Here’s a rather belated write-up of my visit to Newcastle for the Alien Nation conference. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’d been feeling quite nervous about presenting my thoughts on Doctor Who to an audience of experts. By Tuesday, as I got on my train, I was a bit more confident.
I was on a panel with Tom Steward, Claire Jenkins and Julian Chambliss, who had travelled over from Orlando, Florida (naturally, it rained all of the time he was here). My co-panellists were all great and I was reasonably happy with how my presentation went. Unfortunately, we’d been asked at short notice to reduce our papers to 15 minutes, and I had to skip over a lot of my carefully constructed prose! Luckily, two academics I respect greatly, David Butler and Andrew O’Day, spoke to me enthusiastically afterwards and asked me to send my paper to them. That was particularly encouraging and it was great to talk to them.
It was excellent too to meet a number of people who I’ve enjoyed chatting to on Twitter. John Williams, Ian Greaves, Frank Collins and Dave Rolinson were nice enough to invite me along to dinner with them on Wednesday night and I had fantastic time of talking over much-loved television programmes and toasting Frank Marker!
The next day, I decided to do some sight-seeing before I got on my train home. Newcastle is a very beautiful place, reminiscent of Edinburgh in some ways but without the sinister aspect of that city. As I walked around in the sunshine,I decided this was somewhere I needed to come back to for a holiday. Everyone I met was friendly and I especially fell in love with the quayside area. I even got time to stop at the Literary and Philosophical Library and I spent a happy hour in there reading Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter. The Lit & Phil is a fantastic archive, with a specialist music library. I hope to do some resarch there in the not too distant future!