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» Saturday, May 06, 2017Just Knock on That Panel!
Hark, hark, the dog must bark! After the lights go out. At three a.m. For God's sake, shut up!
Needless to say, not a lot of sleep last night, and had to get up at 7:30. But we did look after the fids and get packed up and on the road in time to make breakfast at nine, so we could make a panel at ten.
James went to the RetroTV panel just to ask when the heck they were going to be back in Atlanta. They're in Gainesville now, which definitely cannot be said to be in the Atlanta area (nor can it be viewed here). It's like saying Westerly, RI, is in Providence. I went to the Disney/Pixar panel where we talked about the animated features: which were good, which were bad enough to go straight to DVD (Mulan II got a lot of hate, and for heaven's sake why was the sequel to Hunchback geared at small children), as well as if they have to do sequels, what would you like to see (other characters in an already established world, like Moana's). Also the merits of 2D animation versus CGI. Of course I had to mention Piper before it was over, because Piper is brilliant. 😊
Next went to "Chicks Write Time Lords," about women writers on Doctor Who. This included writers for Big Finish and for the books that kept the show alive during "the wilderness years," like Kate Orman. We even had time for a little fanfiction.
After that, a sit-down at "American Young Adult Literature," where we discussed...well, you know. Talked about age-appropriateness being determined by how an individual child reads, not just by the ratings put upon them by the booksellers (except for 13 Reasons Why, which should not be given to teens struggling with depression, per someone who's read it). Parents should read questionable books first (me: not protest them). Dystopian fiction seems to be waning, but sadly also the short spate of science fiction. Since all the panel was older adults except for Aubrey Spivey, they talked about how to get themselves back in a teen mindset (they ask people that age to vet their writing.)
Remained in the same room for "Research: You Gotta Do It." I'm a research junkie; I could research forever. But the time comes where you have to end the research and write the story. So the authors on the panel talked about doing research while you're writing (pretty much a no-no because research is the world's worse timesink) or do you just put a note in your text to look something up and research later? Scrivener was recommended again. Hmmn. A fun question was "what was the worst mistake you ever made in a story because you didn't research enough?" For example, Jana Oliver said that in one of her time travel stories, taking place in 1888, she looked up everything, even tide tables for the Thames, then wrote that there was a crossword puzzle in a newspaper. (Crosswords are from the 1920s; there were word puzzles in newspapers then, but not crosswords.) Ooops. Lee Martindale was very funny talking about having to ask a question about male anatomy of a guy.
Then, of course, had to make a trip to main programming to see Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant do their panel. They are good friends and have been since they played the Doctor ("Sixie" as Colin calls him) and Peri so long ago, and it showed. They laughed and bantered together as they talked about their earliest Doctor Who memories (the original premiere for Colin and a Patrick Troughton episode for Nicola), and then Nicola talking about how she got the role of Peri and realized she was going to be in a regeneration episode (jackpot!), and how Peter Davison pranked her by telling he Colin Baker was difficult to work with. Also some memories from "The Two Doctors" as poor Nicola and Patrick Troughton were outdone by Fraser Hines and Colin corpsing around all the time. It was a great but very short hour!
I thought of staying for the "Things We Learned from Doctor Who" panel next, but opted to check out the dealer's room. There are a lot of cute little things, but not anything I really want, if you know what I mean. However, there's an artist outside the dealer's room with some smashing prints of Doctor Who subjects. I also did a pit stop and briefly went up to the con suite for a cracker with cheese spread, a handful of M&Ms, and five or six tortilla chips. I ate my perfectly healthy lunch during the research panel (chicken cacciatore in a cibatta roll, mandarin oranges, and a juice box) and still feel ravenous.
Back in Panel Mode, I attended the panel about science fiction/fantasy films at thirty: Princess Bride, Spaceballs, Predator, Robocop, and more. Bumped into James there; he'd talked with Lee Martindale for a while, went to a Next Gen and a Star Wars panel. On tap: memories, favorite lines, how in the hell did Mel Brooks get away with that, things these films predicted that came true (ravaged Detroit, anyone?), what else was hot that year (Three Men and a Baby, directed by Leonard Nimoy, and Dirty Dancing), etc.
And finally, the Victoria panel, because I've quite enjoyed the series and that's my period anyway. We chatted about how some historical accuracy was sacrificed for drama, other British royalty and their bearing on Queen Victoria, how she married her children to all the other (mostly Germanic) nations in Europe, how Prince Albert was underrated, and commiseration for Rufus Sewell, loser at love in British historical drama. And, of course, what we might expect in the next season.
Would have liked to have stayed for The Crown panel, but it was suppertime! We had the dinner buffet, which turned out to be roast chicken (made as a cacciatore, of all things) and meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and baby greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and baby corn for salad. It was much cheaper than breakfast, which totaled at $41! Maggi and Clay turned up and we all had dinner together. Clay tried some whiskey that turned out to be $15 for about two or three ounces! It had a nice potent scent all the way where I was sitting. Interesting: Clay told us the hotel doesn't want to hold science fiction conventions anymore: they hate the people in costume, the registration in the lobby, and the con suite. So even WHOlanta will have to find a new home next year. (Please, please, please pick a pet friendly hotel!)
Sadly, this companionable hour ended too quickly and we had to get seats for the cabaret, but it started late anyway. I noticed it was rather sparsely attended this year. Not sure if people were gearing up for the mass viewing of tonight's new Doctor Who or were getting dressed for the 30's themed dance tonight. (See why we want a pet-friendly hotel...) But it began just after James showed up after his "pit stop." Lieutenant Moxie Magnus was again the host(ess?) and did a ukelele duet with Angela Pritchett, who has done a Who cookbook, then Melinda Botterbusch sang a filksong about Martha Jones, Courtland Lewis dueted with Moxie on "I'm a Little Bit Country, You're a Little Bit Rock'n'Roll" and another piece, Florida musician Ken Spivey and his new wife Audrey (sorry Ken Spivey fanclub, he's taken now) did a short number, Louis Robinson sang a sweet love song about an older couple and then the theme song to Sharpe, and finally Moxie finished off on ukelele with 21 songs done in seven minutes. Half the time we were singing along: "Supercalifragilistic" and other Disney tunes blending into old rock and emerging as old folk tunes.
In the middle of the cabaret they took a break for a masquerade. Only four entries this year: a woman in Gallifreyan battle armor, a little boy as a white Dalek, a ninth Doctor wearing his TARDIS, and a woman in a gorgeous hand-made TARDIS kimono. They all won and we all applauded, especially for the little boy and the kimono lady (it was really lovely).
And then, alas, it was over, and since this is not a pet-friendly hotel, we had to forego the pleasures of watching "Knock Knock" and then the dance (or going to Sacha's memorial service) in favor of going home and "relieving" Tucker (literally). He was so glad to see us and kept jumping up on me and staring.
I found my BBC-copy of this week's Doctor Who episode waiting in e-mail, downloaded it while perambulating the pooch, and we just finished watching it a little while ago. Really creepy "haunted house" story with David Suchet (who plays Hercule Poirot so well) as the guest star. I do wish they hadn't removed the reference to the young guy Harry being Harry Sullivan's grandson. Apparently they were told "no one" would understand a 40-year old reference. Seriously. Do you suits really not understand fans at all? (Don't answer that!) And what's going on in that vault? Whomever's in it, the Doctor brought them Mexican food...