We’re mere days away from the start of North America’s largest Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One! It’s time to make your final plans and pack up all your costume pieces for the best Whovian weekend of the year. We’re sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the schedule and other updates from Gally, but here’s a rundown of all the details plus our top panel picks.
First Time at Gallifrey One?
- We’ve got a full guide to Gallifrey One if you’re in need of a primer.
- Peruse our photo galleries from 2013, 2014, and 2015.
- Check out our Gallifrey One tag for all posts related to Gally if you’re craving more details and history.
The convention is in need of some volunteers for manual labor on Wednesday and Thursday, which will involve loading and unloading the supply truck and setting up the convention center. Volunteers must be 18 or older. Read more details here.
Weather & Parking
We discuss parking, traffic, and other transportation issues at length in our Gallifrey One guide; however, we remind you to make pre-paid parking reservations if you will be commuting daily or if you will have more than one car per hotel room. Parking fills up quickly for commuters and your discounted parking rate for hotel guests is only good for one car.
LA’s big El Nino rain storms are taking a break this weekend, so you can expect a dry and windy heat wave to continue through mid-week, with the weekend hitting mid-to-high 70s during the day. Bring a jacket for the evenings, as the lows are in the 50s.
Badge Pickup & Show Hours
We strongly recommend you double check your name on the Attendee Search page to make sure your tickets are registered properly.Weekend badge holders may pick up badges at any time listed below.
Friday badge holders may pick up badges anytime on Thursday or Friday; Friday badges are also valid for Thursday night programming.
Saturday and Sunday badge holders may only pick up badges on the day their ticket is valid. Saturday badges are valid for Saturday evening programming, including the Masquerade and dance.
|Badge Pick Up||3:00pm - 6:00pm|
8:00pm - 10:00pm
|9:00am - 7:00pm||9:00am - 7:00pm||9:00am - 1:00pm|
|Dealers Room||N/A||11:00am - 6:30pm||10:00am - 6:00pm||10:00am - 3:30pm|
|Programming||8:00pm - 2:00am||10:30am - 12:30am||10:00am - 2:00am||10:00am - 6:30pm|
|Karaoke||9:00pm - 2:00am||9:00pm - 3:00am||9:00pm - 3:00am||N/A|
|Gaming Hub||N/A||10:00am - 12:00am||10:00am - 12:00am||10:00am - 4:00pm|
|Children's Programming||N/A||12:00pm - 6:00pm||10:00am - 6:00pm||10:00am - 4:00pm|
Many of the annual fan meetups this year have been added to the official schedule, hosted through Sched. You can click here to see a list of many of the fan meetups for this year. Most meetups are now being held in the new meet up room on the 18th floor of the Marriott.
Some notable meetups, or meetups that aren’t on Sched:
- Thursday at 5:45pm: the annual Thursday night In-N-Out run. Join your fellow attendees for a trip to the best burger joint on the west coast, In-N-Out. This is also where the famous “it’s bigger on the In-N-Outside” ribbons come from! Click here for the Facebook discussion.
- Friday at 6:00pm: Crossplay Gathering, on the patio outside the convention level. Gender-swapped cosplays welcome, with the hope of assembling a full set of female-cosplayed Doctors. Facebook discussion here.
- Friday at 7:00pm: Friends of Rassilon W meeting. This is a sobriety check-in that’s open to all.
- Saturday at 4:00pm: There is a Song cosplay meetup for River Song cosplayers.
- Saturday at 11:50pm: Group Photo! Everyone is welcome to come together for a quick, unofficial group photo at the TARDIS photo backdrop located at the end of the main entry hallway (downstairs on the convention level).
- All weekend, by appointment: Salon Trenzalore. Returning after a successful inaguration in 2015, Salon Trenzalore offers free hair coloring to match the Doctor Who weekend festivities. Color choices this year include TARDIS blue, Sonic Screwdriver green, Frock Coat purple, Amy’s Teal Jacket, and more. These are bleach & dye services provided by experienced amateurs. RSVP on Facebook and private message the organizer for an appointment.
The Ribbon Exchange Facebook group, which has been full of attendees posting ribbon designs and discussion for months, will have a daily meetup:
- Thursday at 7:30pm, lobby near Program B
- Friday at 5:30pm, convention level patio
- Saturday at 11:00am, convention level patio
- Sunday at 2:30pm, convention level patio
Hit up the Facebook group to get in on the ribbon making fun before you leave home, then meet up with fellow members to get your hands on all the cool designs you’ve seen posted all winter.
Other Area Events
Orccon, a gaming convention hosted by Strategicon, also runs all weekend next door at the Hilton. Gallifrey One does have a small game room upstairs, but if you’re hankering for some real tabletop action, a day pass to Orccon is only $15 on Friday/Monday and only $30 on Saturday/Sunday. You can also pop into their Dealers Room for free, no badge required, all weekend long. Gally ends on Sunday but Orccon continues thru Monday, so this is a great option if you’ll still be in town on Presidents Day! And yes, they’re very welcoming if you’re new to gaming, too.
FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) hosts the Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit, usually featuring some Oscar nominated designs. It’s free, but only open 10:00am – 5:00pm Tuesday thru Sunday. Good if you’re looking for something to do Thursday before the con festivities begin in the evening. FIDM is located in downtown LA, so you’ll be better off if you have a rental car; however, it’s possible to get there via Metro Rail if you’re willing to find a shuttle or cab to the Green Line. An Uber to FIDM will run about $25 each way.
The LA Marathon is set for Sunday morning; the race course crosses LA and ends at the finish line in Santa Monica. This year, it doubles as the US Olympic marathon trials so expect an even larger crowd. Keep this in mind if you were planning a Sunday morning outing. It will also affect traffic throughout west LA into the afternoon.
President Obama is scheduled for a Los Angeles visit on Thursday afternoon, landing at LAX and heading to events in the Hancock Park and Burbank areas. This will severely impact traffic in the area; plan accordingly and pay attention to possible street and freeway closures. (Depending on his hotel location for Thursday night, it might also throw a wrench in Friday morning commutes as well.)
Dealers Room & Art Show Previews
- Mainstay artist Christopher Jones will be back, and he’s offering pre-order commissions:
- Mombie Zombie has etched glasses on display in the Art Show and will also accept pre-orders.
Newest design for #gallifreyone art show! If you're at #gally1 stop by and check out some of my work as well as items from @themagichaberdasher And many other talented artist! #classicdoctorwho #doctorwho #whovian #drwho #tombaker #1980s #britishatheart #thedoctor #4thdoctor #etchedglass #glassetching #geekglass #fandom #geeky #geek #nerdy #nerd #fangirl #handmade #etsy #drink #glassware #mombiezombie #mombiezombieglass
The convention kicks of Thursday night with The Gallifrey Underground Bon Voyage Party (All Trains Leave On Time) at 8:00pm in Program A. This is the annual ice cream social with cash bar and karaoke. Expect lots of ribbon trading!
On Friday night, Program A hosts the live commentary of season nine’s “Face the Raven” the episode’s writer and casting director. Following the commentary are two comedy performances: a one hour Doctor Who themed stand-up set from Joseph Scrimshaw at 9:30pm and 90 minutes of sketch comedy at 10:30 from The Idiot’s Lantern.
Elsewhere on Friday night, the Torchwood 4 Cabal host their annual party in their first floor poolside suite, this year themed The Triumphant Return of the Evil Genius Party.
The centerpiece of Saturday night is the Masquerade of Mandragora at 8:30pm (line opens at 7:00pm). If you wish to participate in the Masquerade, you must register at the Masquerade table by 2:00pm Saturday.
During the judging break of the Masquerade is the impossibly fun game show Just a Minute! This year, Chase Masterson and Ian McNeice return for a rematch. Following the Masquerade at 11:00pm are the Saturday Night Disco (dance) in Program A and the Gallifrey One Match Game in Program D.
Karaoke runs Thursday through Saturday evenings, usually until at least 3:00am.
While the evening events listed above are big draws, there’s tons of fantastic programming going on during the day. The special guest celebrity interviews are wonderful, but don’t miss many of the smaller highlights either.
If you’re looking for celebrity guests, look no further than the interview series. All the headliners have various panels, including some solo interviews and some group programs. However, for the John Hurt’s solo interviews, you’ll notice there are two sessions: one Saturday afternoon and one Sunday morning. You’re meant to choose one, since Program A can seat half of the total attendees – if everyone follows the rules, then there’s a seat available for every attendee to see John Hurt’s interview once. Play nice!
Our favorite cosplay-related event is the Iron Costumer, set for noon Friday in Program C. Participants are divided into two teams and given access to a pile of donated fabric and notions. After one hour, they’ll show off the completely impromptu costumes they’ve created. Check out our previous coverage of Iron Costumer here. If you’re planning to attend, arrive early: last year, the room hit capacity and many were turned away.
If you want to compete in Iron Costumer, head to the Masquerade table at 9am Friday to sign up. Big Finish is sponsoring the event this year, so expect some fun judges and prizes beyond the usual bragging rights!
Saturday in Program B is a series of panels that are a great resource for aspiring writers, artists, or other creatives. Check out Creating Successful Television at 1:00pm and The Craft of Comic Book Illustration at 4:00pm. Saturday morning has a couple of prop and costume design panels that will also provide some great insight: Doctor Who Prop Design in Depth at 10:00am in Program C and Creature Feature in Program A and 11:15am.
Fan Doctor Who Discussions
There are countless fan discussion panels throughout the weekend; these often feature an invited guest on the panel, but panelist spots were also open to qualified attendees. Some interesting prospects include Wilderness Babies: Bringing Younger Fans to Classic Who at 11:00am Friday in Program D; More Music of Doctor Who at 6:00pm in Program D; and Doctor Who as Period Piece at 1:00pm Sunday in Program D.
One of the coolest alternative programming tracks is the science track, which features panels from NASA and JPL scientists. Try any of the science panels for a look at Jupiter, progress on the mission to Mars, and an examination of exoplanets.
Children & Family Programming
This year, Gally introduces two sessions of parent-child science experiments dubbed The Science of Doctor Who: Seeing Beyond the Ordinary, Creating the Extraordinary. Both sessions require reservations and are currently full, but if you wish to inquire about cancellations, Session A is 4:00pm – 5:30pm and Session B is 6:00pm – 7:30pm, both on Saturday in Program E.
At 2:00pm on Saturday in Program B, the very popular YouTube program Timey-Wimey Puppet Show has a live performance that’s often standing room only. Arrive early!
The children’s programming room on the 18th floor is also open all weekend long and will host a variety of events daily: you can read the full schedule here.
Opening & Closing Ceremonies
Don’t miss the official opening ceremony, Good Morning Gallifrey One, at 10:30am Friday in Program A. Expect announcements about the weekend to come and trivia prizes.
And of course, there’s no better way to close out the weekend than The Year in Review and Closing Ceremonies, beginning in Program A at 5:15pm on Sunday. Arrive early, as The Year in Review features a montage of clips – late arrivals will find themselves in standing room only in the back, and you’ll want to during for the 30 minute video.
Will we be seeing you at Gallifrey One this weekend? Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments!