Even though I am known for taking ages for actually publishing a review for something I’ve been at, I occasionally manage to do something on time and this shall be one of them.
As I have mentioned recently did I attend the TimeLash , the first Doctor Who convention in Germany with AnnaTao and Schmusi from the HGWAnime last weekend and I’d like to tell you a bit about it.
Funding the Fun
Some time last year three German fans (Simone Violka, Ralf Schmidt and Pascal Salzmann) with roots in Convention Management and the like, decided to try and start a Crowd Funding campaign to be able to organize the very first German Doctor Who Convention.
I read about it on Facebook, I believe, and talked about it with a friend from studying, but she didn’t want to participate, so I canned the plans. During one of the HGWAnime-meetings I casually asked Schmusi and Anna if they had heard about it and they didn’t. Well, it didn’t take long for the seed of curiosity to take root.
I discussed it with my parents and my Mum pushed me to buy the ticket, as I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t. So Anna ordered three tickets for us and I asked Nazgul if he’d let us stay in his place and that sorted out the sleeping part of the trip.
In March I shortly struggled with the thought of actually attending and told Schmusi and Anna that I wasn’t sure if I’d really be able to accompany and drive them, due to my Mum’s increasing health issues, as I didn’t want to leave while she was feeling unwell. In a cruel twist of fate that problem solved itself when Mum decided to leave us the next weekend. But I know she wanted me to go and enjoy the weekend, so I decided to do just that.
I’m not entirely sure how we got to that idea, but somehow during the fitting session on Thursday before the Convention we got the idea to start a Twitter-Account and live-tweet throughout it. Said and done and the [ASAP Chronicles] were born.
We tweeted a lot of silly stuff ranging from comments regarding our hour-long drives, the convention itself or our preparations for the Cosplay contest. Most of it is in German, but we did even have some English Tweets, if you want to know what the German ones mean, just let me know. 🙂
As we had a lot of fun tweeting – especially I often asked for the Zwitscher-Phone/Twitter-Phone, as I do not own a smartphone myself(,yet ) – we decided to keep the account longer than the convention and also tweet stuff from the HGWAnime or other adventures. And as it doesn’t really fit with my own Page, we decided to create a new Facebook Page that accompanies the Twitter Page.
You can find it here: [ASAP Chronicles].
Dalek on the loose
As we arrived on Friday we had some time to find the Convention side before we went to get our groceries for the weekend. The Crew was busy with the last preparations and we took a sneak peek through the windows and already saw a Dalek, standing right in the middle of the room. The anticipation rose and we couldn’t wait for the Convention to start.
Pümpel! Pew Pew!
As the other
Cosplay was planned for Sunday Schmusi and Anna decided to keep it relatively simple with a River Song
(Anna) and Dalek (Schmusi) Cosplay, while I simply wore my Cyberman
Schmusi’s Cosplay earned a lot of looks and comments, especially the whisk and the plunger (Pümpel
in German) she used as improvised weapons. Though we did have to take a de-tour as we realized half-way on the way to the Convention that our Dalek’s memory had a failure as we forgot the plunger at Nazgul’s. Though it kind of became a running gag, that I competed with the satnav in regards to our arrival time…I mean, we were right when it came to judging the time we needed to get from Greifswald to Kassel. WE anticipated all those traffic jams! >_<
The duck-taped Dalek hat
Anyway, aside from weaponry, our Dalek had a very cool hat, that I ended up carrying around most of the time.
The Convention was split in five areas: Panel room, entrance, Signing/Props room, Photo-Session/Wardrobe and Merchandise room.
In the Merchandise room there were several tables from different retailers and one in particular by The Who Shop
, the official merchandise shop from London and it was quite exciting when a woman (I believe she is called Alex) at their booth was utterly fascinated by said Dalek hat. 😀 Though we utterly failed to put it properly on for her and kind of completely wrecked it in the process and we had to duck-tape the different pieces back together – good thing I still had some of it left in my car or as we lovingly called it that weekend: The Tardis-Tortenschachtel
Anyway, that day before we started exploring all the different areas we sat down to watch the opening ceremony that started with a little delay, but was quite interesting, as this way we managed to see all the guests up on stage. It was quite surreal, especially when we strolled through the Props part of the other area and there just beside/behind us was e.g. The Doctor
(Paul McGann) or the voice of the Daleks, Cybermen and many others: Nicholas Briggs (Occasionally he and some of the guests even passed by, which was just as weird). Later we sat in the Panel of former Script Editors Terrence Dicks and Andrew Cartmel for a moment, but decided to leave, when we noticed that even though it was quite interesting to listen to all their stories, it was hard for us – especially Anna – to follow and understand Mr. Dicks, which was really quite unfortunate… 🙁
I was upgraded
The rest of the day we mostly spent upstairs in a hallway in front of the Merchandise room or outside, as neither of us had that much energy or interest in the Panels and there wasn’t much else to do. We chatted and joked a bit with a group of Cosplayers that started a Vote Saxon
campaign (with very smelly flyers…), but we mostly just relaxed or walked around taking pictures of other Cosplayers or ourselves using the displayed Props by the Rockin Robin Dr Who Cosplay Fanclub
I would have liked to listen to Mr. McGann’s Panel, but the room was already full, so I only stayed in the back for a moment, heard some of it and then decided to go back upstairs to the others.
What we did manage to see completely that day was the Entertainment-Show by Toby Hadoke
, which pretty much was my highlight of the whole weekend. He was easy to understand, a lot of fun and even if I don’t know all of the Classic Who stuff, his jokes were on point and absolutely hilarious. That show could have gone two more hours and I doubt anyone would have been bored. 😀
In the evening there was a special Star Dinner for a few selected people, but we instead got back to Nazgul’s place and in a team-effort cooked a very tasty Soljanka
The big Finish
Still half asleep I caused a minor uproar when I suddenly announced „Guys, it’s seven o’clock!“ after taking a look at my phone. With a grumble Schmusi then reminded me of the clock change and told me that it was still six o’clock. So we kind of woke up before our alarm…oops…
Anyway, as this was the big day for my very first Cosplay and some things weren’t finished at Anna’s we got up early to prepare for the day and still somehow ended up arriving late. But still in time to hear some of Mr. Briggs Panel and it was really great. I even dared to ask a question, but ended up formulating it in the most difficult way possible, but he still answered the question I tried to ask. 😀 He just seems to be a really likeable person. Though all of the guests seemed likeable. Jason Heigh-Ellery from Big Finish even let us/me talk him into trying out a self-playing piano in the hallway upstairs, the day before, though it was unfortunately already turned off by then. 🙁
Big Finish by the way had a large booth as well, but as someone who gets easily bored by simply listening to something, I’m afraid non of their work – as amazing as it is – would help me to overcome the urge to do something entirely different while listening and then stop paying attention altogether, which is quite a pity. 🙁
Still, the writing process interests me quite a bit and while Schmusi and Anna got the last instructions for the Cosplay competition, I sat down in the writers Panel with Nev Fountain, Terrance Dicks, Andrew Cartmel and Nicholas Briggs. It was quite interesting and far too short…
Right after that the Cosplay competition started and everyone gathered in the small space beside the less-large-than-we-thought stage. We were ninth in line and I think at some point I just stopped thinking and simply concentrated on what was ahead of me, but more on that in a separate post.
After the competition we made a last round through the booths, were I got myself an Adipose–Funko Pop! figurine. The other two got – amongst other things – some Dalek merchandise the other day, but I’ve already purchased a couple of things that interest me over the last few months, so my purse didn’t cry as much as it did for others. Though I was kind of thinking about buying a totally un-Who-ish Groot-Scaler and was partly inclined to try getting one of the Supernatural mystery-Mini with the strange feeling that if I did, with my luck, I probably would’ve ended up picking Gabriel…it was irritating enough that one of the crew guys looked an awful lot like the actor…
Anyway, that figurine was still cheaper than the picture that was taken of us on our way back…stupid speeding camera…but taking the longer landscape route gave us a lot of time to discuss future plans, that you’ll hear about, when they are a bit more concrete. 😉
The last thing on our list, was the official ending round. While waiting for it Anna asked if she could have two of the WhoCast’s – the German DW Podcast that was also present at the Convention – posters and they indeed gave them to her. So she and Schmusi now have a Dalek and a Tardis poster from the WhoCast. 🙂 One of the posters still had some easy to remove poster glue left that Anna used to tinker a bit. The Dalek didn’t really work out, but the Adipose turned out quite well. 😀
You need a lot of imagination for this one
Not so much for this one
The Conclusion/Finishing Panel was then another/the last chance to see most of the guests – some had already departed. Everyone said their thanks and the three organizers received a fully deserved standing ovation at the end of their speech. Everything was impressively well organized for the first instalment of a Convention, the star-guests were great, the crew was great and the whole atmosphere was quite familiar and nice. All in all a really great experience, even though we didn’t get any autographs or photo-shoots and simply used our time there to be amongst others with a similar interest.
So, a huge thank you for an amazing weekend!
I/we don’t know if we will be at the next TimeLash, we would like to go, but there are a lot of things to factor in regarding the trip and some of them will be explained in the follow-up post.