Via a tweet I came across from @Paul_Cornell, update on Nine Worlds plans for a major con in London, to be held 9th-11th August, at the Renaissance and Radisson Edwardian hotels near Heathrow. It's the sort of thing I'd be interested in, in principle (they've got speakers like rozk
and Laurie Penny, as well as Cornell himself) and though it's a bit pricey and isn't in the most attractive location, yes, you could say I'm the target market.
They've got a track on Doctor Who and Torchwood, which is what Cornell tweeted the link to,* but it wasn't the best introduction to the programme
Here's the line-up of named guests (presumably Guests of Honour, though they aren't named like that)Kai Owen
is a Welsh actor best known for playing Rhys Williams in Torchwood, initially in a supporting role and coming into a main part for seasons 3 and 4. He has also appeared in Being Human and Waterloo Road, and played the lead role in BBC series Rocket Man.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kai_OwenGary Russell
is a Doctor Who writer. He edited Doctor Who Magazine in the 90s, has written several DW novels and co-wrote the making-of book for the 1996 DW movie. As part of the team creating the new series, he wrote Doctor Who: The Inside Story in 2006, and The Doctor Who Encyclopedia in 2007. He also directed "The Infinite Quest", an animated series tying in the the 2007 Doctor Who series, and wrote Art of The Lord Of The Rings.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_RussellJames Goss
is a producer and writer for Doctor Who and Torchwood spin-off media. With the return of Doctor Who in 2005, he began putting together material with the aim to construct a whole world beyond the show for fans to explore, including games, videos and fictional websites. He has produced Doctor Who animations and special features for the DVDs, as well as writing two Torchwood radio plays and four Torchwood novels.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Goss_(producer
is a television writer known for his work on Doctor Who and Torchwood, including the episodes "The Fires of Pompeii", "Sleeper", and "Day Three". His feature "Cockneys vs. Zombies" was released in 2012, and he has also written for ITV's Primeval and BBC1's Spooks.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Moran_(writer
is a television writer best known for his work on Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. He started writing tie-in material for the new Doctor Who series in 2005, before joining the Torchwood team to write for the second season in 2008. He has also written content for sites tying in to the BBC's new Sherlock series.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_LidsterJames Swallow
is an award-winning author and multi-media scriptwriter. His novels Fear To Tread and Nemesis were New York Times Bestsellers in 2012 and 2010. He has worked on Blake's 7, Stargate, and Doctor Who, and is the only British writer to have worked on Star Trek. He was nominated for a 2012 BAFTA for his work on the video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_SwallowBen Aaronovitch
is the author of the best selling Rivers of London series of novels. He is also the author of several Doctor Who novels and TV episodes.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Aaronovitch
All excellent people, some of whom I'd be delighted to hear, but noticed anything yet?
And then there's the track itself:
Writing Doctor Who and Torchwood
Kicking off our GeekFest weekend in style, Messrs Lidster, Moran, Goss and Russell talk us through the joys and challenges of writing for Doctor Who (past and present), Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures - for the show, novels and audiobooks.
With Joseph Lidster, James Moran, James Goss and Gary Russell
Doctor Who: The Future (... Spoilers!)
So as it stands we are facing not one but two new Doctors... or is John Hurt really The Valeyard? In fact is Matt Smith even the Eleventh Doctor at all? It's an interesting time for the future of DW and there's a lot at stake! What does the future hold for our cosmic wizard? Warning - there may be spoilers!
With￼ David A. McIntee and Iona Sharma
Interview with Kai Owen - Torchwood's Rhys Williams
Kai Owen achieved global fame with his portrayal of Rhys Williams in Torchwood in 2006 with the character elevated to star billing for the third series in 2009 reflecting his growing role. More recently Owen has appeared in the BBC's Being Human and the Syndicate. There'll be time for autographs afterwards.
Interviewed by Joseph Lidster
Discussing Religion and Doctor Who: Faith, Science Fiction and Academic Research (hosted by the Academia track)
Religion and religious themes have consistently been a subject of interest over Doctor Who's long history. Recently, the show has attracted everything from Church of England conferences dedicated to its use in preaching, to guest appearances by Richard Dawkins. But what is the value of using a science fiction show such as Doctor Who to examine religion? Is there not a danger of turning science fiction, often seen as an avowedly secularist genre, into a tool for evangelism? Using Doctor Who as a case study, we consider that science fiction can serve as a valuable tool for scholars of religion, in examining shifting historical understandings of faith, the reception of central religious concepts, and even the idea of belief itself.
With Dr Andrew Crome of Manchester University
Doctor Who: RTD vs Moffatt
Some people still miss Russell T Davies as showrunner on Doctor Who. Others think the show's never been better since Steven Moffat took over. Who's right? There's only one way to find out... Debate!
With Paul Condon, Matt Nixon and David A. McIntee
Big Finish: The Audio Series
Big Finish's Doctor Who audio plays have enjoyed a huge success over the past 15 years, showcasing the talents of a fantastic range of new writers. We discuss the strenghts and limitations of the audio format, and talk about their other ranges of drama - including Blake's 7, Dark Shadows, Sapphire and Steel.
With Gary Russell, James Goss, Joseph Lidster, Abigail Brady and Una McCormack
Chicks Unravel Time
Discussions and readings from the book of the same name in which our favourite series is reviewed and analysed by a host of award-winning female writers, media professionals and scientists
With Iona Sharma, Una McCormack and Jenni Hughes
Doctor Who: The Ones You Love To Hate
Nothing's more fun than a really hissable villain, and Doctor Who's had more than its fair share of dastardly dudes and dames over the years. What makes a perfect villain? Is it the megalomaniac schemes? A catchphrase? Or just a natty line in sinister clothes? We talk all about the nastiest people in history.
With Jonathan L Howard, Adam Christopher, David A. McIntee and Ben Aaranovitch
Is Doctor Who "Thunderingly Racist"?
A recent academic study of DW makes a bold claim that the show is "thunderingly racist". Is this true? No non-white actors have ever played the Doctor, and the absence of non-white people from the line-up of companions throughout the whole of the Classic Series is notable.
With Adam Christopher, Iona Sharma, Abigail Brady and Una McCormack
Torchwood: Doctor Who Goes Sexy
Fans of Torchwood are every bit as dedicated as fans of its parent show Doctor Who (have you seen the Ianto Shrine in Cardiff Bay?). We talk about why the series was such a hit, which season of the show worked best, whose death hurt the most, and what the future might hold for Captain Jack and Gwen.
With Gary Russell, Joseph Lidster, James Goss and Kai Owen
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Spinoff Success
For some fans of the Classic Series of Who, the launch of The Sarah Jane Adventures brought a nostalgic glow. We talk about the success of this brilliant CBBC series and how the team behind the show are continuing to make children's sci-fi with Wizards Vs Aliens.
With Paul Condon, Gary Russell, Joseph Lidster and Matt Nixon
Doctor Who: My Best Friend
From Susan all the way through to Clara Oswald, the Doctor's companion has been a fixture of the series for as long as it's been on the air. But who's been the greatest of them all? Jamie? Jo? Tegan? Rose? Donna? Or do you fly the flag for Dodo or Lady Christina?
With Jonathan L Howard, Matt Nixon and David A. McIntee
Noticed anything else, yet? The two "diversity" panels - "Chicks Unravel Time" and "Is Doctor Who 'Thunderingly Racist'?" have in the first case an all-woman panel, and in the second case a majority woman panel. Everything else, either no women at all, or the odd one or two being endlessly recycled.
But the final insult comes on the Home page, with the Geek Feminism
track. Click on that link. Take in that photo. Because nothing, but nothing, says "feminist" like a plastic Wonder Woman figure, maintaining her plastic dignity in the way a real woman should.
So disappointing, after Eastercon. Panel Parity, so 2012?
*Incidentally, have the people who claim they would have difficulty explaining a gender-flipped Doctor to their children and who use the term "suspension of disbelief" ever attempted to explain the denouement of "The Satan Pit/The Impossible Planet" to anyone who's ever heard the terms "space" and "vacuum"? Thought not.