Saturday begins with a trip to moonbase Alpha. Space 1999 is one of those things I feel never gets enough love. The show’s look and premise, especially in the first season, was something a lot of later shows took from and built on. I enjoy a fascinating discussion of the show’s history and how the suits did their best to ruin it. And of course we all agree that even by today’s standards the ships still look super cool.
Next I trip through the Stargate and spend a highly entertaining hour with cast members from Stargate Atlantis and SG-1. The laughter is nonstop, as Joe Flanigan, Michael Shanks, Rachel Luttrell, Lexa Doing and Chris Heyerdahl all try to outdo each other with stories from their time walking through wormholes. There’s a genuine camaraderie, a found family kind of vibe, between them. They tease each other unmercifully, including a few good-natured jabs at David Hewlett and Jason Momoa who aren’t around to dispute them. They all rise to applaud the audience at the end, and receive a standing ovation in return.
It’s time to wander a bit, so I hit the crowd in the Marriott to do some people watching. The cosplayers are out in full force on Saturday evening, and do not disappoint. The level of dedication to their craft is amazing. Wading through a sea of ephemeral anime beauties, tech-heavy wonders, strutting warriors and slithering villains is a magical experience. The crowds can become overwhelming, so after a while I decide to hit the Hilton for a panel on Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Unfortunately half the con had the same idea and the line was too daunting. I headed for the Ghosts panel instead. I knew about the shows (there is a UK and American version) but haven’t had a chance to watch them yet. After a thoughtful and fun discussion, however, I am adding both to my watch list.
On Sunday, I head for my second Sandman panel of the con. I’m in the audience for this one, and I highly enjoy sitting back and listening to the panelists debate the merits of the tv show vs. the comics and audio versions. I’m a big fan of the comics – it’s the kind of storytelling you can go back to again and again and find an even richer universe each time. While the tv show is a different kind of experience, most of us in the panel agree that is succeeds on its own merits and is ripe for rewatching.
The rain is coming down in sheets at this point so I navigate my way through packed skybridges to visit the art show in the Hyatt. This is always one of my favorite spaces of the con, due to the high level of skill and creativity on display. This year exceeds expectations, as everywhere I turn another stunning image catches my eye. Prices are quite reasonable, especially for prints, and I see several people happily making purchases as they wander from booth to booth.
I run through the Walk of Fame on my way to a panel debating Doctor Who canon. There isn’t much to see as most of the booths are empty, probably because their occupants are off at photo sessions or panels of their own. Eddie McClintock, however, is standing out in the walkway enthusiastically conversing with a group of fans. He appears happy and relaxed, gesturing wildly as those around him break into laughter.
My final event of the day is the annual Brit Track singalong. This is always a highlight of the con, as there is nothing like the energy of an eager crowd of geeks gleefully belting out British pop hits from the 1980’s. There is wild cheering, clapping and dancing in the aisles as everyone is encouraged to join in. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a bonkers and yet ultimately quite fulfilling weekend.