Who Fest in Addison: Cos-play, Merch and Drunken Elf Girls. It's a Whovian Paradise.
Imagine a man with two hearts inside a blue box traveling through space, jumping through time like an intellectual child of Marty McFly, the hero of the Back to the Future film series, and Sybil, the film character who suffered a mild case of multiple personalities in the 1976 film of the same name. He travels to exotic places like Adipose 3, a breeding planet; Alfava Metraxis, home to the Maze of the Dead; and Demon's Run, the asteroid base of the Anglican Marines. He champions causes and solves mysteries, and he's saved the universe on more than one occasion.
But he's not alone in his blue box tumbling across the Milky Way. He's hosted a revolving door of companions -- mostly female -- in his seemingly small blue box. (It's quite comfortable on the inside with vaulted ceilings, a central control panel and hidden compartments like the ones in the Millennium Falcon.) Some of them are more memorable than others. Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), a Scot who rocked the kilt; Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), a physician who becomes a secret agent; Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), the girl out of time and the mother of Doctor Who's wife; and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Clara Sladen), the longest-serving companion, a fan favorite and now a legend since her passing in 2011.
He's known as a "Time Lord" but calls himself "The Doctor" -- and he's immortal ... well, he's more like a cat with 13 lives instead of nine. Like the hands of clock slowly ticking away, 11 doctors have assumed the mantel of Doctor Who through a process called "regeneration," but they all are essentially part of the same character.
Since its inception in 1963, Doctor Who has become something more than just a sci-fi TV show. It's a way of life. Coffee mugs, T-shirts (and socks), and action figures are just some of the ways we honor the Doctor. He's appeared on dozens of posters, games and postcards. Typing "Doctor Who Merchandise" into a Google search bar reveals more than 28 million results. Words from the popular TV series tattoo college campus dorm halls and general academic buildings across the country. "Silence will fall" can be found scrawled across bathroom walls or atop staircases like a silent mantra that only "Whovians" -- as fans are called -- would understand.
Whovians held the first meeting of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in the late '70s, followed by the North American Doctor Who Appreciation Society, which later became the Doctor Who Fan Club and then Friends of Doctor Who in the '80s, and the Doctor Who Information Network in Canada, which later spawned the Doctor Who Society of Canada. In 2012, they infiltrated the Google Map network, making it easier for fans worldwide to find Doctor Who fan clubs.
Whovians also organized the first Doctor Who convention in 1977 in the United Kingdom, and soon dozens of "Who Fests" appeared worldwide. November 21-24, Who Fest takes place at the Crowne Plaza Dallas in Addison. It promises to be an unforgettable day filled with cos-play, Doctor Who merchandise and drunken elf girls.
This month marks the show's 50th anniversary.
Since some of you won't be able to attend Who Fest unless you possess the TARDIS -- it's sold out -- we've decided to travel through time and pay homage to Doctor Who's various incarnations in honor of his half-a-century celebration, the Twelfth Doctor's impending arrival, and the upcoming Christmas holiday, which is full of miraculous rebirths as fantastical as his regeneration process.
The First Doctor (b. 1963, d. 1966)
The first incarnation of Doctor Who was older in appearance than the rest of his incarnations but younger in actual Time Lord age. He was a grumpy old man -- the Scrooge of the Universe instead of its savior -- and more frightening than the rest. During his early run on the series, the Cybermen and Daleks -- both future reoccurring baddies -- were introduced as well as his TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), which was disguised as a police call box, and his regeneration ability that changes his appearance each time its used. Doctor Who's initial transformation into the second incarnation of the Doctor in the "Tenth Planet" inspired a generation of Whovians to believe that maybe a man in a blue box traveling among the stars could appear on their front lawn one day.