While we’re still four months out from next February’s Gallifrey One: 25 Glorious Years, we’ve been hard at work with behind-the-scenes plans. Here is a peek inside some of the great stuff you can expect this coming year…
A New Guest (And More Coming… New Series, Especially!)
We’re still working behind the scenes on our guests for 2014, and while we’ve already got a huge lineup confirmed, we’d like to add one returning name to the list. Though she was just with us this past February, we’ve asked DEBORAH WATLING (Victoria Waterfield) to make a return visit for 2014 due to the big news recently announced – the recovery of two of her stories from classic Doctor Who. Debbie will be back with us in February alongside Frazer Hines to celebrate the recovery of “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear” and we have some big plans on that front.
For those wondering how the rest of our guest lineup is progressing… we’re nowhere near finished, yet. In fact, due to the complexity of actors’ schedules, it is difficult to schedule principal guests from the new series who are currently working in other venues until shortly before the convention. Therefore, we want to reassure attendees that we have some big names we’re still working on (and when we say big, we mean big!) and we will be announcing them as soon as we are able. For those attendees who are primarily interested in the newer series, rest assured you won’t be disappointed…
Our 2014 Charity
Gallifrey One’s pride and joy in our convention lineup is the annual Bob May Memorial Charity Auction, which takes place every year on the Sunday of the convention. We’ve raised nearly $100,000 in the past for worthy charities dealing with disaster relief, medical research, animal sanctuaries and youth organizations. For 2014, however, we’ve made the decision to go a bit more personal, due to a recent tragedy in our own family. On the evening of September 9, 2013, one of our own was killed in a horrific accident caused by a drunk driver; Aimee Hoff, a 23-year-old member of our Operations staff, a young woman who has grown up with our convention (her father is Charlie Hoff, the head of our technical services department), was among the fatalities. This sudden and tragic loss silenced a young woman who was dedicated to theatre and music, and our entire staff has spent the recent weeks mourning her loss.
To that end, Gallifrey One will be supporting the Aimee Hoff Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has been established at Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park, California where she went to school. The fund will be set up to provide an annual scholarship to graduating seniors pursuing a college degree in the music field; as music was Aimee’s passion, we hope it will help continue her legacy and provide something positive out of this tragic event.
As always, Gallifrey One will gladly accept donations for the annual Charity Auction on site. You can find complete details about our annual charitable event here on our Charity Auction page. For the first time ever, we will have a dedicated Auction Center in one of the convention program rooms on the 18th floor where you can stop by to drop off your contributions (as detailed on the Auction page) as well as view many of the items being put up for auction on February 16. You can speak to our attendants in the Auction Center to find out when some of the most popular contributions will be scheduled during the event and participate in our Silent Auction (details forthcoming). Or, if you’re simply interested in donating to the charity as part of our contribution, we will gladly accept your cash donations at that time as well.
Programming, Special Events and More at Gallifrey 2014
While Gallifrey One in 2014 will be full of all the usual panels, Q&A sessions, interviews, discussions and presentations, we’re going full speed ahead with some other events that we hope our attendees will enjoy, including the following:
Early Convention Check-In: As we did for 2013, we will be opening convention check-in early on Thursday afternoon (likely by 2:00pm, but we’ll let you know a more firm time closer to the event) so you can pick up your badge and program book and be on hand for everything starting with Thursday evening’s fun. (We are also doing all-day Thursday setup of our convention for the first time, so if you’re interested in helping us set up the stage, check in at the Registration area at that time.)
Gallifrey 2014′s Thursday Night Extravaganza: On Thursday evening at 9:00pm, we will officially launch the Gallifrey One 2014 convention with a special evening of fun for all registered attendees. First, we have expanded to a third, early night of Gallifrey Karaoke and for this evening, it’s in our main ballroom on the main stage. Meanwhile, you can mingle with fellow attendees as well as some of our on-hand convention guests for our Boardwalk Party, an event featuring games of chance, an Ice Cream Social, and a few surprises! And of course, if you’re looking for socializing and a bit of drinking, join us for our Lower Level LobbyCon as we feature a full cash bar, cocktail tables and seating throughout the convention foyer. Plus, we’re planning to start up early on the program from this year with a special evening of discussion panels to be announced.
Expanded Dealers Room and Autographs: This year, to radically simplify our autographing – paid autographs, author autographs and even actors present signing throughout the weekend – everyone’s been moved into the Dealers Room. We’ve therefore expanded the room a bit, increasing the flow of traffic. And we’ve dealt with the lines by reducing their number; we’ll be color-coding each line, marking it on the floor with color directional tape, and having an attendant at the end of the line. (And yes, we’re also restricting the lower level smoking area away from where autograph lines will go…)
My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver: Inspired by an obsession with Doctor Who and picking up where his last show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf left off, Chortle Award nominee Toby Hadoke’s highly anticipated second show is compelling, incisive and universal in appeal. Join him as he takes you on a heart-warming journey that begins with losing a partner, ends with gaining a stepson and pays homage to the restorative powers of the Time Lord in between. Toby brings his show to our stage on Friday night.
Recovery Discovery: Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling join us for a special 90-minute celebration panel, as they discuss the recent recovery of “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear,” reminisce about their time making both, and then participate in a special live commentary on one episode of each of the two stories.
Metebelis 3: The Gaming Lounge: This year, we’re debuting our gaming and pub quiz lounge on the top floor of the Marriott. Take the elevator from the convention on up to the 18th floor and join us for open gaming, directed board and card gaming, and several special pub quiz events throughout the weekend.
The Timey Wimey Puppet Show: Direct from the YouTube web series and a packed appearance at DragonCon 2013, we’re pleased to bring this family-friend Punch-and-Judy-inspired Doctor Who comedy puppet show to Gallifrey 2014. The show will be during the day and is for all ages!
The Well-Tempered Schism In Concert: Our musical entertainment from the Chicago area dedicated to music from and about Doctor Who will perform on Saturday night after our Masquerade, featuring the talents of Andrew Edwards, Philip Serna, Annette Bjornling and Matthew Eberle. Encounter some fan-favorites and other themes of our beloved TV-series, and of some spin-offs.
The Idiot’s Lantern and The Shakespeare Code: Both Friday and Saturday night, join us in the Meridian Ballroom for two costumed performances by participants from our cosplay fan brigade. On Friday night, Bob Furnell and his troupe bring back last year’s “The Idiot’s Lantern” cosplay performance (with vastly increased seating!), while on Saturday evening after the Masquerade, Adam Ferry and his compatriots present a live Doctor Who-themed cosplay performance of one of the Bard’s classic works.
Mysterious Theatre 337: Our annual Friday evening performance is back (immediately after Toby Hadoke’s stage show) to celebrate – and skewer – a classic Doctor Who serial, “Mystery Science Theatre 3000″ style!
The Masquerade of Mandragora: And of course, our special convention evening showpiece, our annual costume show on Saturday night at 8:30pm will feature the best and brightest in Doctor Who cosplay to our main stage. Contestants can sign up at the Masquerade table in the main foyer all day Friday and on Saturday morning to early afternoon; we encourage you to sign in early. Complete rules are here on the website.
And much more! We’ll be releasing our list of convention discussion panels soon (although we’ve slightly cut back on them in 2014 to offer more professional-grade programming, as we are planning a lot more local speakers including television writers, directors and more!) and will be announcing some terrific additional programming items in the next several months. The countdown to Gallifrey 2014 continues…