving and turning things over to Moffat!
I left early just in case there was a line for Colin Baker's panel, but the big crowd had been yesterday. I was able to hear the end of Colin Spaull's panel where he told about being in a production of Heidi (in 1959) where he played Peter the goatherd. He thought he was going to Switzerland, but they filmed it on the backside of an old London zoo, and, in a scene where he was herding the goats, they had to cut because three kangaroos were in the background. :-)
Anyway, it was great finally seeing Colin Baker. His Doctor doesn't have a good reputation, and, if I have to be honest, I don't remember that many of his episodes, and what I do remember is scenes: the twins playing chess in "The Twin Dilemma" (voted, as he pointed out in the panel, if not the worst episode ever, at least one of the worst), his burst of temper, his companion Mel trying to get him to exercise and drink carrot juice (I'd have bursts of temper, too), and, most famously, his encounter with the evil Valeyard in "Trial of a Time Lord." I understand the audio dramas are much better, as they had better scripts. He did talk about filming "The Two Doctors" in Spain; they arrived, but most of the costuming didn't, and he and the rest of the cast had to...horrors!...loll around the pool for four days before it was delivered!
He talked about still being friends with Doctor Who cast members, including those who he didn't play opposite, like Louise Jameson, whom he's really good friends with and has appeared onstage with. In fact, he mentioned, Nicola Bryant, who played Peri, was competing in a composer competition later in the evening, with his own daughter Bindi singing the songs Nicola had composed. They've done many audio dramas together. His love of the series was very evident and he said he couldn't have imagined as a young man first seeing the series that he would ever have a part in it (especially since his father forced him to study law).
Anyway, a warm and very nice gentleman, as you will learn further down.
And now it was time for the final panel of the day, "What Books Are We Reading?: Books We Keep Coming Back To," which turned into a discussion of "comfort books," the ones you re-read when you are stressed or depressed or feeling lost. The answers were not just SF/fantasy genre, either, as Jody Lynn Nye admitted hers was Gaudy Night (after which we discovered several Dorothy Sayers fans in the audience), and we even had a few romances. One gentleman even admitted that when he found himself becoming too conventional and complacent, he went back to Kurt Vonnegut, whom I never considered a "comfort" read, but then "comfort" means different things to different folks. (Just in case you were wondering, my vote was Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy. And, though I didn't talk about it, Kate Seredy's The Open Gate.)
There was another panel I would have gone to, about favorite showrunners, but James and I decided to get a little something to eat. We always stay for the wrapup panel and the last two years have been sitting there starving. So I had potato skins and he had chicken wings, and we were set (literally, as we didn't have supper when we got home).
Wrap-up is always bittersweet. You can tell the con committee is exhausted, and after an eventful weekend they want some blissful rest. But time was taken to thank the con committee and the track managers and the hotel liaisons. There were a few complaints, but mostly suggestions for next year, and including one happy revelation: we had been told that Colin Baker was donating a portion of his autograph session profits to the convention charity, one of the Atlanta food banks. It was only after he was well away on his flight that we were told he donated all of his profits to the charity! Combined with the $1000 raised from the cabaret fee, I think almost $4000 was raised all told. How lovely!
Anyway, as has been in the past few years, there are suggestions for expansion—a science track, children's activities—and perhaps a new hotel. It's good to see Timegate doing so well, but I hope it never gets too big, as being small is part of its charm.
Ninety minutes flew by, and then we were back on the road and home, and unloading the car, talking to the critters, and watching Alaska: the Last Frontier (totally hysterical segments about Otz and Charlotte having to move their outhouse because the "poopsicle" in it was finally getting so tall that...well, you know) and the next segment of North America, about young animals learning how to survive. Schuyler perked up a little as well. I hate when she moults!