The Companion Conundrum

“Thank you for being a friend / Traveled down the road and back again / Your heart is true / You’re a pal and a confidant.” The English language has over fifty viable synonyms for a friend, but in the realm of the Doctor Who fandom, the term “companion” is sacred. It is a title bestowed upon those who have been given a special place in the pantheon, a category of characters for whom books are written, songs are sung (well, other than that one, but who are we to judge), and tear-jerking YouTube videos are edited. But who makes the cut? Who ascends to the higher plateau of companionship, where others are relegated to ‘friend’, ‘colleague’, or the practically insulting ‘recurring role’?

This week, we’re joined by long-time listener and friend of the podcast Nicole to discuss, debate, and dissect what it means to be an ‘official’ companion of the Doctor. With extensive contributions from folks across the social networks (thank you!), we look to criteria including time travel, significant contribution to the story, appearance frequency and concurrence, and more. Suffice to say, it gets rather…convoluted.

John Leeson LIWho 5EXTRA: Our interview with the voice of K-9 himself, John Leeson, from L.I. Who 5!

NEWS:

 

Play

A Whovian Thanksgiving

November in the United States means a few things to those of us enthralled with all things Doctor Who: conventions like L.I. Who and Chicago TARDIS, anticipation of the upcoming Christmas episode, and the Thanksgiving holiday that often leads to us gushing about the program to relatives who may or may not have any clue what we’re saying. At the intersection of this Venn diagram, however, are the ways in which we, as loyal and devoted admirers and advocates of the many Gallifreyan-goings-on, are thankful to the program itself, for all it has given us as viewers, and done for us as fans. Pass the cranberry sauce, and give your uncle a gentle elbow if he brings up anything inappropriate (like comments about Turlough’s bathing trunks).

This week, we take time to thank the Doctor Who franchise for the many gifts it has given us as fans over 54 years. From the stories, to the characters, to the conventions, to you as podcast listeners, we have so many reasons to appreciate this program and its fandom. It’s only fitting that we spend a while celebrating this rather family-like conglomeration of people, and the odd little science fiction program that brought us all together.

EXTRA: Our interview with the always entertaining Seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, from the floor of the fifth Long Island Doctor Who Convention.

sylvester mccoy liwho5

Photo credit: Chris Kocher

NEWS:

Play

Two Whos and a Lie! (Live from L.I. Who 5)

As expected, the weekend spent in Long Island with a few thousand good-natured and excitable Whovians was a whirlwind of laughter, surprises, fascination, and even dancing (yes, that was Barnaby Edwards leading what could only be described as “The Dance Floor Revolution of the Daleks”). Through it all, GPR opted to keep spirits up and minds confused, with a series of game show panels designed to entertain and amuse. We sincerely hope we met our self-appointed challenge.

This week, we share the live recording from the Long Island Doctor Who Convention (L.I. Who 5) of our audience participation game, in which players (you lovely listeners) attempt to identify the false fact from amid a trio of odd trivia. As Jay was unable to join us in New York, our good friend Alyssa Franke of ‘This Week in Time Travel’ helped us on the stage, and ten rounds later, we spilled back out into the con with some new facts learned and new friends met.

Immense thanks to Ken Deep, Amanda-Rae Prescott, Billy Davis, and the entire LI Who staff and volunteers for making another great convention a reality. (Or was this our reality after all?) Thanks as well to all our contestants, panelists, and those who simply stopped to chat with us throughout the weekend to comment and/or commend us for the work we do on GPR. Your input and support give us life.

Play

Our Panel Line-Up for L.I. Who 5

Long Island Doctor Who - LI Who 5

It’s about as official as we allow ourselves to be! If you’re planning on joining us in three (!) short weeks in New York for L.I. Who 5, along with 1,500-plus other crazy-excited Whovians, here are our hosted and/or moderated panels for the weekend, including our live podcast recording that is now becoming a legend in our own minds!

Oh No, Who Didn’t! (Friday @ 1:00 pm, Program Room B)

The fast-thinking, high-sarcasm Whovian game from Gallifrey Public Radio is back. A panel of would-be know-it-alls compete through rounds of altered scenarios in Doctor Who. What if your favorite character’s alignment was flipped? What if a despised classic villain encountered a modern Doctor? And never forget the dreaded “Fire, Retire, Admire” round!

Cosplay Building with Foam (Friday @ 6:00 pm, Cosplay Room)                        

Join GPR host Keir Hansen for a presentation and some live demonstration for those interested in learning basics of using EVA foam to create costume and prop pieces. We’ll also discuss where “foamsmithing” sees its advantages and disadvantages, ways to keep costs down, and where to find ideas and inspiration.

The $100,000 Pyramid At the End of the Earth (Saturday @ 7:00 pm, Program Room C)

You know what famous name or term from Doctor Who that you WANT to say, but have to describe it without all the most common descriptive words. The well-known game show gets a Whovian twist thanks to the GPR squad, along with a lot of awkward fumbling and laughs along the way.

GPR Live: Two Whos and a Lie! (Saturday @ 10:00 pm, Program Room C)

Back for another year, the team from Gallifrey Public Radio invite the masses to be a part of their live podcast recording. This time around, they’re bringing a game of strategy and deception, as the audience is asked to identify the false fact from among a trio of odd Whovian trivia. Think you know your stuff? Can you call a bluff? Then come be a part of the game, and the podcast!

 

The L.I. Who 5 Preview

Our crack GPR team is scattered across the North American continent, but there are a few events on the calendar that regularly have us all converging on the same spot (Blinovitch Limitation Effect, be damned!). The Long Island Doctor Who convention is at the top of that list, and anyone who has attended in the four years prior knows precisely why.

This week, we have the L.I. Who showrunner himself, Ken Deep, back with us to discuss the Herculean efforts that go into putting such a convention together. We talk highs and lows, challenges and triumphs, and that “fan-based con feel” that you simply can’t replicate anywhere else.

Play