Call for Panelists now open

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Our Call for Panelists is finally open! Please read the descriptions of each of our participation panels prior to filling out the form to be on your chosen panels.

Note that we will be releasing a separate sign-up for Costuming and Workshop panels this year as they all have limited space in which to participate. These sign ups will open later this week.


Panel Descriptions

Gaming Panels

Intro to RPGs

[Gaming]Whether you've never played, or you are on your 35th year of an ongoing campaign, we'll explain the awesome joy and excitement of Role Playing Games!

Kid-Friendly Gaming

[Gaming] We're looking for younger gamers to join this panel! Gaming is for every age. From toddlers playing the memory game to teens starting to break into the GM space, we’ll talk to the younger fans about what they like about gaming, while learning how to create a better gaming experience for them!

No Gatekeeping: Inclusion in Gaming

[Gaming] Have you ever not fit into a group? Having trouble with other players? Have you struggled as a game master trying to understand your players? Join us as we share some helpful tips on how to be as inclusive as possible at the game table.


Doctor Who Panels

Alien Bodies: The Eighth Doctor Novels

A discussion of the BBC Books' Eighth Doctor adventure novels and the character's extensive life beyond the small screen. 

All the Wee Beasties

The Seventh Doctor has done battle with all manner of Lovecraftian horrors in any number of strange spaces. This panel discusses why he's always the Doctor who's drawn into battle with them, and why his era in particular suits- or doesn't- these narratives of lurking, unspeakable horror.

Best by Doctor

In 55 lively minutes, our participants go through 13 Doctors to decide - if possible - what the best TV stories are for each Doctor!

Best of Big Finish

We talk Big Finish as we all discuss favorite stories for as many ranges as we can get through in 50 minutes. What are good starting points and what are the best stories or ranges?

Big Finish Back to the Future

Big Finish has been actively extending the past by giving us new adventures from all the Doctors - for example, the new Fourth Doctor Adventures, the Third Doctor Adventures, and the Early Adventures and Companion Chronicles. Let's talk about their impact on Doctor Who in general, and what's best about them.

Class and Other Spinoffs

Class was the most recent television spinoff from Doctor Who - join this discussion focusing on Class and touching on other Doctor Who spinoffs.

Controlled Regeneration

One of Doctor Who's ever-evolving "rules" is that with regeneration "you never know what you're going to get," but evidence is mounting that that's not strictly true. This panel discusses the regeneration process, its narrative history, and its behind-the-scenes history, and analyzes the evidence that regeneration can (sometimes) be controlled.

Doctor Who Collecting: Tips From the Pros

Just one visit to our dealers' room shows you that the world of Doctor Who merchandise is massive. Our panelists discuss their own stories and collections, and how to help new collectors find gems out there. Panelists and attendees are encouraged to bring items from their own collections to show and tell!

Doctor Who Podcasting

How you can spend all your free time listening to other fans talk about your favorite subject, Doctor Who! Our panel will discuss what's out there now, and about the other side of the microphone: the mechanics of podcasting.

Geek Theology: Tardis Edition by Nerd Chapel

In this panel we explore the idea the Jesus and the Doctor have a lot in common. Are their strategies the same or different?

Help! I Fell in Love With a Doctor Who Fan!

We invite partners of Whovians to share their experiences in dealing with their partner's obsession. Did they get into Doctor Who as well? Was it an easy transition or did it take some time? How does it affect your relationship? Has it always been a positive part of your relationship?

Is There Ever Too Much Who?

With hundreds of TV episodes, books, and Big Finish audios, there's more Doctor Who out there than ever before. But is there a such thing as too much Doctor Who? Does it turn off potential newcomers both to the show and to its spin-offs having so much history and backstory? 

LGBTWho

Our panelists (of all backgrounds) discuss what the Doctor and the TV show Doctor Who means to LGBTQ fans.

Pond Life Revisited

Join us as we discuss the characters of Amy Pond and Rory Williams, the ways in which they were unique within the long history of the Doctor's companions, and their finest standout moments. We'll also talk about the actors Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, and their post-DW successes.

Remembering Terrance Dicks

Terrance Dicks passed away on August 29, 2019. As a Doctor Who script editor and the author of many Target novelizations, he was a pillar of the Whoniverse. Join us as we raise a virtual glass and toast our beloved 'Uncle Terrance.'

Running a Doctor Who Marathon (Watch)

A lot of fans like to watch the entire Doctor Who series in a marathon-style binge...but everyone has their own way of doing it. Share your experiences of marathon viewing. Did you finish? Did you start again? How did you handle the missing episodes? What did you learn from this unique viewing method?

The Episode Titled "Doctor Who"

An in-depth discussion of the 1996 made-for-television movie that gave us the gift of Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Doctor

What would the entry for the Doctor in the Hitchikers Guide say? The moderator guides the panel AND the audience to put together the definitive-ish summary of our favourite alien entity, the Doctor. Editors Welcome! No punching, biting or invading! 

The ReAnimation of Doctor Who

Another year, another discussion of the re-creation of Missing Episodes through animation. Which episodes are most likely to be animated next? What about the animations already released - what's great about them, what's perhaps less successful?

The Remarkable Barbara Wright

Join the discussion focusing on First Doctor companion Barbara Wright (as portrayed by Jacqueline Hill), her place as part of the original TARDIS crew, and the growth of the relationship between Barbara and the Doctor.

The Wit and Wonder of Ghost Light

Discussion on the merits of one of the most complex of all Doctor Who episodes - Ghost Light - including reference to production and political contexts, as well as addressing the "confusing" nature of the story and the wonderful wit, performances and singing!

Virgin on Incredible! And Bookwyrm, with Robert Smith?

Discussion of the Seventh Doctor in the Virgin New Adventures novels, his companions, characterisation and how it may or may not have grown naturally out of his TV character, and whether that even matters. Also, Robert Smith? Talks about "Bookwyrm," his new guide to the New Adventures from ATB Publishing.

Who's On Second and Third

Our panelists get in a deep discussion comparing and contrasting the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) era to the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) era at the crux of the changeover's 50th anniversary.

You Are the Doctor!

Every fan has their own concept of what defines the character of the Doctor. If YOU were cast in the role, how would you play it?

Young Fans Talk Doctor Who

For the last two years we've had some teenage (and younger) attendees take the panel positions at the front of the room and lead the discussion on their unique perspective on Doctor Who. This year we're once again encouraging young fans to take their place on this panel so the adults can learn more about what younger fans think of their favorite show. If you're a parent of a youngster who'd make a good panelist, please encourage them to sign up!


Pop Culture Panels

Alien/Aliens at 40

It's the 40th anniversary year of the motion picture ALIEN! We'll discuss the horror/sci-fi franchise and its extensive universe in sequels and non-film media.

DC Universe

The latest on everything DC (Comics) in film and television - there's a lot to cover!

Farscape at 20

It's the 20th anniversary year of "Farscape" and this panel will celebrate that. Join the discussion about how the series has affected folks' lives.

Marvel Universe

The latest on everything Marvel (Comics) in film and television - there's a lot to cover!

Pop Culture Fandom Itself II

We continue last year's discussion on difficulties within fandom. What is toxic fandom and how does one combat it? What is the difference between expressing your opinion about media and harassment? What are fans "entitled" to as media consumers?

Star Wars Universe

We'll talk about the Star Wars franchise, its fandom, The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian, and anything else Star Wars we can squeeze into 55 minutes!

Stargate at 25

It's the 25th anniversary of "Stargate" and this panel will celebrate that. Join the discussion about the various TV series, the movie, the streaming mini-series, and the Big Finish audios.

The Best Sci Fi Movies You've Never Seen

In which the panelists and the audience tell everyone about fantastic movies that others may not know about but will almost certainly enjoy!

The Proliferation of Streaming

We take a look at various streaming services and their offerings, with a particular focus on the new Disney+ service and its stature within geekdom. 

Time Travel in Current Pop Culture

Time travel has been ubiquitous in recent pop culture. This panel discusses how science fiction incorporates time travel into its narratives, how creators establish (and sometimes break) their own rules, and how time travel is represented visually.

Writing a Book

Have a book inside you but don't know how to get it published? This panel will discuss how to take your work - fan fiction, Vogon poetry, or anything else - from rough draft to published book.


Chicago TARDIS