This past weekend (Saturday, May the 4th, to be exact) I spent my day celebrating! I was not, however, celebrating the franchise you might guess based on the date. Instead, I was celebrating the franchise you’d guess based on knowing me even just a little bit. That’s right, it was A Celebration of Doctor Who! Paul Booth of DePaul University organized a truly lovely event.
I spent my day surrounded by Doctor Who fans. What could possibly be better?
There were two tracks going simultaneously. One room was for screening Doctor Who episodes. Sadly, I wasn’t able to make it over there at all, I was so busy with the other track—the roundtable discussions. These were fabulous—and not just ‘cause I was on two of them.* I got to talk about “The Long Appeal of Doctor Who” and “Doctor Who Fandom.” Both were fun discussions with lovely and intelligent people.**
After the roundtables, Robert Shearman did a live commentary of his episode “Dalek” and a Q&A after. He was as hilarious and informative as always. He even did a short reading from one of his stories. It was delightful! (…if disturbing—he excels at disturbing!)
A particular highlight of the day was getting to meet so many Verity! fans. I lost track of the number of people who approached me between panels to tell me they liked the podcast. I couldn’t be more chuffed. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so so special.
Here are some other highlights in no particular order:
- I bought a book and a Big Finish audio adventure!***
- My heretofore twitter-only friend Mel Heeres brought me a gluten-free donut!
- Rob Shearman drew a Dalek for me.
- Jody Lynn Nye showed me her fabulous photo album w/pictures of John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Lis Sladen, Ian Marter, Janet Fielding, and probably more I’ve forgotten. It was SO. COOL.
- I got to hang out with friends I don’t get to see often enough: Lynne, Michael, Caitlin, and Felicity!
- Mary Robinette Kowal gave me advice on shoes.
- My parents came along with me and enjoyed it thoroughly. They saw almost every single panel and had a blast!
- Jody Lynn Nye brought Jelly Babies (in a TARDIS lunchbox) and passed them out to our panel—and the audience!
- I had lunch (and then coffee) with Carole Barrowman, who is as lovely and entertaining as her brother.
- The Well-Tempered Schism provided some lovely Who-themed music during the reception after the events.
I could probably go on and on about how awesome it was, but I shall stop here. If another event of this sort happens while I’m still in the USofA, I will most definitely make it a point to attend. I encourage anyone in the Chicago area to keep your eyes open and do the same.
As a matter of fact, if you’re a Doctor Who fan, look around and see if there are any local Who-themed meet-ups or events. There’s something magical about gathering in person to celebrate something we love so very much.
*I even moderated my first panel EVER. Scary. And, as it turned out: Fun!
**One of those people was my Verity! cohort Lynne!
***Yes, ME. I bought an audio. Even I’m not sure what to think about that.