Recently I’ve had anniversaries on the brain.
It started with this blog post by Dayton Ward, where he ran through a list of film anniversaries — twentieth, twenty-fifth, right on up — that are being celebrated this year. You look at the list for 1982, the year that many critics consider to be filmed science fiction’s greatest, and you realize, “Holy fuck, it’s been thirty years since…”
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The Dark Crystal
Last fall we passed a decade since Douglas Adams’ death. In March, Adams would have turned sixty. Anniversaries there.
December was ten years since The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Anniversaries there.
I bring this up because, when it came time to write up panel ideas for Farpoint, a convention being held in Baltimore in about five weeks, I drew on the anniversary angle for three panel ideas, but only two of them came from the ones listed above. And, no, I won’t say which two, in case they don’t happen.
For Shore Leave, in August, I’ll pitch two more anniversary panels. I know which two I would find interesting to discuss in a retrospective kind of way.
I pitched an offbeat, screwball Doctor Who panel idea for Farpoint:
Everything is Better with a Sonic Screwdriver
Doctor who is a unique television program in that it can cross genres from story to story, moving from sci-fi space opera to historic costume drama to contemporary settings without missing a beat. The panelists will discuss non-Whovian movies and television series that would work as Doctor Who stories and speculate on which existing characters would work as companions. Get a different view of your favorite stories by dropping the Doctor into something like Blade Runner, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and many more!
I’ve ruminated on part of that idea here; I suggested that Princess Mary from The Tudors would have been a fab companion and that V For Vendetta would make an awesome Doctor Who story. What I like about this panel idea is that it gets that the idea of what makes a Doctor Who story or character. What plot beats work? What personality and character types work? It could be a rather interesting conversation.
We’ll see if any of these ideas get picked up over the next few months. I like thinking outside the box, and I’d like to think that others do, too.