We got a better start this morning, and made it even faster by driving through McDonald's instead of eating there. Of course this made Tara have to unwrap breakfast burritos and feed them to me while driving -- but they are pretty road compatible food. We also caught a trolley fairly quickly and got there about 8:00.
We had decided to split our activities in the morning, so I immediately jumped in line for the Doctor Who panel, while Tara went to check on memberships for next year and then go to the Christian Comics meeting. Because it was early, I got a really good place in line (almost at the back of the last of the small tents for those familiar with the lines for Ballroom 20). I still had to stand there for about an hour before they started letting people in, but did get to see some interesting costumes.
The only one I had any problem with was the women dressed as Lila from Futurama, who was wearing the appropriate sleeveless white shirt, but had done nothing to cover the tattoos on her back and shoulder -- which was a bit too wrong for the character's normal appearence. The single eye was much less of a problem, even though I could see the real eyes below. I also wasn't too bothered by the fact that she was accompanied by someone dressed as Zap Branigan.
Once I got inside, I was able to get a good seat where I could actually see the stage -- but I still mostly watched the screen.
We got to see a couple of previews, one for the episode that aired tonight, one for the last David Tennant episode that will air in December, and one for one more. The final episode will feature The Master, and did have Timothy Dalton's voice, but I didn't catch who the character was supposed to be.
At the panel, in addition to David Tennant, there was Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Euros Lyn. Again, there was a lot of mutual appreciation between the fans and the creators and actors. There was also respect for the creators.
In addition to what was in the previews, we got some information about upcoming episodes, including that The 9th Doctor will appear on an upcoming episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, in an episode called "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith." On the other hand, David Tennant, while mentioning that 2013 will be the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, was very quick to make it clear that he wasn't starting any rumors or making any promises. He also expressed surprise at the rumor that he was playing a character in The Hobbit.
While I was in line and in the Doctor Who panel, Tara got our memberships for next year. After some discussion, she determined that it would be no worse for me to pay for a 4 day membership than 2 one-day memberships.
She then went to the Christian Comics meeting which was packed. If she'd had a bunch of mini-fliers (business card sized) she could have given them out, but the announcement wasn't enough.
After that panel, I met up with Tara and we decided after a while to get some lunch so I could try to get to a 1:00 panel. We ended up at a Caribbean restaurant, where I got a Cuban sandwich and Tara got some Mofongo (smashed plantains, garlic and a bunch of other stuff, accompanied by crisp fried pork). We got back in time for me to decided that the line for the panel was already too long.
So, instead, we went down to the exhibit hall one last time. We then went upstairs for a panel, and ended up sitting through a talk on the effects director for Godzilla and related films.
After that we saw what we'd planed, the rebroadcast of the masquerade. The masquerade was good, but there were several acts that ran longer that either Tara or I thought that they should have. There was one, a women in a good dress, that we thought was of about the perfect length for what she had (a quick walk with a good turn and then an exit).
Many of the costumes were very impressive (as I expected). Two really impressive ones were The Hulk, and the Rock Golumn. The latter, however, was hard to move in which resulted in an overly long presentation, and the need for long delays by Phil Fogilio as the MC to stall -- and apparently the people in the replay don't like his time filling stories and jokes.
After that, we headed home -- stopping for dinner at a Chinese fast food place near home and then not stopping at Staples for business card supplies.