Thursday, May 23, 2013

TimeGate 2013 Preview

Hey, Phantomaniacs! It’s time to give a little love to my personal favorite sci-fi convention – TimeGate! I had never been to a TimeGate before last year and I had no idea what to expect. I ended up having an absolutely awesome time, made some new friends, and once again learned that Dragon*Con is not the be-all, end-all. I also got to be on my first-ever panel, which is one of the best times I’ve ever had and led to my inclusion on a couple of Dragon*Con panels later in the year. There’s definitely a lot to be said for smaller, more intimate cons. Go ahead and check out my recap of TimeGate 2012 while you’re here.
           This year’s TimeGate starts tomorrow and is set to be the biggest ever. Not only does the con have a great variety of guests and events for 2013, this year for the very first time there will be a Doctor in the house! None other than legendary ambassador of Doctor Who and Doctor Six himself, Colin Baker will be in attendance. As a young Troublemaker watching Doctor Who I never imagined I would have the opportunity to meet one of the Doctors, let alone two (I met Sylvester McCoy at Dragon*Con).
Colin Baker has been one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Doctor Who over the years. I don’t think any other actor that has played the Doctor has as much love for the franchise (well, maybe David Tennant) or has put so much effort into promoting it. Over the years Mr. Baker has maintained a presence in the Whoniverse like no other. He has appeared in multiple extracurricular productions, starred in Big Finish audio dramas, been a constant presence in DVD releases of Classic stories, and even written stories of his own. In my opinion, Colin Baker is the official Ambassador of Doctor Who.
Okay, before I get any further into the con, let me handle a little bit of Phantom Business.
I will be around and about all weekend and manning the Earth Station One table meeting and greeting. More importantly, I will be premiering the first-ever Needless Things merchandise live at TimeGate 2013! I’ll have some neat-o vinyl stickers available as well as an extremely limited run of Needless Things t-shirts, designed by me and printed by HeadNorth.com:
There are only twenty-two of these available and once they are gone they will never be printed again!
Finally, I also have 8x10 prints from BelligerentMonkey.com. These are prints of the original painting “Phantom Troublemaker Versus Zombies” that Monkey painted for yours truly:
I will be charging for these items, but all of the profits will go right back into Needless Things and future merchandise. In all honesty, if I could just get the ball rolling to create a source of income solely to continue producing merchandise I’d be happy. I’m not really worried about profit at this point, though a couple of extra bucks to cover site and podcast hosting would be swell.
However - mention you read this post and I’ll give you a free Needless Things sticker!
I will also be appearing on several panels this weekend, as well as performing at the TimeGate Masquerade if they’ll have me. If you want to know what I’ll be doing, you’ll just have to show up. But if you know me, you know it’ll be foolish. If I can I’m also going to try and organize the first-ever on-site Needless Things podcast. That will all depend on who I can gather together and when. Here’s my panel schedule as of this moment:
Friday 7 PM – Fan Fave Faceoff: Marvel vs. DC Comics – I volunteered to represent whichever side needed it. I have a feeling I’m going to be playing Devil’s Advocate and defending DC. That’s fine – I’m always up for a challenge! I'll be joining Adam Thorne and Director Faber for this discussion of funnybooks.
Friday 9 PM – The Future of Star Wars – I think this is pretty self-explanatory. We’ll be speculating about Episode VII and everything else. I'll be interested to see what Adam Thorne and Matt Sweatman think of the future of the franchise.
Saturday 1 PM – Celestial Toyroom – This one was a surprise. I’m not sure how it came about and I have no idea what, exactly, I’m going to do. But it’s about toys, so obviously it will be great.
Saturday 3 PM – Elementary – I volunteered for this one on a lark. It’s going to be all-spontaneity, all random here. I’ve only watched the season once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to talk about it. I hope Louis Robinson, Matt Sweatman, and Jen Wood are detail people, because all I'll do is ramble.
Okay, enough about me (like there’s ever enough). Let’s talk about the rest of TimeGate.
I mentioned Colin Baker, but there is a nice selection of other guests from the various corners of sci-fi. Here’s a link to the full list and bios:
I think there is a great and exciting assortment this year and I look forward to interacting them and watching their panels. The ESO Network is going to have a quite a presence and it’s going to be great seeing all of the folks I met for the first time last year and have been talking to since once again.
Obviously I am not the only one that is going to be on panels. All of the above folks have stuff going on and quite frankly every panel on the schedule sounds pretty cool. I, of course, won’t be able to make every panel, but here are the ones I am considering a priority:
Friday
7 PM – Fan Fave Faceoff: Marvel vs. DC Comics– This is mine, so I might be biased on how good and important it’s going to be.
9 PM – The Future of Star Wars – Again, bias. But it’s Star Wars and there is a ton of stuff to talk about right now.
10 PM – Moxie Magnus – Lt. Moxie runs one of the most hilarious sites I’ve read – the journal of the USS Enterprise’s Chief Cosmetology Officer. Seeing her perform live and in person is going to be a hoot.
11 PM – TimeGate Karaoke – I won’t be hanging around Friday night, so I’ll miss this. But if I were going to be there, this is where I’d be.
Saturday
10 AM – Q&A: Doctor Who – The Forgotten Doctor – If you know me, you know I am not going to be back at the hotel in time to catch a 10 AM panel. But I highly recommend you make it if you can. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jevocas Green and Richard Hempton on Earth Station Who last year and I even did Q&As with Richard and Java here on the site. They’re fun, fascinating folks and The Forgotten Doctor is so brilliant that Stephen Moffat is in the process of ripping it off for the 50th.
1 PM – The Celestial Toyroom: Doctor Who Merchandise – A discussion of Doctor Who toys through the years, led by me with my lovely assistant, Director Faber. I have plans here, people. I did research. This will be the greatest and best panel of all time.
2 PM – Q&A: Colin Baker – This is a must-see. Regardless of Colin being the top-billed guest at the con, this will be a fantastic panel. I would rank this as a must-see at any con in the country. Mr. Baker is a tremendous speaker and has an engaging and enthusiastic style that makes an hour seem like five minutes. I guarantee you’ll leave this panel begging for more.
3 PM – Elementary – I think I might be a little bit in love with Johnny Lee Miller. I’ll talk all about it at this panel.
5 PM – Live Commentary: “Revelation of the Daleks Part 2 w/ Colin Baker and Colin Spaull – I love the idea of watching these two provide running commentary on an episode. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime panels. Can’t miss.
6 PM – Star Trek: Into Darkness – Thanks to my work schedule I was not able to take part in the ESO Network or RevCast’s episodes about the new Trek movie. I am brimming with commentary about this movie, so I am hoping to crash this panel. I need to have discussions. However, if I cannot partake here, I will be attending
6:30 PM – Live Concert: Ken Spivey Band – In the long and storied tradition of Celtic Time Lord Rock, there is one band that stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is that band.
9:30 PM – TimeGate Masquerade – This appears to be a talent show of sorts. I have a plan for a bit if I can get in the list. Again, the only way to find out what I do is to BE THERE.
10:30 PM – Atlanta Radio Theater Presents Doctor Who: The Enemy Within – I would love to see a live performance of a Doctor Who radio production. But chances are I will be in drinking and partying mode at this point and will not have the mental capacity to sit down and enjoy such a thing. So chances are I will be at
10:30 PM – Live Concert: Go, Robo! Go! – I’m not familiar with Go, Robo! Go!, but I’m going to check them out. I’ll let you know what I think.
11:30 PM – TimeGate Dance – The honorable Doctor Q will set up his steam-powered Vitrola Mark XXIV Portable Sonic Distribution Apparatus and kick out the jams late into the evening. The good Doctor had quite the astounding playlist last year, including some of the most original and entertaining mash-ups I have ever heard. I highly recommend you make it to this one.
5 PM – Live Commentary: “Revelation of the Daleks Part 2 w/ Colin Baker and Colin Spaull – I love the idea of watching these two provide running commentary on an episode. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime panels. Can’t miss.
6 PM – Star Trek: Into Darkness – Thanks to my work schedule I was not able to take part in the ESO Network or RevCast’s episodes about the new Trek movie. I am brimming with commentary about this movie, so I am hoping to crash this panel. I need to have discussions. However, if I cannot partake here, I will be attending
6:30 PM – Live Concert: Ken Spivey Band – In the long and storied tradition of Celtic Time Lord Rock, there is one band that stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is that band.
Sunday
12 PM – Q&A: Colin Baker – Yes, my day on Sunday will likely begin at noon. But I will definitely be attending this Q&A. The opportunity to see Mr. Baker speak twice is awesome.
1 PM – Dr. Geek Live! The Science of Stargate – I can’t wait to see Dr. Geek and company perform live.
4 PM – $25,000 Pyramid of Mars – I missed this one last year for one reason or another. I think the title explains it all. Definitely want to catch it this year.
That pretty much lays out my plans for the weekend. To check out the full schedule and decide what you want to do, go here:
There are tons of panels to enjoy with much broader ranges of dorkery than I have covered here. You could spend the whole weekend immersed in Stargate, check out some Harry Potter stuff, or just stick to Doctor Who. There’s plenty to choose from.
And of course, there’s the atrium – the center of activity where you can find tables with all of the various guests, artists, and other folks to chat with and get to know. The ESO Network will have one of those, so please come and let us entertain you over the course of the weekend. Myself, Director Faber, Jennifer, and many other ESO/ESW regulars will be rotating throughout the event.
Finally, there’s that staple of the con world, the Dealers’ Room. I just realized that “Vendor’s Room” is probably a much better designation, as “Dealers’ Room” could have a slightly negative connotation.
Anyway, last year’s Vendor Room was tiny but paced full of sci-fi merchandise, particularly Doctor Who, which is still not easy to find in the States. Ordering online is just not the same as inspecting an item in person and transacting with a human being. The Troublemakers spent a fortune in there last year, so I plan on avoifding it entirely this year.
Ha! Of course there’s no way that is going to happen.
I am totally stoked about this weekend. If you’re in the area, come on out Saturday afternoon and see what you think I guarantee there’s a little something for every nerd to enjoy. At the very least you can check out what I’m doing.
1 PM on Saturday is going to be awesome.
-Phantom

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