The Sciences

Comic Con: Name Dropping Part II

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJul 30, 2009 11:30 AM


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I have one more name dropping episode for you. Even if you don't like such blatant things, this is a good story.

Note: I have no pictures of this event. It all happened in the green room, where pictures are forbidden. And even if I had taken any, it would be impolite and impolitic to post them anyway.

So on Saturday of Comic Con I was setting up to moderate the Mythbusters panel. We had successfully navigated the route from the hotel to the convention center green room; that's a large room reserved for panelists to give them some down time before and after panels and let them get away from the mob (and at 120,000+ attendees, I do mean mob). The green room is not for any one panel, so other stars and such wandered in and out. John Barrowman and Naoko Mori were there, and I was working up the courage to go over and say hello. But first I had business to do with the Mythbusters, squaring away last minute details. That only took a few minutes, and when it was done I was sitting around joking and laughing with some Discovery Channel folks, and also lamenting that I had done nearly, but not quite everything I planned on at Comic Con: I was still missing getting Anna Torv's autograph for The Little Astronomer (which, if you read the previous post, you know I was able to eventually achieve), and seeing David Tennant. I love love love David Tennant. I'll miss him greatly when he leaves Doctor Who, as I consider his portrayal the best of all of them. My daughter loves him too, and last year drew a picture of him as the Doctor. As I said in Part I, she's actually a good artist. Last year at Comic Con I was able to give Steven Moffat a copy of her drawing, which he enjoyed. I was hoping to repeat the effort with Tennant, but had completely blown the chance to meet him at an earlier press conference. And just as I said this -- and I mean that literally, the words had barely escaped my lips -- when someone said, "Turn around." I did. Standing there in the green room, not ten feet away, was Russell Davies, the man who rebooted Doctor Who, and standing next to him was David Tennant.

Holly. Flurking. Schmidt. After the shock cleared, a bunch of stuff flew through my head. One was that a few seconds before I saw Tennant standing there, I heard the sounds of dozens of women screaming and had ignored it; just outside the room were the lines to get into the panels, and I assumed some random star had walked by. I was right, but it wasn't random, it was the freaking Doctor himself. After a moment, Tennant went over to talk to John Barrowman. Stirring myself, I took the opportunity to approach Davies. I introduced myself, thanking him for rebooting the series, and showed him the drawing TLA did. He loved it, which was cool, and immediately said, "Well, we have to get David to sign this for her!" Man, I love Russell Davies. That was totally awesome of him. So he flags Tennant, and we walk over. I introduce myself again, saying I love his work and think he's the best. He demures, thanking me -- he must get this literally dozens of times a day, but is ever so polite about it, and is quite the gentleman. I showed him the drawing, which he gushed over, and agreed gallantly to sign it. I had two copies, so I gave him one, keeping the signed one for TLA. I thanked him again, and let him go to his personal business^*. When I got home, I showed the drawing with Tennant's signature to TLA, and she wigged out in an appropriate manner. We'll be getting that drawing framed for sure, along with the one from Anna Torv, too. I have a lot of memories from Comic Con, and while meeting David Tennant will always remain one of those Top Moments, seeing my daughter's face when I showed her the drawing will easily be Number 1.

^* A note to fan boys and girls like myself: the best thing you can do when approaching a celeb like this is introduce yourself calmly, tell them you just wanted to say how much you like their work, and then leave them be. That way, you make personal contact, and they get to move on with their lives as well as talk to the gazillion other people waiting to make personal contact to them. If you linger, or talk too much, or try to tell them how you liked this scene or that one, the celeb can get that trapped look in their eye where they try desperately to find an exit of some sort. Get in, do your stuff, and get out. They will not remember you the next day, or even the next minute, but it's unreasonable to expect them to. They see lots of fans every day, and while I know you are special -- we all are -- after Fan Number 879,342 they start to blur together for even the most mentally acute celebrity. We've all seen the one gushing fan who doesn't seem to get when to leave, and you don't want to be that person, do you? I've been that person, and believe me, an hour later you want to stick your head in a microwave out of embarrassment.

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