Last weekend I was fortunate enough to run  a toy panel at my personal favorite sci-fi convention – TimeGate. It’s focused around Stargate and Doctor Who, but this year the emphasis was definitely on Doctor Who. Between the 50th Anniversary and the presence of an actual Doctor – Colin Baker – for the first time, things couldn’t have gone down any other way.

What follows is an excerpt from my recap of TimeGate. The full version is available on

It was very important to me that I wear my Phantom Troublemaker Speed Suit during the toy panel. This was the first panel at a con that I had ever been in charge of. Granted, nobody had actually put me in charge. I kind of just decided that I was gonna run the thing. If I was going to be on a panel about toys, particularly Doctor Who toys, then I was going to be in charge. And it was going to be great. That’s why I had loaded up a suitcase full of Doctor Who toys from across the ages and brought it with me.

I made it to the appropriate room with the help of ESO Cadet William and started setting up. I covered the table with toys. It looked pretty impressive. I probably should have taken a picture, but I was so wound up and excited it didn’t occur to me. One thing I was not – nervous.

Director Faber showed up after I was all set up and it was go time. I announced the panel as “The ESO Network Presents:’s Celestial Toyroom with Phantom Troublemaker and my lovely co-host Director Faber”. You’re damn right I hijacked the title of the panel.

It went very well. The room was quite full and the audience was fun. We had some great input from some of them and Director Faber was able to step in and provide some dates and facts at the appropriate times. Everything rolled along quite well despite the fact that I had no script or anything and Faber and I hadn’t done any kind of preparation beforehand. I’ve got to say, that’s Faber’s talent – he can go on the fly and interact verbally amazingly well. He was on several panels with me over the weekend and they were all successes.

I gave away a couple of the Dapol figures I had bought from Billy’s Toys – basically as bribery – and told everybody to be sure and rate the panel in the TimeGate app on Guidebook. As of right now the panel has 5 out of 5 stars.

After the panel Cadet William helped me box everything up and I headed straight to the front desk for a status report.

So there you go. You can check out the full panel, along with the usual intro and whatnot




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