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Dr. Who, here

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  • Publication: Newsday
  • Date: 2013-11-05
  • Author: Frank Lovece
  • Page: B2
  • Language: English

The Brit hit is such a phenom that the LI con is all sold out

The first "Doctor Who" convention in the New York metropolitan area since 1990 is about to arrive like a Time Lord in a TARDIS - and if you have to ask, you won't get it anyway. But for fans of the long-running British science-fiction series "Doctor Who," celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the convention called "L.I. Who" is a long-overdue chance to meet stars, attend panels, buy collectibles and otherwise hobnob with Whovians.

ABOUT THE EVENT

"What differentiates my convention is accessibility," says first-time con organizer Ken Deep, 42, of Farmingdale, who changed careers after two decades in broadcasting and is now a teacher's assistant for special-needs kids. The venue, he says, "only holds 1,000, and I want every one of those 1,000 people to have an extraordinary experience."

He seems on his way. The event is sold out - including the $150 "Valeyard's Packages" that bundle a three-day pass with Friday dinner and Sunday breakfast with the convention's guests - people like Sylvester McCoy, the seventh of 11 actors so far who have played The Doctor, as the show's hero is solely known. (From the start, a running gag is someone asking, "Doctor who?")

FAN-CENTRIC CON

Stuart Natelson, 51, of East Meadow, bought one of those packages. An image quality-control manager for a chain of MRI centers, he recalls "watching the show in the mid-80s, mostly with my father," when it played on WLIW/21. "There was a sense of wonder in never knowing what's going to happen each week, since they could be going to a different time period or a different planet," as the do-gooder Doctor and his one or more companions pinballed around the cosmos having adventures and righting wrongs.

Now, he says, "I find it a way to reconnect with my dad, who passed away seven years ago. I've met actors and actresses I watched with my father, and I get emotional and thank them for giving me those moments with him."

Deep, active in Long Island "Doctor Who" fandom for 30 years, says he hadn't planned to produce a convention. "It was serendipity," he says. He'd had experience helping organize I-CON, a science-fiction convention held annually at Stony Brook University (once at Suffolk County Community College) since 1982 - until this year. It's scheduled to return in 2014, but in the interim, that left Deep with free time.

"So this year's the 50th anniversary of 'Doctor Who,'" he reasoned, "and I wanted to see if any event promoters were going to put something on, and they didn't. So I said to myself, 'It's going to be me or it's not going to happen.'" With a couple of other I-CON volunteers, along with a local "Doctor Who" fan group called the Gallifreyan Embassy and a "Star Wars" fan-group Docking Bay 516, the Doctor would get his due.

WHAT'S IN STORE

The convention includes three days of panels, gaming, cosplay (costumed role-playing), a podcast, a charity auction, photo and autograph opportunities and, what Deep may be most proud of, a fan-made, full-size replica of the TARDIS - the Doctor's "Time and Relative Dimension in Space" vehicle, camouflaged as a British phone booth.

"I had a heart attack last November, at 41 years old," Deep says. "Lying in a hospital, having a surgeon stick things into your heart to make sure you live, puts things in perspective. And this convention was on my bucket list - as a kid, I always wanted to have a 'Doctor Who' convention. I love 'Doctor Who.' It's my favorite show. If we can make this an annual tradition, that would please me no end."

L.I. Who

WHEN

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  • APA 6th ed.: Lovece, Frank (2013-11-05). Dr. Who, here. Newsday p. B2.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Lovece, Frank. "Dr. Who, here." Newsday [add city] 2013-11-05, B2. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Lovece, Frank. "Dr. Who, here." Newsday, edition, sec., 2013-11-05
  • Turabian: Lovece, Frank. "Dr. Who, here." Newsday, 2013-11-05, section, B2 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr. Who, here | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr._Who,_here | work=Newsday | pages=B2 | date=2013-11-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr. Who, here | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr._Who,_here | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023}}</ref>