The 12th Doctor

Doctor Who will mark its 50th anniversary on November 23, 2013 with a special episode, starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the Doctor.    With the 50th anniversary date quickly approaching, the BBC is not letting it go to waste.  The big news is who will be the 12th doctor.  They are doing their best to capitalize on all they can as the regeneration of the doctor approaches.

At Comic Con this year Doctor Who was very well represented.  During the panel they let slip tidbits to about the upcoming 50th anniversary episode, the biggest most interesting was that the Daleks will returning.  The one thing they would not say was anything about the 12th doctor.  What was said was they haven’t picked the 12th doctor but then he said he has lied his arse off.

The rumors abound about who the 12th doctor.  Will it be a black man, a woman, an older actor, an American or like Matt Smith and David Tenant a younger actor.   The list of actors being thrown about is long and varied.

Here are the current list and the odds:

Daniel Rigby                                                                                    19/4
Rory Kinnear                                                                                    94/11
Idris Elba                                                                                           69/5
David Harewood                                                                             18
Ben Daniels                                                                                      23
Andrew Scott                                                                                    31
Damien Molony                                                                               31
Aneurin Barnard                                                                              51
John Hurt                                                                                           51
Ben Whishaw                                                                                    94
Benedict Cumberbatch                                                                  142
Chiwetel Ejiofor                                                                                142
Chris Addison                                                                                   142
Colin Salmon                                                                                    142
Daniel Radcliffe                                                                                142
David Tennant                                                                                  142
Hugh Laurie                                                                                      142
James Corden                                                                                   142
Julian Bleach                                                                                     142
Julian Rhind-Tutt                                                                               142
Martin Freeman                                                                                142
Miranda Hart                                                                                     142
Rupert Grint                                                                                      142
Russell Tovey                                                                                     142
Stephen Mangan                                                                              142
Tom Ellis                                                                                             142
Andrew Gower                                                                                   189
Anthony Head                                                                                   189
Bill Bailey                                                                                           189
Colin Morgan                                                                                    189
Damian Lewis                                                                                    189
Dan Stevens                                                                                       189
Daniel Mays                                                                                       189
David Walliams                                                                                  189
Domhnall Gleeson                                                                            189
Paterson Joseph                                                                                 189
Richard Armitage                                                                               189
Tim Wright                                                                                          189
Tom Hiddleston                                                                                  189
Zawe Ashton                                                                                       189
Billie Piper                                                                                           237
Alex Jennings                                                                                      284
Helen Mirren                                                                                      284
Jennifer Saunders                                                                              284

As you can see not both the list and the odds are very diverse.   Someone off this list maybe the 12th doctor or no one on the list will make the cut.  Only time will tell.

Sunday August 4th Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, on BBC One at 7pm, in a lavish extravaganza attended by 400 former Doctor Who stars and celebrity fans we will all find out.  While the guest list hasn’t been finalized we do know that the Daleks will be in attendance battalion strong.  Matt Smith and David Tennant will both be there as well as Tom Baker the 4th doctor.   Codenamed “Houdini” the half-hour show  will feature an interview with the new lead, as well as 11th Doctor Matt Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat.

In case you need to refresh your memory:

The 11 Doctors

1. William Hartnell (1963-1966)
2. Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
3. Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
4. Tom Baker (1974-1981)
5. Peter Davison (1982-1984)
6. Colin Baker (1984-1986)
7. Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)
8. Paul McGann (1996)
9. Christopher Eccleston (2005)
10. David Tennant (2005-2010)
11. Matt Smith (2010 – 2013)

“For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”


The 3rd week in July cont.

Outside of the convention center is a whole world of activities.  There are partner sites that you need your Comic Con badge to get in and there are partner sites that anyone can get it.  There is so much more to do.  There are numerous websites that have lists of the extra stuff going on.  Those list are long.  There is more than enough to do to keep you busy all 4 days if you don’t have a badge.  The outside activities are excellent and not a waste of time.  They run the gamut from popular culture to games and upcoming movies.  They have everything from adult swim to zombie runs.  Some of them are out there because there is no room inside the convention center for them.  Some are out there because they prefer it, not only do they get the badge holders but they also get those who missed the getting a badge.  Even the businesses around the area get in on it.  All of downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp district join in.  They give themselves a makeover to get in the Comic Con spirit.  Outside activities are definitely something you want to do when you attend Comic Con.  Not all outside activities are free and some of the costs are substantial.   Even though Comic Con is a nonprofit, it would not exist if it wasn’t self sufficient so it has to be a business.  The outside activities are businesses.  They are there to make money both at the convention and ultimately when whatever it is they are exhibiting hits the game console,  the TV or the movie screen.  Comic Con is a very profitable week for San Diego, Comic Con International, the business in San Diego and even a some of the badge holders who come to buy collectibles to flip on eBay.

I guess the most important part of Comic Con is to enjoy yourself.  I don’t plan it out and I see what I see and do whatever strikes me at the time.  I do not have unlimited patience so I don’t always get to see the best panels, get the best collectibles, or get the special tickets.  But my reason for going isn’t to see all and do all but to have a good time doing what I happen to do.  I take a look at the events both inside and outside the convention center so I have an idea of what looks interesting to do.  I buy what I like and not necessarily what I can flip on eBay.  I watch the people, enjoy the cosplay and go to those panels where you actually learn things.   Bottom line, there is no way to see and do everything so don’t even try.  The only thing you absolutely need to do is enjoy yourself.

The 3rd week in July cont.

Once you have planned out when you are going to queue up for Hall H and which panels you must see.  The time you have left over can be spent in the exhibition hall.  If you want to see the whole thing, be prepared to spend hours.  If you are they type of person who wants to see every booth it could be days.  There are lots of exclusives available from many of the exhibitors.  Some are limited and some are not, so that may be something to take into account when planning when to go to the exhibition hall. You may have to choose between that most awesome panel and that most awesome exclusive or even that signature you just have to have.  The Comic Con website releases a list of all the exclusives alphabetically by exhibitor about a week or so before the event.  It can take hours to go thru what they have posted and decide what you must have, what you want to see before you decide if you must have it and what just isn’t that interesting.  You may very well spend more time planning than you will actually spend at the convention.

Not all of the most popular people are in the Hall H panels.  Some of them are at the different booths in the exhibition hall.  These special signings require a ticket to be allowed in line.  Each booth has its own requirements for getting a ticket and the tickets are limited.  So if you must get that certain signature, find out when and where that person will be and get your ticket early.  Be prepared for crowds, the more popular something is the more people will be in that area.  Also realize that when special events are going on at the booths, the shopping portion of the booth is usually closed.  The more popular booths also tend to sell out of items and have to wait for more stock to be brought in, so visiting the same booth more than once is not unusual.

The exhibition hall is also where you will see most of the cosplay.  Some of them are simply amazing, some not so much.  Every genre is represented.  There are costumes that are exact down to the last detail.  There are some costumes that are a bit confused or they took extensive creative license.  Then there are the costumes of people who just love cosplay but don’t have the time or money to make the costume an exact replica.  While the high dollar costumes are exceptional and very enjoyable to look at, the people who cosplay for the love of cosplay regardless of the amount of money they have to spend on their costume make the biggest impression.  There are some who enjoy cosplay so much they will take multiple costumes for each day.  You can tell the ones that just love it.  They have such a good time with it and are fun to watch.  There will probably be official network costumed actors at the convention advertising a new series that will be airing.  Those costumes are amazing.  It is pretty easy to tell the official network costumed actors they have a handler with them.

Next up everything else.

The 3rd week in July cont.

So now that you have your emails with your barcodes, what is your next step.  That would depend on how far away you are from San Diego.  If you have to fly in from somewhere, making a hotel reservation should have been at the top of your list.  People start making reservations a year in advance.  Checking to see what the cancellation policy is might be a good idea if you are not sure you will have badges.  That way if you don’t get badges and decide not to play outside the convention center you can get your deposit back.  Be prepared for the hotels to set you back a good chunk, they seem to be quite a bit more expensive during Comic Con than other times of the year.  If you are close enough to drive, then getting a parking pass online before you get there makes things much easier.  Again, be prepared to pay extra for parking.  It is not unusual to pay $30 a day.  When Comic Con closes at 7:00 pm PST, the Comic Con partner events continue, so everything just moves out to the partner areas.  Since so many people cannot get badges, there is just as much going on outside the convention center as inside. These festivities keep on going long after the convention center has closed for the day.  Take this into account when you decide if you want to stay in San Diego or not.

Turning in your emails for badges is very well organized and easy. There are a multitude of people working to make everything run smooth.  The majority of them are volunteers.  Hint here, volunteer applications are on the Comic Con website, that might be an option but there is also more interest in volunteering than space available for volunteers.  The exhibit hall is easy to navigate.  The panels however go back to, wait for it, luck of the draw and a major amount of patience.  The panels are held in Hall H.  To get into Hall H, you must queue up in a line that makes a Disney line seem short.  People queue up early, early meaning 3 or 4 in the morning, you can still get into line as late as 6 and probably get in but that is not a guarantee. If you are lucky, you will end up in the queue with a fun group of people.  That can make the time pass much more quickly.  Also they will probably be your neighbors once you get into Hall H. Obviously you will have a lot in common since they went thru the same trials and tribulations you did to get Comic Con badges.  They, like you, are willing to hang out in the queue for hours on end to get into Hall H. So if they are fun on top of all that, the time will fly by.  Once in Hall H, there are no in and out privileges, with the exception of going to the bathroom. So the people that are in the room typically stay all day.  There are plenty of less popular educational type panels going on all over the convention center.  The type that give Comic Con its educational non-profit status.  Those aren’t as popular and very easy to get into.  Some of them are very interesting, some not so much.  There is definitely something for everyone when it comes to panels.  The bottom line when it comes to panels is there are so many and they are so diversified that you cannot and probably won’t want to see them all.  As far as the Hall H panels, if you are willing to stand in the queue from 0 dark thirty, go into the room and stay there all day, you will get to see the most popular panels.  Along with a whole lot of other panels and possibly get some outstanding swag.

Next up the exhibition floor.

The 3rd week in July

First, let me say welcome.   We have lots of ideas on what this website will be, but as everyone knows what something starts out to be and what it ends up being are not always the same thing.  So let’s start at the beginning, let it run and see where we end up.

Since this is the first entry on our road to becoming something.  Let’s start at the most important function of the comic universe.  The all mighty Comic Con.  Four days of everything important to the comic and related popular art forms world.  Comic Con is a non-profit educational corporation.  At first glance, that is hard to believe.  Comic Con looks and acts like a very profitable money making machine.  The tickets are not inexpensive and are a highly sought after commodity.  Getting tickets seems pretty straight forward and simple.  Get a member ID, register and wait to be notified by email.  Easy enough.  What they don’t tell you is that from this point on everything is luck of the draw.  Everyone with an member ID gets the same email.  It gives you a date and time that ticket sales will start.  About an hour before ticket sales start they send out the link.  When time comes you click on the link and hope you get into the waiting room.  Chances of getting in the waiting room are not good.  Let’s look at this year’s sale.

9:00 am PST                             Website opens

9:10 am PST                             Waiting room full

9:50 am PST                             4 day badge with preview sold out

9:53 am PST                             4 day badge no preview sold out

10:01 am PST                           Saturday badges sold out

10:12 am PST                           Friday badges sold out

10:35 am PST                           Badge registration closed

Let’s look at this mathematically.  Let’s say there are 130,000 tickets a day available.  Of that number a certain amount will be held for returning attendees, press, exhibitors, professionals etc.  Just for speculation let’s say 50% (65,000) are held, 25% (32,500) are 4 day badges, and 25% (32,500) are single day badges.   So in this example there would be 162,500 badges for sale.  Those badges sold out in 95 minutes.  Just thinking about that is staggering.  That works out to about 1710 badges a minute or about 28 a second.  That seems like a lot but when you realize that people from all over the world come to Comic Con that really isn’t that much.  But it does highlight how hard it is to get them and how well the system really does work to handle that onslaught.

Tens of thousands got their badges and as many if not more didn’t.  No system is perfect and this one is not without problems.  Could it be better yes, it had lots of problems with blank screens, server issues, and the refresh glitch.  But all in all, it works fairly well.  Those lucky enough to get badges are ecstatic, those who didn’t not so much.  Never fear though, there is another chance to get tickets about a month before Comic Con.  All the returned, cancelled or not paid for badges are put up for sale.  This year’s resale was done by drawing.  Back to luck of the draw.  Those who were chosen were allowed to buy 2 tickets.   Again you needed to be lucky enough to get in early, as they only had 3100 Saturday badges and no 4 day badges.  That seemed to go off well as there didn’t seem to be any server errors or blank screens.  All is not lost if you didn’t get badges and you still want to go, there is plenty to do outside of the convention center.  So fear not you may still partake of the awesomeness that is Comic Con.

Next what to do once you have that email with your barcodes.