The Gallifrey One 2018 Discussion Panel List
The following is our working list of discussion panels to be featured at Gallifrey One 2018.
Please note: the following announced panels have been canceled for 2018 due to several factors (including interest level and panel space): #9, “Doctor Who for My Generation”; #11, “Oh No It Isn’t”; #35, “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night”; and #46, “The Case for Superwholock: Third Time’s the Charm”. These four panels will not take place at our 2018 convention.
Doctor Who Discussion Panels
1. The Peter Principle: The man who has been called one of the finest actors to ever take up the mantle of the Doctor in the series’ long history is leaving our screens as of Christmas 2017, and it’s truly the end of a momentous era. This panel will be taking an extensive look at the Peter Capaldi years of Doctor Who, discussing what he brought to the role, the impact he’s left upon it, and perhaps a few words about what might be in store for the actor’s future.
2. Change, My Dear, And It Seems Not a Moment Too Soon: Well, here we go again. A new Doctor, new companions, new production team, new showrunner, and in many ways a completely new era. Jodie Whittaker is about to step into the TARDIS, and writer/producer Chris Chibnall is leading the way. We’ll discuss all of the hot topics surrounding the handover, look back at what the new players have done and how it may impact the future, and make some predictions too!
3. Steven’s Universe: Eighty-four episodes as showrunner; thirty three episodes as writer. Three Doctors (well, two plus a War version!) Five regular companions. “Are you my mummy?” The Weeping Angels. River Song. Fish fingers and custard. “Come along, Pond.” The War Doctor. Missy. The Confession Dial. “Because it’s kind.” No one perhaps has had more of an impact on modern Doctor Who than he. This panel will take a look the contributions of our honored guest Steven Moffat to the Doctor Who mythos and discuss the legacy he leaves behind. (Note: this will be a positive panel and prospective panelists should be prepared for such; this is not a complaint session.)
4. Sylvester and the Bannermen: The era of the Seventh Doctor has both its fans and detractors, and sometimes both at the same time. But the one thing that is never up for debate is that it definitely marked an era of change, not just the end of the classic show, but the mythos behind the Doctor himself. We look back upon the Sylvester McCoy era of the series, three wild years that included such tales as Paradise Towers, Remembrance of the Daleks, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Ghost Light. We’ll discuss the highs and lows, the memorable moments, and the impact the era had on the show’s enduring legacy.
5. Happy Endings: As we enter a new era of Doctor Who, with a new production team and new direction, it’s time to say goodbye to some of the best characters from the past six series: Amy Pond, Rory Williams, Clara Oswald, River Song, Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, Strax, Osgood, Bill Potts, Nardole and Missy among them, whose impacts on the Doctor Who legacy won’t be forgotten. From the standpoint of assuming we’ve seen them all for the last time (future appearances would be a pleasant surprise, but let’s assume not), we will toast the companions and other memorable characters of the past six seasons.
6. Fields of Gold: After ten seasons, Murray Gold is stepping down as the series’ music composer and arranger… but he leaves behind a rich legacy of signature tunes, incredible incidental music, and rich themes for each of the Doctor’s companions (as well as the Time Lord himself). We will take a look back at Gold’s massive contributions to Doctor Who, the impact he has had on its image, and talk about our favorite set pieces, themes and highlights.
7. Shades of Gray: Before the bold colors and brilliant effects, before the film sequences and CGI, there was Doctor Who: produced on a limited budget and a frenetic schedule, shot on videotape, devoid of color pixels… and still absolutely mesmerizing for a generation of fans. We will take a look back at the black & white era of Doctor Who, the series’ first six seasons, to discuss its production, its storytelling, the sets and costumes, and why everything that came to light in those early years had an impact on the show we love today.
8. Celebrating the Heroines of Who: At our 2017 event, we celebrated the women creators of Doctor Who, the women behind the camera whose achievements in production, directing and writing have helped shape the course of the series. This year, we’re going to focus on the women in front of the screen: the actresses over the past 50+ years who have brought to life so many important and enjoyable characters we have come to appreciate, to focus on their achievements and their work both within and outside Doctor Who and how they changed the series for the better.
10. Stories Too Broad and Deep: The “Wilderness Years” truly kicked off with a singular event: the launch of the Virgin Publishing novels, the New and Missing Adventures of Doctor Who, twenty-five years ago. From tales with familiar Doctors out of time, to grand adventures with the Seventh Doctor and Ace, and a host of new companions and characters such as Bernice Summerfield, Chris Cwej, Roz Forrester, Grant Markham, Irving Braxiatel, Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart, Jason Kane and even Wolsey the cat, we’ll take a look at the marvelous Virgin era of Doctor Who publishing, bring up some of the highlights and special moments, and discuss the legacy the novel series left behind.
12. The Radiophonic Workshop at 60: The pioneering unit known for its experimental work in electronic music, music technology and sound effects, was created in 1958 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Our panel will discuss some of their more well known achievements and their history including the involvement of Delia Derbyshire and the Doctor Who production team. (Note: prospective panelists should have a great deal of familiarity with this topic.)
13. History Is Written By The Victors: At last year’s “Hero’s Timey-Wimey Journey” panel we talked about the Doctor as hero. But what about the other side of things? How do all the “losers” out there view the Doctor? We’ll discuss the character of the Doctor through the lens of those he leaves behind, the collateral damage he causes directly or not (think Satellite Five, for example) and how his actions have impacted the universe at large… because while he’s a hero, there may always be a cost.
14. Life Lessons from Doctor Who: It’s not just a television series, it can be a teaching tool as well for children and adolescents. Our panel will be a very lively discussion about the positive role Doctor Who can play in the classroom, from astronomy to history and language: the life lessons it can teach about civil rights and race, literature and speech, science and deductive reasoning, and how even a show about a wanderer in the fourth dimension can contribute to a better society.
15. Heaven Sent: For many of us, Doctor Who is a comforting constant in our lives. When everything else in the world seems terrible, we know we can always rely on the Doctor to take us away to a happy place. These go-to episodes are the TV equivalent of a warm blanket and chicken soup. What is it about those stories that makes them so therapeutic? Join us for this interactive panel, and help us compile (with audience participation) a list of episodes to meet all your emotional needs, ones that will bring you to your happy place, complement your ‘pint of ice cream’ or ‘celebratory beer’ mood.
16. Hell Bent: The universe of Doctor Who is populated by myths and legends from a broad variety of cultures, especially the darker ones. From no less than three explanations for the doom of Atlantis, to demons from yesteryear, be they in the bowels of a planet at the edge of a black hole or buried under the fields of Devil’s End, from ancient vampires sleeping in a pocket of E-Space to modern vampires trolling the canals of Venice, and tales based upon those of ancient Greece, Egypt, Norse gods and even Lovecraft – it all makes for some great television. We’ll look at the impact of mythology, the Underworld, and the dark places of the universe on Doctor Who.
17. Starting at the Finish: From the monthly ranges to the companion chronicles, past Doctor adventures and spinoffs galore, the Big Finish universe can be a very difficult thing to navigate for the new listener (not to mention, expensive!) Our panel will help you dive into the universe of Doctor Who on audio, giving you some tips on where to start, what the best experience might be, which of the spinoffs are worth it, and much more! (Note: Prospective panelists must have an extensive amount of knowledge of, and experience with, Big Finish audios.)
18. Doctor Who Deathmatch: Seasons Edition: Building on our previous Deathmatch panels. This time around, we’re going to decide which season of Doctor Who (classic seasons 1-26, or series 1-10 for the new folks) is the best in the show’s history. As always, our panelists will, at a very high rate of speed, review, then vote on, the worthiness of each season, and declare through elimination an outright winner to crown the best of the best. (Note: This panel will go longer than other panels; also, prospective panelists should be familiar with the entire history of the series, 1966 to present day.)
19. Doctor Who Crossover: Red Shirt Edition: Continuing on last year’s panel of our Crossover “Villains Edition”, this year’s theme tackles the epic problem, “Who is the worst possible companion for the Doctor?” Which epic fail of a companion would get the Doctor killed the quickest, get him into the most trouble or just plain annoy him to no end? Could it be a colicky toddler, a crotchety old fussbudget, or even a modern politician? Our panelists will present their case for the character they think will be the best and thus the worst and let the audience decide. Let the games begin!
20. So Vile a Sin: While there are varied opinions on what is good and bad, we can all agree that are definitely some “bad” Doctor Who stories. No one sets out to make a bad story, so what went wrong? What makes a bad Doctor Who story? More importantly, could these stories have been salvaged by better direction, a few rewrites, or recasting? What works about those stories, and what doesn’t?
21. The Companions That Could Have Been: Do you think Mel Bush, Katarina and Dodo Chaplet had more potential than we saw on screen? Did Ben and Polly and Harry Sullivan not get a fair shake? Wish Liz Shaw, Adric, Adam Mitchell or Adelaide Brooke had been handled better? We’ll discuss companions and supporting characters with relatively short on-screen terms of duty (and relatively short fan followings), and companions who looked great on paper. Why didn’t they work? How could they have worked better?
22. Christmas on a Rational Planet: The Doctor Who Christmas specials have been a mainstay of the series since David Tennant’s debut fighting the Sycorax over London. But why is Christmas such a big deal in the Doctor Who world, and to British culture in general? What have been the best forays into dealing with the series at the holidays? Do we really need Christmas specials about Christmas itself? And of course: how cool was Peter Capaldi hanging with Santa? We’ll take a deep dive into the Doctor Who Christmas specials and what they’ve brought to the series.
23. And We’re Happy You’re Glad: The classic run of Doctor Who often steered toward social commentary, everything from British entry into the common market to overpopulation, out of control pollution and television violence. And nowhere is that more exemplified by the McCoy era story The Happiness Patrol, from a polarizing and oppressive government to the idea that anything less than total happiness is problematic, the story is certainly as relevant today as it has ever been. This will be an undoubtedly politically-charged panel, given the subject matter, and that’s fine… so be warned.
24. Doctor Who Beyond the Screen: The Year in Review: A discussion of Doctor Who in other genres from the past year, in the comics published by Titan, in new fiction and non-fiction from the BBC and other publishers, and in audios from Big Finish Productions. We’ll sort through the rich catalog of products from the past year, as well as discuss some of the amazing stuff we see coming on the horizon.
25. Bigger on the Inside: Doctor Who has a long history of LGBTQIA+ characters, both those declared in canon and those we find in subtext, and embracing the world of diversity and acceptance. Our panel will discuss Bill’s time in the TARDIS, and the wider history of LGBTQIA+ characters in the show. We will also touch on our experiences as LGBTQIA+ fans and our experiences with the show and Doctor Who fandom.
26. The Well-Mannered War: The Care and Feeding of New Doctor Who Fans: We want to have a frank and honest discussion about how to bring new viewers and new fans into the mix we all currently enjoy, no matter what the age group. For example, what fiction interests suggest that one may also enjoy Doctor Who? What is the best “starter episode”? How much of the classic series do you need to watch, or is it okay to just enjoy the newer stuff? Is there such a thing as “too young to understand”? What makes one a fan? When and how would a new fan cosplay? What are the good events for newer fans? These and other topics will be addressed. (Note: we are looking for teen panelists age 14+ as well as adults for this discussion.)
27. Doctor Who Confession Dial: Do you have an unpopular opinion about the Doctor Who universe? Is there something that’s been bugging you or that you don’t understand? Maybe you love something about the show or a character so much you need to share it with the world! Have you been afraid to admit to it and it’s been burning a hole in your soul for ages? This is your chance! Our panel will hear your confessional and open up the discussion from there.
Genre Discussion Panels
28. Time Travel, TV Tropes, and the Suspension of Disbelief: Every fan has their breaking point: what should be given leeway and what is totally unacceptable. From bootstrap paradoxes and causal loops to changes to the universe a TV show exists in (where were those Weeping Angels in classic Who?), from stories that come from nowhere and actors who weren’t there before, to set and costume designs that don’t quite match their 1966 counterparts (ahem!) and that’s just fine!, we’ll discuss how TV realities impact viewers and how much we must suspend our disbelief.
29. Context Is For Kings: Interpreting Star Trek Discovery: It’s here (after a fashion)… the return of that other science fiction television franchise, and the controversy that surrounded it before its debut (it’s 10 years before Kirk! it looks like the Abramsverse! it’s on CBS All Access!) hasn’t subsided yet. From the ridiculous (why haven’t we heard about the Spore Drive? why don’t the uniforms match?) to the sublime (are we really in the prime universe?), from questions of continuity (why did we never hear about Burnham?) to matters of morality (just what’s up with Lorca?) and sheer surprise (witness the sudden story shift after episode 2), we’ll take a look at the latest entry into the Trek franchise: the pros and cons, highlights and low, cast and crew notes, and much more.
30. Don’t Mention The War: Superhero fans are counting down to the massive two-part Avengers: Infinity War which will bring together most of the various characters and plots from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (except the X-Men franchise which is going strong on its own). Meanwhile, DC’s own offerings seem to be floundering creatively and critically, apart from the recent success of the Wonder Woman film. What’s the latest on the cinematic Marvel-DC battlefront? Can DC turn it around? Can Marvel continue to enjoy its successes? And what would we really like to see happen?
31. Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Star Wars? The Last Jedi is out (or at least will be by the time this panel happens), Solo is on the horizon, Episode 9 is due in 2019, and then there’s an entirely new trilogy from Rian Johnson in the pipeline. Meanwhile, Rebels is also ending, but will undoubtedly be replaced by a new animated project. Then there are books, comics, games, you name it. Like the title says, is it too much of a good thing? Is one film a year “too much”? Our panel will discuss all things Star Wars in 2018.
32. All Access for Some: It all started with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu crossing the boundaries into original on-demand programming for a monthly fee. The future of television is here, good or bad, and we’re caught up in the battle. From subscription services like HBO and Showtime bypassing cable and going direct to the consumer with Internet-only subscriptions, to the sudden and surprising move of a broadcast network creating its own subscriber programming with one of the largest IPs in media at its core (that’d be Discovery), we’ll take a look at how best to navigate the new reality of television viewing today.
33. Silence in the Library: Libraries (both the physical and the virtual) have developed new tools and new ways to bring the public into their doors. By adding 3D printers, embracing the eBook world, and teaching kids by providing science and coding classes, libraries have come a long way! We’ll spend some time discussing libraries of today, the teaching element of libraries… and how fun can be found. Not to mention, a few words about how Doctor Who has encouraged libraries and reading over the years; as the Doctor once said, “You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have.” This panel will be especially relevant to our younger visitors. (Note: we would like at least one teen on this panel who is familiar with and enjoys libraries for the added perspective!)
34. The Greatest Science Fiction Television Ever: We all know what the best science fiction show ever is (hint: you’re at a Doctor Who convention), but what’s the second best? The third best? The fourth? You get the point. We’re going to take a nostalgic look into the heady days of yesteryear, discussing our favorites, our guilty pleasures, the hidden gems that your friends may never have discovered, the retro-cool effects of days past, and the foundations that changed the rules of TV forever. Our panel of experts will help the assembled come to some sort of consensus (or at least, have a lot of fun with the controversy!)
36. Rage, Rage Against the Sequel of the Light: We’re in an age where returning to long-admired universes with long-awaited (and not awaited) sequels is the passion du jour. From Blade Runner 2049 to Prometheus (yes it’s an Alien prequel, Ridley) and Alien: Covenant (unless you’d rather forget that one), from the upcoming three Avatar sequels that it really doesn’t seem anyone’s clamoring for to the next Terminator film scrapping everything after Judgment Day, more Indiana Jones, more Star Wars, more Toy Story, even a sequel to Mary freakin’ Poppins! Where will it all end? Is it a good thing? Have we passed the “I can’t believe they’re going there” point and are we instead now in the “WTF are they smoking?” phase? We’ll discuss the topic and attempt to find some answers.
37. SF Television 2017: The Year In Review: Gallifrey One’s annual retrospective of the best and worst in science fiction & genre television. Our panel will take a look at what’s been on offer since we last convened, from TV series on networks and streaming services.
38. Film 2017: The Year In Review: A look back at the best and worst in science fiction, fantasy, genre, horror and comic-themed films for 2017. We’ll look at the last year in film history, the good, the bad and the ugly, and discuss all the latest releases, biggest trends and hot topics.
Fandom & Fan Life Discussion Panels
39. The Official Grass is Mostly Greener: Intellectual property has become a very hot topic of late, especially when it comes to fan expression. A lawsuit from CBS filed against the production of a fan film called Axanar changed all the rules when it came to Star Trek fan films, and that’s bled over to many other genres as everyone struggles to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. We’ll embark on a discussion about making your own fan films based on an existing IP: the technical stuff, such as putting together a script and crew, to the boundaries of what can and can’t be done to fund your project.
40. The Dimension Riders: Online Who Fandom Today: Doctor Who as an online presence has never been more popular. From discussion forums like Gallifrey Base to Doctor Who-specific groups on Facebook, from active areas on Reddit and user groups that lead to Meetups and events, to the enhanced use of Twitter and Instagram, from websites to Wikipedia and much more… our panel will attempt to make some sense out of things, show you how to get involved and active in the online community (and hopefully make a few new friends while you’re at it) and more.
41. Stop Me Before I Collect Again, 2018 Edition: The return of our popular collecting panel. From autographs to Dapol Davros figures with 2 arms all the way to the modern mass market explosion things like BBQ tongs and serving platters, collecting Doctor Who memorabilia is an expensive and time consuming hobby, There are as many different ways to be a Doctor Who Collector as there are things to collect. Our panel of enthusiastic collectors will discuss their prime pieces and share tips of how to get started, what to focus on and how to find that Holy Grail item.
42. State of Change: The Mainstreaming of Geek Culture: Most of us over the age of, say, 35 remember that it wasn’t always cool to be a fan. There were all the signs of a secret society there, but it was all below board… and heaven forfend if you ever mentioned you were a fan of that silly sci-fi show on PBS with the guy wearing the scarf traveling in the blue box! Times have changed, and now geek culture is not only mainstream but the very heart of worldwide pop culture. We’ll discuss how things have changed for the better, and not so better, regarding fandom in the modern age, how fans relate to media and to each other, and how some elements of geek culture might in fact be a nostalgic illusion.
43. The Fires of Creation: The universe of Doctor Who is full of amazing creativity, be it knitting (such as those wonderful Tom Baker scarves), crochet (amigurumi), jewelry making, leatherworking and more. Our panelists will discuss the wonderful world of Doctor Who craftmaking and creativity projects, illustrating and design work, and so much more… including tips on how to get started and how best to share your ideas.
44. Even More Perfect Prop Design: Yet another edition of our popular annual prop-making and prop design panel discussion. Our panelists will take a look at the arduous task of photorealistic prop making, from authentic looking Daleks to amazingly impressive sonic screwdrivers, and give you some insight into the best ways to collect materials those fantastic replicas, including tips on the best places to hunt. (Note: prospective panelists should have an extensive knowledge of prop-making.)
45. World Enough and Time: Life is a massive juggling act. Between your job, family and friends it may be difficult to find a way to fit your geeky passion into your life and not sacrifice something else. This panel will discuss some helpful tips and ways to make sure you can do it all, by finding ways to prioritize, organize and tackle everything you want to be doing without sacrificing the things that you love.
Cosplay Discussion Panels
47. How My Cosplay Started, or How I Found a Hubcap and Ended up a Cyberman… Remember when you found that cane on eBay and thought it would really make a good prop for your First Doctor cosplay? Or saw someone wearing a handsome pair of wingtip spectator shoes that could be a perfect start on a Seventh Doctor? Whether a bit of flotsam on the road that could be useful for crafting a Cyberman, or a stash of pink wool that would make a great Romana II outfit, cosplay always starts somewhere personal. We’re taking a deep dive this year into the inspirations behind the world of cosplay, a journey through the stories (told by our panelists and audience members) about how they got started in this crazy hobby.
48. Hello, Sweetie: A Cosplay Primer: So you enjoy all the fabulous cosplayers at Gallifrey One and really want to get involved… but you haven’t a clue as to how or where to start. Sound familiar? Then you’ll definitely want to join us for this panel. Some of our costuming experts will share their tips and tricks for getting started, as well as letting you in on some of their trade secrets, like where to find the best material and accessories, what characters might lend themselves to being a bit easier on beginners, and what sort of etiquette and behavior lends itself to that perfect cosplay.
49. Set Piece: Cosplaying Strong Women of Time & Space: A blend of cosplay discussion with important issues of the day. Gathered in one room are some of your favorite women of time and space, from Doctor Who and the universe beyond, played by the cosplayers you know & love. We will be discussing such topics as women we have chosen to cosplay, how women in the Doctor Who universe are portrayed then and now, and where we see the future of female characters of Doctor Who going.
50. The Rocket Men: Cool Cosplay for Guys and Their Friends: Cosplay has a huge following that transcends gender. But let’s face it: sometimes, the guys out there just don’t know what sort of cosplay will make a splash; we can’t always cosplay the Doctor or the limited number of male companions out there. So this year, we’re holding a cosplay panel with just the guys on it (but everyone at the convention is welcome to enjoy it!): let’s talk about how much fun we can have cosplaying a variety of characters, consider some of the challenges unique to male cosplay, share how easy (or not so easy) it is to pull alien makeup and prosthetics together, and brainstorm some great ideas for next year and future conventions.
51. The Sands of Time: Historical Costuming in Doctor Who: We’re going to take a very detailed look into Doctor Who’s long history of recreating period attire, discussing such topics as fashion trends and cultural influences in the Doctor’s outfits; choices in historical costuming when the Doctor and his TARDIS land in the past, and how they’re sometimes very right – or very wrong; and touch on some period costuming recycling into other TV series and films. (Note: prospective panelists should have extensive knowledge of this topic; we’ll contact you with specifics when selected.)
52.The Also People: Cosplaying the Obscure Characters: It’s not just the leads and the main guest stars… our panel discussion will feature cosplayers focusing on unique characters outside of the mainstream, characters that played a prominent role in an episode of Doctor Who: think Vincent Van Gogh, the Auntie from The Doctor’s Wife, Emma Grayling from Hide, or Lynda from Bad Wolf just as examples. We’ll also talk about the reasons why some characters discussed on the panel have been selected, issues with making them recognizable, and resources for cosplay. (Note: prospective panelists will want to do some pre-planning; we’ll contact you with specifics when selected.)
53. The Cosplay Protocols: Come meet fellow cosplayers and discuss best practices when it comes to the etiquette of cosplay. The panel will cover a wide array of subjects including dealing with photographers and taking pictures of other cosplayers including children, how to interact and respect your fellow cosplayers, what is appropriate when speaking with them, how to take care of yourself and be aware of your surroundings and many other poignant aspects to make cosplaying enjoyable to all.