Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gallifrey One: Spanning the Decades

It's appropriate that the science fiction franchise DOCTOR WHO (and franchise it is, with two TV series, three movies, two spinoff series, novels, comics, etc.) is about a hero who travels through time. The franchise itself started 49 years ago; and the Gallifrey One convention that over 3,100 folks attended this weekend bore testimony to the franchise's multi-decade reach. On Saturday (the day we attended alone), one could see guests ranging from Waris Hussein, the director of the very first DOCTOR WHO serial in 1963 (telling stories of how original star William Hartnell, who was rather racist and sexist, had to be coaxed into starring in a series created by a Canadian, with a female producer and an Indian-British director) to Caitlin Blackwood, who portrays Amy Pond as a little girl in the most recent run of DOCTOR WHO episodes. In between, one can find actors such as Louise Jameson, who played companion Leela (a pre-Xena Xena) in the series in the mid-Seventies, and Paul McGann, who played the eighth incarnation of The Doctor in the 1996 Fox TV-Movie revival of the series.

It's an impressive chunk of TV history, one that continues to be successful seven years after the series's 2005 reincarnation into a critically acclaimed series that has won many new fans. And Gallifrey One is the place to meet those who were present throughout that history.

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