No Sunday review this week because I've just been too busy to get through the latest shipment of comics. So instead, here's my report of Anglicon.
To say that Anglicon weekend was amazing does not even come close to how it felt to me. I'm still reeling from everything that happened. This post will probably be too detailed, but I hope to remember as much as possible in the future... and so, after the cut...
List of Dramatis Personae
I can keep everyone straight in my head because I can picture them. Any readers, and future me, are at a distinct disadvantage, however, not having been at the con and not necessarily knowing who I'm talking about. So I'm going to list the people involved in this story.
- Eric - My sweet husband, also a member of the Anglicon Con Com in charge of programming. He and I saw each other briefly during the convention, like passing ships in the night.
- Lisa - My sister, a few years younger than me but still my evil twin. I'm also her evil twin. We hung out together during the convention. She recently earned her masters degree.
- Chloe - My niece. Quiet, shy-ish, but sharp and highly amused by her nutty aunts.
- Anglicon Con Com - The group of folks who, during the 50th anniversary showing of Doctor Who in Seattle, realized there was enough interest to revive, or Regenerate, Anglicon and so pulled together to make it happen.
- Shawn - The chair of the convention, Shawn was constantly putting out all the little fires that happen during conventions. He was also in charge of the hotel relations. He wore fezzes the entire convention, and because he is very tall, it was often easy to find him in a crowd.
- Dan M - Programming assistant and guest relations, Dan made sure that every guest was happy. He was technically my boss all weekend. His wife, Wendy, is a big DWL fan.
- Wendy M - Assistant and wife of the guest coordinator. She also participates in Adi's streams as SplitLevelHead on Twitch.
- Spyder - In charge of operations, also handled technical stuff.
- KBTC - The PBS station in Tacoma (in the Seattle area) that Anglicon raises money for. Several employees of the station were at the convention all weekend.
- Colin Baker - The headliner guest of the convention, Colin played the Sixth Doctor on TV from 1984 until 1986 and on audio since 1999. Colin was at Anglicon VI in 1993.
- Sophie Aldred - Sophie played Ace, the final companion of the classic TV series opposite the Seventh Doctor, from 1987 to 1989, then continued to play Ace in various productions.
- Katy Manning - Katy had the role of Jo Grant in 1971 until 1973 opposite the Third Doctor. She returned to the role for Sarah Jane Adventures in the Death of the Doctor in 2010. She also has played Grant on the audio adventures and played Iris Wildthyme as well.
- Jon Davey - An actor from the new Doctor Who series, Jon has played cybermen, ood, judoon, various walk-on roles, daleks, winders, marine, cleric, whispermen, UNIT soldiers and a droid. His signing table had a time-lapse video of him being made up into his whisperman costume, complete with him eating a sandwich during the process. He had a tendency to take selfies during the con.
- Todd McCaffrey - The Master of Ceremonies for the big events, Todd kept up the patter and kept the audience engaged during the moments of downtime.
- Tiny Rebel Games - The creators of Doctor Who: Legacy, a free-to-play game that is very popular among both gamers and Doctor Who fans.
- Susan Cummings - The executive producer of Doctor Who: Legacy. Susan dared the trip to Seattle with her son in tow without her husband. As it turned out, she had lots of help from convention staff and the posse.
- Lee Cummings - The creative director of Doctor Who: Legacy. Lee got suddenly very sick right before the convention and was unable to attend in person. He was Skype'd in twice, once during Saturday's panel and also during "The Stream".
- L Cummings - Susan and Lee's son. Had a blast at the convention, ran around wearing out all the posse members and meeting new people.
- Sharee - Not quite a member of the posse and not quite an employee of Tiny Rebel Games, Sharee maintains the Facebook page for DWL and spends a lot of time answering stupid questions and bopping people breaking the rules. She lives in the Seattle area.
- Adi - Online streamer from England who uses his Twitch Channel to promote and play Doctor Who: Legacy, among many other games. Adi has an online following which includes a group of people who have devoted enough time participating and watching him to be called his Posse.
- The Posse - A group of gaming and Doctor Who fans who watch Adi's Twitch streams and enjoy chatting with each other online. My Posse name is RealTegan (which is also my Twitch name, go figure). Several posse members came to Anglicon to meet Susan and Lee.
- Bre - Posse member CompanionBre, didn't have to come too far as she already lives on the west coast.
- Tabi - Posse member tabitenor17, came all the way from Austin to be at Anglicon.
- Justin - Posse member DoctorWhoFan6872, Justin and his wife traveled from Boston to be at Anglicon.
Hubby-Eric and I got up early, as usual, on Friday morning. Getting ready didn't take too long, then we headed with my sister Lisa to the hotel. It was a lot shorter drive from my folks house than I was expecting, and parking wasn't a big issue, either. Once inside, we located a few folks we knew, while Eric ran around talking to groups and people and getting ready for the con. Lisa and I didn't have a lot to do, but we did what we could.
At one point I saw a weeping angel approaching me on the front of a scooter and stared at it until it passed, much to the amusement of the gal driving the scooter.
Eventually, my niece (Chloe) arrived and she got roped into being a volunteer as well. The first part of the day was really slow, but eventually the guest coordinator, Dan, found Lisa and I, and we were sent up to the room to fetch Susan, the Doctor Who: Legacy guest, and show her the Tiny Rebel Games table in the dealers room.
Once there, we helped set up, then remained for a time with Susan and her son, L. Her husband was supposed to come to the con, but he unexpectedly got very sick right before the con. But she wasn't alone, members of the AdiposeTV posse showed up and helped at the table all weekend (Tabi, Justin, Bre and Sharee).
At one point we were asked to take the guests to hospitality, so we got them there, where they received a nice bag of a bunch of great stuff including smoked salmon, wine, cheese, a cutting board and even a knife. L got very excited. Katy Manning was in the hospitality suite as well and hugged L... and me, and Lisa, and Susan... and then L again. It was funny and sweet. I want to make it clear that, at first, L was very shy around Katy Manning and was a little scared of the funny old woman. He warmed up to her quickly. Everyone did!
Susan's first panel was the opening ceremonies at 3, so Lisa, Chloe, the posse and I took turns helping watch the table and keeping L from killing anyone, getting killed, or trying to buy everything in the entire dealers room. At times, watching L became a full-time job. I noticed the autograph tables were slow, so I brought Susan and L over to meet their fellow guests. Susan promised each of them codes to help play the game.
For the opening ceremonies I led Susan and L out into the hallway, then we were joined by Colin Baker, Jon Davey and Sophie Aldred. We thought Katy Manning was behind us, but she stopped to hug somebody. Colin wanted to go in the back way, so we made a dash through some corridors that were technically off-limits to people who aren't hotel employees and eventually ended up behind the magic curtain in the main hall. Then we noticed that Katy was missing. Fortunately, a person from Crypticon noticed that Katy was lost and brought her to us. Thank you, Crypticon dude!
No con ever goes off without a disaster or two, and Anglicon was no exception. The lighting on the main stage wasn't working, so there were a pile of people working on it while we waited to start. Eventually, we decided to start without them, but that meant that our guests would have to go out in front of the curtain, across a mess of wires, and thread through some seating to be introduced. Katy is very near-sighted, so we had people ready to help her.
Master of Ceremonies, Todd McCaffrey, looked back to me (I was the only one visible to him or any of the crowd) and I gave him the thumbs up to start, then turned to tell the guests we were starting. As I turned, Katy, who had been sitting on Jon's lap, stood up and immediately fell, face-first, into Colin's lap. Apparently, she had just been talking about drinking and said she hadn't touched a drop in 12 years. A roar of laughter went up from the guests... but nobody in the audience could see what was happening. Todd turned back to look... my hands were up, covering my mouth... I heard Todd say, "well, maybe we aren't quite ready after all."
Colin and Sophie were laughing so hard it was a few moments before Katy was put back on her feet. I gave the thumbs up again and the introductions proceeded. Susan and L were introduced first, then Jon. Katy got assistance from my hubby to get over the wires and cables. Sophie almost went on the stage behind the lights, then climbed on a dangerously wobbly table to cross it and be introduced. Three guys jumped over to steady the table and be ready to catch her if she fell. Colin apparently pretended to trip. It was fun.
We went back out the back way to get everyone back to their tables, then it was hurry-up-and-wait time for Susan's Friday night panel. But while we were waiting, posse member Justin had a brilliant idea. He suggested quietly to me that we get one of the other guests to pop in on Adi's panel. I pondered, then went and talked to Eric (programming director) and Dan (guest coordinator). They were both cool with the idea as long as the guests were good with it. I then asked each guest, and they ALL said it would be great, yes, let's do it.
Susan's first panel was at 5 p.m. and we had a good time at the table until it was time to go. The panel was good, Susan spoke about the future of the game with the moderator, Bre, who was not only a first-time moderator, this was also her first ever con. So she was nervous. Except for a few problems with the microphone early on (Bre forgot she was supposed to speak into it and instead waved it around because she talks with her hands), she did great.
The panel went well, even the code at the end, then we headed back to the table. At some point I gathered up the posse members and went and introduced them personally to the guests as well. There were jokes about agreeing to be on the stream, and now the posse was here to enforce it. Everyone got hugged by Katy Manning. Sharee even couldn't get away for a moment as Katy chatted with the group with her arm around Sharee.
I was pretty tired Friday night. Loads of stuff at work followed by long road trip, then the excitement of the convention just drained me. Eric and I had dinner at a very cool nearby diner, but I could barely walk back to the hotel, I was so weary. I got steadily more sleepy as the evening wore on, reaching "passing out from exhaustion" stage very early. Eric still had official con stuff to do, but I was sound asleep by the time he got back to the room. Which also meant I got a long sleep Friday night... which meant I was more than ready to face the day on Saturday.
Eric and I had a good breakfast at the Denny's across the street from the hotel, then I met Susan at her table when the dealers room opened. She had nothing scheduled until 5 p.m. I had my panel Saturday morning at 11 a.m., on the other hand. As it turned out, we had two microphones, three panelists and we were introduced by my husband, who said the panel was revenge on Lisa for getting me addicted to the game and on me for playing it when I should have been doing other things.
It was a weird panel that I really hope nobody recorded. I was... how do I put this? Insane. I was insane. I even sang.
OH, WHAT A NIGHTWe didn't have a lot to say, but we said it anyway. Oddly, the people who were there acted like they enjoyed it, but I feel like it was, generally, a failure. We didn't need the extra panel with Susan at the con. Anyway, once I got out of there, feeling stupid, I got lunch with my hubby then headed back to Susan's table. I ran errands, chatted with guests, made things happen that needed to happen, sometimes helped out at somebody else's table or spot. With the posse and my sister around, I wasn't needed as much as I'd feared, so Saturday was fairly relaxing for me, although I did a couple of things behind the scenes.
(with apologies to the Four Seasons)
Oh, what a night, late November back in '63
Doctor Who first showed up on TV
What a program, what a night!
Oh what a night,
You know we didn't even know his name
But we were captivated just the same
What a Time Lord, what a night!
Oh, I got a funny feeling when it came on the screen
And I, as I recall it was greatest thing I'd seen.
Oh what a night,
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me
The show was everything I dreamed it'd be
Sweet time travel, what a night!
I felt a rush when the TARDIS spun us under
Taking off with a groaning wheezing thunder
(Oh what a night!)
Oh, I got a funny feeling when it came on the screen
And I, as I recall it was the greatest thing I'd seen.
Oh what a night,
It's been fifty years now that we've seen the light,
Travelling the universe to make things right
What a Time Lord, what a night!
I felt a rush when the TARDIS spun us under
Taking off with a groaning wheezing thunder
(Oh what a night!)
Oh what a night! Doo dit doo dit dit doo dit doo dit dit
The remainder of the day was fairly calm until it was time for the DWL evening panel at 5 p.m.
The panel was notable for a couple of reasons. First, Sharee, who runs the Facebook page for the Doctor Who: Legacy game, was the moderator. Second, we used the magic of modern technology to patch in Lee from L.A., who was looking considerably better but still was sick. Third, we went right from the panel to the AdiposeTV meetup at another hotel, which is important to what happened after.
Having Lee on Skype was nice, but we couldn't get the volume high enough to match the microphones, so everyone in the audience had to be quiet to hear him. That wasn't a problem at Saturday's panel, but it would become one on Sunday. Lee and Susan shared lots of information about an upcoming version of the game, and we all enjoyed hearing the updates.
After the panel we all headed to the meetup and had dinner. L was running around about 90 mph, but we had a couple of new posse members to help wrangle him, including a 12-year-old named Jake, who managed to calm him for a little while. I was paying attention to the time, because my job as official minder meant I needed to get Susan back to the con hotel for the Match Game. We were told 9 p.m. -ish, but our food didn't arrive until after 8 p.m. I had this fear that I was going to get pinged... sure enough, my hubby texted and asked where I was. The music events had finished more quickly than planned, and the guests were needed. So we got Jake's dad to drive us back in a rush. Then the guests congregated backstage. One more "guest" was missing, the fill-in for Lee. Eventually they decided to move ahead without him, and the guy showed up just as they started to announce people.
The Match Game was hilarious. They'd taken questions from the original Match Game, word-for-word, then inserted some Doctor Who/Science Fiction tone into them. The contestants did really badly. I think only one of them managed to get a match, while the panelists matched each other with some regularity. Sophie had a tendency to jump up and hug other panelists when she got a match with one of them. Jon Davey took a selfie. Susan had L on her lap, and he shouted out the answers when asked by the MC, Todd McCaffrey.
I hovered around backstage, taking photos and staying prepared for whatever happened next. It was well past my bedtime, but I stuck around until the Match Game ended. My last duty of the night was confirming when and where the guests needed to meet for the Sunday morning banquet, then I headed off to bed.
It was a lot harder to get up on Sunday than it had been on Saturday. I was a little overwhelmed from everything we'd gotten done the day before, including some autographs for Lee. Fortunately, I only had one big thing to do before the day got started, and that was make sure I understood the connections on the projector for the noon DWL panel in which we planned to put Justin's idea into action.
Breakfast was a bagel at the hotel coffee shop, then I headed to the event room and started to examine the projector and sound board. Spyder came in and I talked with him a bit about the needs for the panel and how to set it up. I figured out the basics, but I couldn't figure out the sound, so that was that. We were just going to have a lower volume than I was comfortable with. I accepted it and moved on.
The first panel of the day was my husband's "6 Degrees of Mark Shepard", and I hung out for awhile there, even though I'm very very bad at sitting still for panels at any convention. I really can't seem to stay in one place very long if there's any way at all for me to be moving. So I wandered in and out. During his panel the con had another little crisis, and he was interrupted for a moment. I later went out and talked with someone and was told the crisis was over, so I got to bring him that happy message.
After that I wandered for a bit, waiting for the banquet to end. Some of the posse and I manned the DWL table and talked to people as well. When people from the banquet started to get downstairs, I waited for Susan by the elevators to update her on the status of our experiments with the tech. I wasn't really sure at that point if everything was going to pull together, but I had high hopes for it. As I was waiting, I was joined by a couple of the other minders and a fan waiting for her family. Colin came out and his minder peeled away. Sophie and Jon arrived. Eventually I was left with the fan and I. The outside door opened and a woman came in walking a dog and a toddler. I laughed and said, "Oh look! Katy Manning bait!" My fellow fan grinned at the joke and the woman, dog and toddler continued to walk in front of us, past the elevator bank... and then the door of one of the elevators opened and Katy Manning walked out.
I barely had enough time to laugh and to register that the fan beside me and the woman were also laughing when Katy zipped over and started talking to the toddler and dog. It was cute beyond words, and the fact that I'd just joked about it made it so perfect I nearly died from the lovely coincidence.
When Susan came down from breakfast, I told her about it and she told me that L was falling in love with Katy Manning. It was a bright morning.
We'd been telling people online that they really didn't want to miss Sunday's stream on Twitch. Really. You don't want to miss it. I'd also been asking people around the convention to come to the panel, including the daleks. In short, I'd been building it up nicely. So when the guest liason approached me and said there was a problem, I think I died a little. The scheduling wasn't quite going to work. We discussed. We planned. We came up with a quick compromise. I breathed a little easier, but still felt that horrible constriction that this whole thing might go horribly wrong.
I went into the room and started to set up Susan's computer before the previous panel was over. I had the tech side done before we were ready to start. The daleks arrived and sat in a corner where they enjoyed getting their photos taken with fans. I managed to connect with Adi and Lee for a moment on Skype on my computer and showed them the daleks. Things weren't going perfect, but they seemed to be going. As the panel started, we listened to Adi start the stream, then dove in...
The whole stream is available here. If you watch the first minute, you hear Adi talk about the daleks I showed him.
From my point of view, we were frantically trying to figure out exactly how we were going to do this. Originally we were going to have two computers, one at the panelists and one at the audience. But the panelists one didn't work out and instead I logged into the Twitch stream and participated a little in the chat while the events happened.
Susan sent Adi the message to call her in two minutes via Skype, and you hear Adi announce it while Lee and Adi are talking. Then we all got set in the room, waiting for Adi to log in. We could hear Adi and Lee live, but our visual was delayed 30 seconds. In retrospect, we should have had Adi share his desktop so it was live in the room. As it was, the delay was freaky at times.
When we made the connection, Justin and Susan showed Adi his name badge and the audience cheered at him, and one of the daleks greeted him. Then Adi got the convention up on the screen and everybody waved again. It was fun... Then the dalek came into the screen and said hello as well... just after 7:30.
I was literally right behind the camera that you can see on the screen. I was next to Susan trying to monitor all the action and trying to get the microphone to work.
At one point a person in the audience said in chat that they were in the audience, so I asked him to raise his hand. Later I made him get up and wander into the aisle. I also got up and told the dalek operators that they could leave when the guests did. As the guests hadn't arrived yet, I'm not sure they understood until later.
I was getting more and more anxious and worried as the guests didn't come in. I finally decided direct action was required and at 20:45 you can see me leave the room. I raced over to the signing area where all the guests were hanging out, signing... and had a quick talk with the guest coordinator. He promised me they would come over in a minute. I went back to my spot, coming back into the room about a minute later.
At that point I was just waiting. We had everyone show off their ribbons to Adi, Susan talked about what had happened at the con so far, including Colin strangling L, but we were all kind of waiting. My eyes were glued on the doors. I got more and more anxious as Adi described his Anglicon team. Then Adi played his team of the week and everyone in the room sang along although we couldn't hear the music.
Because of the delay, we started singing after. Then the guests came (just after 25 minutes). Justin led them to the front, I handed the microphone to Sophie, who handed it around, but you could barely hear them due to sound issues.
Then Colin says "What's going on?!"
I told Colin it was delayed 30 seconds, he heard "40 seconds" and started talking about poo and bum while Adi was pretty much speechless. And even if he was talking, we couldn't have heard him if we tried.
I loved Katy talking about Facebook and Twitter... and being upset that Adi wasn't talking. We couldn't hear him. Katy held up her finger like she was flipping off Adi, but she was telling people that she'd broken a nail.
Then Colin told Katy that "the guy in the middle is the father of the little boy who fell in love with you."
When Adi starts talking, about the international stream, then we could finally hear him. I took the microphone back from Sophie, but Colin waved his hand and took it to say a few more things. At the very end there, Jon does his selfie (32:00).
Then the Elsa dalek chased Colin out of the room and the other dalek followed. L and Katy meet up and it took Katy longer to get out of the room.
After L came up to wave at his dad, he also got on his mom's lap and started to distract her. Eventually Justin and I managed to get him back into the audience.
Then I did the questions from the audience by taking the microphone around. It was funny, but we again had some sound issues.
At 45:30 we went in front of the camera and waved as posse members. At about 46 minutes, you can see (left to right) Bre, Me in the back, Sharee in front with L, Wendy peeking in, behind Tabi and Justin.
After we were off the stream, I pumped my fists and felt fantastic. I mean I really felt fantastic. There is no drug that could duplicate the joy I felt at that moment, having pulled off the entire panel. We started to pack up for the next panel, but I was floating for the rest of the afternoon.
So much so that when Justin pulled out his poster that he hadn't had a chance to get signed yet, I said I'd go with him to get the autographs. Unfortunately, we learned that Colin was already done for the con. Justin was terribly disappointed, but I was still so high and energetic I decided that Justin was not going to go home empty-handed. He'd been helping me all con, I would help him. So I first confirmed it would be ok with the guest liaison, then I went to the place Colin was next due to appear with Justin in tow. Nobody was there... in fact, Colin was late and there was a low level panic. Sophie and Katy were on stage, and they just kept them there while waiting for Colin. The guest liaison asked me to wait for Colin, which I had planned to do anyway, and took off running to see if he could find him. After he left the room, Colin came in the back, and they gave the signal to Sophie and Katy to wrap up.
I got Colin to sign Justin's poster, explaining that Justin had been volunteering and hadn't had time to get a signature. Colin was gracious about it and thanked Justin for helping. Then Colin went on stage and I got Katy and Sophie to sign Justin's poster, too, as they came off stage. Justin was overwhelmed, but I was happy. I took Justin out the back way into the hallway, where I saw the guest liaison and gave him the thumbs up. He mock collapsed (I hope it was mock) against a wall in relief. Then it was just a matter of getting Jon's autograph on the poster, which was easily accomplished in the signing area.
With all that had happened, the last item on the agenda was closing ceremonies. There were a couple of minor mix-ups here and there, but it all came together nicely in the end. It was heartbreaking to leave, moreso for L, who had fallen completely head-over-heels in love with Katy Manning and couldn't bear to go home without her. He cried as he left the main room. When Lisa, Chloe and I got to the luggage pick-up to retrieve Eric's and my luggage, L and Susan were still at the front counter, L sobbing in his mom's arms. When Katy and the others came by on the way to the car to the airport, L grabbed Katy and hugged her tight, clearly not wanting to leave. When she went out to the car, he ran out after to say a final good-bye, with Chloe and Lisa right after him... like they had been all con long.
While waiting for my luggage I learned that the front desk has cookies in a warmer, and they will give you one if you ask nicely. Mmmmm.
After snagging the luggage, Lisa, Chloe and I hitched a ride home with my mom, who came to pick us up. Eric would take the car later, because he still had to deal with final convention stuff. By the time he reached my folks' house that night I was long gone, taking Inky back over the mountains to home.
It blurs into one, but I can remember a few things that happened over the weekend...
- Taking over for Sophie Aldred's minder so she could get lunch. The minder makes sure the guests are where they are supposed to be, calls security if there's an issue and handles money. It was a cool half-hour.
- Hanging out with the rest of the posse at Susan's table, and spending a lot of time watching L so Susan didn't have to.
- Seeing L turn a table into a cave where he was able to get away from the crowd and play on his tablet.
- Drawing a dalek for L and then writing a quick story for him.
- Meeting the son of a former co-worker in the dealers room. Hi Lars!
- Completely forgetting to take pictures because I was enjoying the company so much.
- Running into friend after friend from Seattle fandom, some of whom I hadn't seen for years.
- Inviting the daleks to the Sunday panel (there were at least three fan-made daleks wandering the con).
- Getting messages meant for Eric and helping nail down certain problems as they happened, including one nasty bit of confusion about the crafts room.
- Meeting and sometimes helping a lot of fans that were completely new to the whole convention scene.
- Seeing Colin Baker get a massage.
- Peeking in on the crafts room on Sunday and seeing it completely jam-packed with people making little dolls.
- Buying a little knit eyeball with a bell and catnip in it for Inkwell.
- Having a room on the 12th floor... with elevators that were windows on one side, thus triggering the worst of my fear of heights every time I went to my room.