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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 524 > WE ARE FAMILY


Entry to Los Angeles’ Gallifrey One is a hot ticket in the world of Doctor Who fandom. So what’s the secret of this incredibly successful convention?
Cosplaying fans of all ages gather at the Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles for 2018’s Gallifrey One. Photo © Monica Duarte.
The 2018 convention was titled The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One.

Twenty-nine years ago, in 1990, a group of Doctor Who fans from the Time Meddlers fan club in Los Angeles had the idea of putting on a convention to celebrate their favourite series. It was enough of a success to justify a second outing for Gallifrey One, and then a third and a fourth… In February 2018, nearly 4,000 fans – plus staff and hundreds of guests – descended on the Marriott hotel near Los Angeles Airport (LAX) for The 29th Voyage of Gallifrey One. They came from all over the world – not just Great Britain and the United States, but New Zealand, Canada, Australia… almost anywhere that Doctor Who has been broadcast. And this wasn’t the first trip for most of them.

What is it about Gallifrey One that makes people want to come back again and again? Is it the strong line-up that the convention’s program director Shaun Lyon is able to present on stage, in association with outside partners such as Showmasters? Is it the multitude of panels that allow fans to discuss any manner of topics, from the serious to the very silly? Or the chance to show off their lovingly recreated costumes? Or is it something more fundamental – that for the fans and professionals who attend, this is a chance to meet up with their Doctor Who family?

Across the four days of Gallifrey One, Doctor Who Magazine chatted with a wide variety of fans, from those attending for the first time, to those who have been to every single convention since they began. We also spoke to those organising the event behind the scenes, to find out what makes it such a success.

You can feel the excitement from Gallifrey One attendees in the months leading up to the convention. The organising team is justifiably proud of the wide-ranging remit of the convention’s website, and there are regular updates, announcing new guests and explaining how things will work once everyone arrives at the LAX Marriott. Those who weren’t successful in obtaining tickets when they went on sale in April 2017 have the chance to get them from those who were but now can’t make it. The Facebook page is filled with people making plans to get together – whether it’s fans who all hail from the same place, or those interested in knitting or crochet.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Former Doctor Who showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, and writers Jenny T Colgan and Paul Cornell, talk exclusively about their new Target Books • Production Notes from Russell T Davies • A tribute to the late Peter Miles, who played Davros’ assistant Nyder in 1975’s Genesis of the Daleks • The never-before-told story behind the creation of Doctor Who's 2010-17 logo • The history of Doctor Who releases from BBC Records and Tapes • Behind the making-of Infinity, a new Doctor Who video game starring Michelle Gomez as Missy and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood • DWM goes to the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles • Out of the TARDIS with impressionist Jon Culshaw • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying the Doctor’s distinctive orange spacesuit • Part One of The Clockwise War, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction reveals the hidden depths to the 2015 Twelfth Doctor story Sleep No More • An interview with DJ and drummer Klaus Joynson, who has paid homage to Doctor Who in his album New Adventures in Time & Space • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!