December 5, 2010

Chicago TARDIS Post-Script Report: Part Two

First, it's still hard for me to believe that a week has gone by since the end of Chicago TARDIS; with the recent feature on Craig Ferguson's show...well, I wish I could go back and tell my 15 year old self that his obsession with Doctor Who is not a waste of time (and that other people share my teenage obsession); here are some bullet pointed "highlights" and thoughts from the convention.
  • This year, I opted to do the full weekend, as well as commute from home. In 2011, I think I'm going to splurge and stay at the Westin. Although I loved socializing in line with my fellow fans, quite frankly, I often felt disconnected. Granted, personal issues were at play (Mom had to go into the hospital for some tests), but it would be nice to check out some of the later evening parties.
  • As a classic series fanboy, I have to say - Louise Jameson and Frazier Hines are two of the most charming people you could encounter (Hines, especially - he really is that cool, especially encouraging me to "run through the jungle" as I nearly knocked over some foliage to get a photo). I was - and am - extremely impressed (especially since I never blurted out to Ms. Jameson that I had her photo as Leela in my high school locker in public....and to quote Homer Simpson, "D'Oh!"
  • Personal highlight - Friday, coming back into the Westin after a quick trip to a nearby Target, and casually nodding my head and saying "Hello" to Terrance Dicks. After a five minute pause, I thought to myself, "I just casually said hello to (expletive) Terrance Dicks - the man responsible for a lot of what I love about Doctor Who".
  • One of the things I love about Who fandom is that, even when you violently disagree, it doesn't get obnoxious. At a time when people will come to blows over Kirk Vs. Picard, it's nice that two Who fans can disagree about the show...and walk away glad for the conversation.
  • Toby Hadoke's Saturday night presentation of Moths Ate My "Doctor Who" Scarf was simply brilliant. Go ahead and order the CD, since I don't know if Mr. Hadoke will ever present this live again.
  • I've said this before and I'll say this again - Tony Lee, who writes the Doctor Who comic for IDW, is a crazy mad genius. In a good way.
  • Thanks to Sunday's podcast panel, I now have another entry in my coolest Doctor Who podcasts  ever - the New Who Podcast. Daniel and his daughter Nicole talk about Who, and that's very heartening - I love the fact that Doctor Who is crossing generations. Give them a listen. You'll thank me later.
  • One of the hosts of Radio Free Skaro expressed a wish to attend Chicago TARDIS one day. You really should, if only to cruise Chicago's lovely, scenic suburbs.
  • Based on the number of fezzes and bow ties, I think Matt Smith's Doctor has caught on, possibly even more than David Tennant when he took over the role.
  • Random Opinion Poll: Most of the people I talked to agree with me - if the BBC ever animates any missing episodes, they should really consider doing so for this story. Unfortunately, costs and standards will mean that we may not get another release. 
  • Proof I'm a geek - sitting in on the North American DVD panel (or, "What's coming out when"), I found myself taking out my small notebook and pen...and taking notes.
  • Thanks to Nicholas Briggs' comments in the podcast panel, I will never, ever torrent any product by Big Finish. Head there and buy stuff.
  • Thing I am proudest of saying: "Four words describe why I liked Victory of the Daleks: Winston Churchill fights Daleks. That's all I need."
  • I missed the Torchwood guests...and caught the tail end of the Ian McNiece interview. Guy can't have everything, but at an event like Chicago TARDIS....better to miss one or two things than have a potentially boring convention.
  •  I was fortunate enough to serve on the "There's a Blog For That" panel with writer Simon Guerrier (who's written for Big Finish), Tammy Garrison (contributor to Chicks Dig Time Lords), and Mary Jo Chrabasz. Although we never answered the question listed in the program - "Does having a blog make you an actual writer, or is it simply the equivalent of scribbling something in a notebook?" - we had a very lively discussion about various matters around writing in general. Plus, Simon pointed me to this George Orwell essay which I will be reading within the next week.
In his "lost" cold open, Craig Ferguson describes the appeal of Doctor Who as about "the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism". One of the great things about Chicago TARDIS is that, if anything, it shows that Who fans share in some common values: a willingness to be open to new experiences, new people, and new ideas. Everything that I loved about the series as a teenager...well, it's there in spades now that I'm an adult.

Definitely doing this next year. Who wants to share a room?

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