Sunday, February 15 was our final day at Gallifrey One 2015, which took place at the LAX Marriott February 13-15. On this day, we attended a NASA JPL panel, another Torchwood panel, featuring Burn Gorman and Eve Myles, and a live commentary of the Doctor Who episode Dark Water by the director Rachel Talalay! Check out our recap of those panels, followed by a slideshow of photos from the day.
Click here to go back to our Friday Report – Part 1!
Click here to go back to our Friday Report – Part 2!
Click here to go back to our Saturday Report – Part 1!
Click here to go back to our Saturday Report – Part 2!
Click here to go back to our slideshow of photos from Friday and Saturday!
[Note: This section by Josh]
Landing On Titan – Program C, 12:00pm
We got to Gallifrey One on Sunday just after a NASA JPL panel had started, and I am big into space exploration. If I felt I was smart enough to go on a Mars mission, and NASA or some space agency would take me, I would join in a heartbeat. I was very excited to see what NASA would be presenting at Gallifrey One.
The name of the panel we were able to attend was called “Landing on Titan”, and the moderator was Trina Ray. She is from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. So as the name of the panel says, this panel is all about landing on Titan, which is one of the many moons of Saturn, which was done by Cassini, a probe under the Huygens mission.. Unfortunately, we missed the first few minutes of the panel, but I knew a little about this landing from my own personal reading of various space articles.
The landing was made by the probe Cassini, which had been launched in 2004. Trina talks about the journey of the probe to Saturn, which first involved testing moving the probe about space, so that it could do a “flyby” over Earth, then make its way out to Titan. The panel had a lot of charts and graphs, which of course us average folks cannot understand, but Trina did a great job of breaking it down for us.
She brings up a point of working for NASA, which would be aggravating for me, which is how long it takes to get the payoff for missions, due to how big space is, and how far it takes to travel. But she says that each mission becomes that much more precious, which makes sense.
Trina then begins showing an animation of how Cassini landed on Titan when it entered the atmosphere, which is pretty crazy on its own. The gold and ceramic heat shield had to withstand around 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Then she explains that there were a series of parachutes which would slow the descent. The probe then became exposed, and began taking measurements. It took about 2 hours for the probe to make it to the surface of Titan.
Then we saw some photos from the cameras, which started with just dense fog, until the probe got low enough, and we could see the Titan landscape. Trina explains that people on this mission had been working on it for 20 years to see these photos and work with 2 hours of data. Trina then shows an interesting video which compiled data for NASA, which they then made an animation which showed how it would have looked if we were on the probe when it landed. The animation makes the landscape look pretty Earth like, with mountains, valleys, looking kind of like any ole mountain range.
After the video, Trina talks a bit more about the landing, and how there were a couple of unforeseen things, such as the craft spinning on landing, the probe swaying in its descent, and that the probe seemed to bounce and slide on impact. All this caused NASA to have to work for quite a while to understand the data that Cassini sent back to Earth.
Trina then decides to explain more about Titan, which she says is like Earth in similar ways, with one big difference being how thick the atmosphere is. Titan’s atmosphere is actually a whole lot thicker than Earth’s. Another interesting tidbit about Titan is that prior to the Huygens mission, Titan was the least known about large mass in the solar system. Trina also talks about the lakes, rivers and oceans on Titan, but the liquids making these up is actually methane. The mountains and landscape is made up of water. Due to how cold it is on Titan, methane gas is liquid on Titan, and water is solid ice. There is also a lot of wind, which shapes the landscape on Titan quite a bit. These winds primarily travel along the equator, which make longitudinal “dunes” . We actually get to see a lot of this from various photos that the orbiter around Saturn has taken when it was in line to see Titan. It is crazy how good our technology has progressed, as Trina explains that the probe was able to identify the depth of some of the lakes on Titan.
Trina moves into more “nerdy” information about Titan, if that is even possible, and explains what chemical ions are present on Titan. She showed Earth and a few other planets, then Titan, which the list was like three times the length of the other planets shown. For some reason that hit me kind of strangely.
Trina also talks about a liquid ocean underneath Titan, which is something common among many moons in the outer solar system. Another big revelation about Titan I learned was the seasons are insanely long. The 10 year Huygens mission was only a small portion of a season for the moon.
Trina then moves on to talking to the complicated nature of trying to get these missions going, and further exploration of Titan. Her personal opinion is that hot air balloons would be a great way to explore Titan. But she moves more to the political nature, discussing the cooperation between the European Space Agency and NASA to get the Huygens Missions off of the ground. She says that this mission could have failed if both sides didn’t work together. This made me really hope that we can continue collaborative missions, so we can really get space missions off of the ground.
I really enjoyed this panel, and I while I love learning about space, I wasn’t sure how this presentation would be. It was pretty interesting to learn about some of the details on the Huygens mission though. It really energized my desire for the US to get to Mars and further if we can.
[Note: This section by Violet]
Eve Myles and Burn Gorman – Program A, 1:00pm
After we finished up at the NASA JPL panel, we headed straight over to Program A, since the Torchwood panel was about to start. But when we got there, John Barrowman’s panel was still going on. He must have ran over again and fought leaving the stage like he had on Saturday. Inside, there was a crowd of people standing at the back of the room, plus there was a crowd of people standing just outside the door. I have a feeling that many of the people who went to John Barrowman’s panel the day before had also come to this panel, even though you’re only supposed to choose one or the other, due to the limited number of seats. I mean, I would have loved to go to both panels myself, considering that every John Barrowman panel is unique due to his panels being not being moderated, and entirely audience Q&A (rather than “duplicated” as the program claimed), but I decided to follow the rules, because it wouldn’t be fair to go to both if you’re not supposed to. [Note: Shaun Lyon, Vice-Chairman of Gallifrey One, kindly contacted us to set the record straight that they had fully intended for John Barrowman’s Saturday and Sunday panels to be duplicated, and had an interviewer lined up, but were not made aware of the fact that John did not want an interviewer until Saturday morning.] I wonder how many people ended up standing at the back of the room without any seats because of people who disregarded the rules and took up seats. Maybe the convention should try to find a way to keep track of this and enforce their policy better. But I digress.
The Torchwood panel was supposed to include Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, and Naoko Mori, just as the Torchwood panel the day before had. However, we were informed that Naoko had to leave early for some reason, so it would just be Eve and Burn this time. Tony Lee, who had moderated the Torchwood cast members’ solo panels on Friday, was back to moderate this panel.
Eve started out by saying that she would be “clean” today, unlike her solo Friday panel, and the Torchwood panel from the day before. The audience seemed disappointed at that.
The moderator asked Burn how he got into acting, and Burn explained that he actually got into it “a bit late.” He was working at a catering company, and got the word that the Royal Shakespeare Company was looking for extras. So he did some extras work, then got the acting bug. He went on to study and became an actor. The BBC didn’t want to hire him at first, but someone stuck their neck out for him and recommended him, and the rest is history.
Eve recalled the first time that she met Burn Gorman. She literally chased him down in order to talk to him and tell him that she loved his work. Burn didn’t seem to remember this though.
Eve knew acting was for her at drama school. At first, she had no confidence, but her friend encouraged her. She admitted that it was a dream of hers to work with Christopher Eccleston, and she recalled when she first auditioned in front of Mark Gatiss and Russell T. Davies that she was so starstruck that she couldn’t stop smiling and staring at them. So much so, that during the audition for her part on Doctor Who, Russell had told her to try the scene again, but “try not to look so happy.” She then shared the T-shirt story that she had shared on Friday. As a result, Eve and Burn broke out into singing and dancing to the words “naked sexy ladies” over and over, adding the words “making out,” and would periodically break into singing and dancing to this throughout the panel.
When Eve first learned that she was cast for Torchwood, she had no idea what the show was about, or even the name of the character that she would be playing! The first time she found out was when she read something about John Barrowman starring as Captain Jack, and that the other lead in the show was named Gwen Cooper, so Eve figured that must be her! Eve remembers cleaning for 6 or 7 hours straight when she first learned she got the role on Torchwood, because she had all this energy and happiness she didn’t know what to do with.
Burn and Eve recalled how they had one week of rehearsal before they started filming Torchwood. Burn spoke about the pictures that he placed on Owen’s desk, and how he thought they were the kind of pictures that the character would put there. He also spoke about how Owen and Tosh never got together, but commented, “If I were Toshiko’s dad, I wouldn’t want her to be with someone like me!” Burn also said that Owen elicited strong responses, and that’s what he was after. He shared a story with us about how he was at the grocery store one time, and a woman came up to him and told him she hated him… but she loved him.
Burn and Eve talked about how they were the “naughty” kids on set, often hiding out and throwing food at people, especially the design guys, who thought it was funny at first, but after awhile hated them. One time they stuffed hamburgers and sausages into John Barrowman’s boots, and let his dog tear the boots apart! They also bundled up some kelp and put it inside the TARDIS.
When the two were asked what was the biggest difference between filming in Wales and filming in the U.S., they both had the same answer: craft services! They were both amazed by the amount and quality of food that was set out all day for you to just come up and take — for free! Eve recalled when she first figured out it was free, she would spend her free time taking food and eating it in her trailer. One time, she was taking a little too long eating, and someone came knocking on her door to get her. She finally opened the door, and the girl recommended Spanx to her! Eve was grateful for the suggestion.
The fact that Burn often plays the villain was brought up, but he said he likes to play the villain, because it’s more fun.
Eve revealed that she loved the book To Kill a Mockingbird so much that she almost named her daughter Scout.
An audience member asked what role stuck with them and changed them the most, Burn answered that they all leave a bit in you, and that there’s a resonance.
Another audience member asked how Eve felt handling a baby on Miracle Day when she had her own baby at home. She recounted and acted out a hilarious story in which she was reading the script while changing her daughter’s diaper, and the changing kept getting interrupted because she got so engrossed in the script!
The hour soon came to an end, but they couldn’t leave without giving us another “Naked sexy ladies” song and dance.
[Note: This section by Josh]
Dark Water: Live Commentary – Program A, 2:00pm
The final panel we saw at Gallifrey One was commentary on the Doctor Who episode Dark Water by its director, Rachel Talalay. For those unfamiliar with the name of the episode, it was the episode in which The Master returns, as a woman named Missy, and Clara loses her boyfriend Danny in a car accident.
Talalay talks about the script for the episode, saying she wasn’t too familiar with the storyline going on at the time, which was surprising. Right away she seems to drop a bomb about the show though, referring to a note Clara has on her bookshelf which says “3 months” on it, and referring to fans thinking it is referring to Clara being pregnant. Rachel Talalay seems to dismiss the note as not having to do with that at all, but then backtracks, saying she isn’t going to say either way what the note means. It certainly makes me wonder though–it sounds more like an innocuous note than what people have read into it. Of course, the note is there, and at anytime Steven Moffat can come back and reference it!
Anyway, back to the commentary. She talks working with the different actors, and how great it was working with the cast. Rachel also talks about there was a disagreement over how much Clara should hear on the phone, when she is talking to Danny, and he is hit by a car. Then she moves on to talking about how they used a camera crane to film the shots of Danny’s death outside, and how it was a conscious effort to not show Danny’s body when the accident happened. She was very excited about that crane being used. She also talks about Steven Moffat wanting to ensure the audience knew that this death scene was real and could not be interpreted as a “time shift”.
Moving on, Talalay talks about how she had several conversations with Jenna Coleman to figure out how to display the many emotions in these episodes. Moving on to when Clara talks to the Doctor, Rachel describes how small the kitchen Clara is in, and how hard it was to film in. She also talks about how funny Capaldi was with the phone cord when talking to Jenna.
Talalay then criticizes the episode a little bit, when the scene changes to the volcano, with the Doctor, and how she didn’t like the look of the volcano. She also talks about continuity errors with Clara in these scenes in the TARDIS and how she insisted to Moffat to not shoot these scenes linearly. Moving on to discussing camera work, she says the TARDIS is very easy to shoot in. She talks about how they used an old set from another show for the volcano scene, and how well it worked out to her surprise. She talks about a another small disappointment, where she would have liked to add a visual effect to the TARDIS key exploding, as she thought it should given the significance of the key, but there wasn’t enough time. She talks about pacing some, and worried about the scene not being compelling if it drags on for too long, but she praised the writing as making it work. She also talks about storyboarding the volcano scene to get it right. Talking more about camera work, she discusses saving close up shots for important timing, and not over using them. She also makes a funny comment about producers kind of getting in the way when filming and how distracting it can be.
Talalay moves onto the acting of Peter Capaldi and how they experimented to try to determine the best way to deliver the lines, and both Jenna and Peter worked off each other, rather than simply reading lines..
She talks about set design some later, when we see the office for the “afterworld”, and how it was hard to get the set designer to make it bland as it was supposed to be. She talks about an art museum being used quite a bit in filming in Doctor Who, but using props to make the building look unrecognizable. She also talks about watching Cybermen practicing their marching next door while she filmed scenes.
Then when seeing the skeletons in the tanks in the episode, they had to figure out how to design the skeletons. She then talks about the tanks not actually being filled with water due to budget costs, and it required a lot of lighting work to make sure it actually did look like the tanks were filled, and how much adjustments were needed for the camera, from different angles.
When Missy shows up, Talalay talks about how she was supposed to appear robot-like. Then a bit later, she returns to talking about the Cybermen being revealed in the tanks as the water “drains”. It turns out that the transition was overlaying the Cybermen on top of the skeletons, with visual effects creating the bubbles and water drainage look.
She also talks about Missy shifting into being the one behind the whole situation, and the design of her remote control vaporizer and telephone, and how she would use it. She also discusses trying to make sure viewers understood that the Nethersphere, where Danny was, was a completely different place than where Clara and the Doctor are, and how challenging she thought it was.
Another funny story that Talalay brings up is when the Cybermen march out of St. Paul’s Cathedreal. Apparently, this specific door was only usable by royalty and clergy, and it is an 8,000 lb fine if the law was broken. She says that they had to get specific royal permission for the cast to use the doors, and when filming, there were guards ready to give tickets for those not approved. It was so strict, that since she wasn’t approved, she had to run around to another door to direct, to avoid the fine.
She also talks about filming outside, and how difficult it was to get a take. She talks about every take requiring 20 minutes of clearing crowds, so each of those scenes only had a couple of takes to work with due to the large amount of people getting in the way. She also talks about when Missy reveals who she is, and how the director had Missy mouth a different name in a take, to try to maintain the secret reveal.
This about wraps up our final adventures at Gallifrey One. We will have one final post about our thoughts on our first Gallifrey One, so stay tuned for that!
Below is our slideshow of photos from Sunday. Click here for our slideshow of photos from Friday and Saturday!