Friday, October 2, 2015

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Highlights

It’s been a few months since I last posted here. Much of what’s kept me away has been busy with lots of different things going on during the summer. As a result, nearly every time I actually had time to write, I either lacked the energy to do so, or I experienced writer’s block. And every time I actually had the energy and knew exactly what I wanted to write, I just didn’t have the time.

But there’s nothing like three days of attending a comic book convention to get me energized to write about my favorite geek-related topics.

Every time I attend Comic Con in Salt Lake (be it the Salt Lake Comic Con title event or FanX), it’s a very different experience for me. From one convention to the next, I might attend different types of panels or go to spotlights for celebrities from different genres. I might purchase different types of souvenirs. I may or may not cos-play (and when I do, how elaborate my costume is may vary). I may spend time geeking out with different friends. This year at Comic Con was no exception to the rule.

Contributing Writers of Mormon Geeks, Adam (me), T.J. and Joe
 at Salt Lake Comic Con this year.
Rather than doing a travelogue of sorts, and going through each day in order (as I did in my report on FanX earlier this year), I’m just going to touch on the highlights of some of the things I enjoy most about going to Comic Con.

The first was the panels. I found the panels to be kind of hit or miss for me this year. The one I enjoyed the most was titled, “The Flash: Run, Barry, Run!” This panel discussed the first season of The Flash TV series, and some thoughts on what the future may hold for the show. And though I have not yet posted my review of the first season, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am really excited for the direction the series seems to be heading.

"The Flash: Run, Barry, Run!" Panel, which was the panel I enjoyed the most this year
One of panelists was a friend of mine, Quinn Rollins, who as a next-door neighbor growing up, was one of the first people to introduce me to superheroes. He has also declared himself to be the biggest geek he knows. Though I would definitely have attended the panel even without him there, having someone I knew personally on the panel made it even more enjoyable to attend. I hadn’t been following the trailers and previews that came out for the second season during the summer, but just hearing about what might be coming makes me excited for next week’s season premiere.

The "Disabilities in Pop Culture" Panel
All of the panelists had some personal connection to disabilities
Among the other panels that I enjoyed were “Disabilities in Pop Culture” (which featured Jake Dietz, a.k.a. “The Geeky Mormon”, as one of the panelists) and “The Doctor and Violence” (a Doctor Who panel that looked at what kind of man the Doctor is, as well as some of his internal motivations).

"The Doctor and Violence" Panel
I enjoyed finally being able to attend a Doctor Who panel and understand what the panelists were talking about
Some of the misses included two of the panel discussions on the Marvel cinematic universe (the friends I went with, because they wanted to attend, actually left both panels early out of boredom), and “The Science of Time Travel.” The latter was a topic that I find very interesting, but I found the presentation to be rather dry, and rather than explore the theoretical science behind time travel that is portrayed in pop culture, spent most of the time discussing how real life occurrences are like time travel.

The Robby Amell Spotlight Panel
The only celebrity spotlight panel I went to this year featured Robby Amell. I had wanted to go to several others, but had conflicts with attending them. Amell mostly talked about his role as Ronny Raymond/Firestorm in The Flash, as well as other things related to the Arrowverse, including how he was originally invited to audition for the title role of Arrow, but saw the role as a much better fit for his cousin, Stephen Amell, who ultimately got the role. He also let us know that Firestorm would continue to be a recurring character is the early episodes of the second season of The Flash, but was unwilling to give any spoilers as to what role (if any) he would be playing in the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow.

My big souvenir from Salt Lake Comic Con 2015
A photo with Robby Amell
Unrelated to the panel, I also paid for a photo op with Robby Amell, which is my “big” souvenir for this year’s Comic Con. Initially, I was planning on only getting a limited amount of art this time, as I really don’t have space to display very much of it, and instead bought some t-shirts that show off my geeky nature. But as I have become much more of a Whovian in the past year or so, I wanted to get some Doctor Who art, and also ended up getting a number of other prints as well.

I added to my collection of geeky t-shirts
I decided I needed more to stuff to show off my new status as a Whovian
I added to my collection of fan art this year
I only cos-played one day this year, and I decided to go with a costume I’ve wanted to try out for several years. On Friday, I went in costume as Superboy (as he appeared in the comic books from about 2004 to 2012, as well as the Young Justice cartoon series). The costume was rather simple, requiring only blue jeans, black shoes, black t-shirt with a red Superman symbol and using temporary black hair dye. Though technically not officially part of the costume, I elaborated by adding a Superman symbol belt buckle. Though only those familiar with the character and those who knew that my hair was not normally black were likely to realize I was actually in costume, it worked out well for me. And I got to be in full costume without getting stopped for pictures every few minutes (like I did when I cosplayed as Thor at FanX earlier this year).

Me in my simple, yet full costume as Superboy
And as usual, the part I enjoyed the most about the convention was getting to spend time there with friends. Some of my friends really got into it, cosplaying as different characters every day, while for others, it was their first time attending, and were just in awe of all there was to see at the convention.

Me with several of my friends that I geeked out with at Comic Con
Like Joe, attending Comic Con is a nice diversion from every day responsibilities, where I can just enjoy my interests, as well as spending time with others that share them. Though I felt exhausted by the end of the final day of Comic Con, I had a great experience all three days, and left looking forward to the next one.

Actually, I think we were probably worn out well before the end of the last day!
The dates for next year’s FanX were just recently announced as well. And as it turns out, the first day of it will be on my birthday. So I owe a big thank you to the creators of Salt Lake Comic Con and FanX for the birthday present!

I also took a lot of pictures, and as I didn't have room to fit all of them earlier in my post, I'll end with a montage of the rest of my pictures from this year's Salt Lake Comic Con.

I had some friends ask me to watch for some of the local artists they knew
This is Chris Bringhurst at his booth in the Artist's Alley
Local artist Kenwood Huh in his booth in the Artist's Alley
Local artist Matt Page was away when I stopped by his booth
One of the vendors sales Minecraft-eque toys
David and Spencer were a couple of my friends that cos-played as different characters each day
On the first day, they went as the "Gameboy" and Mario
On the second day, they went as the 11th and 9th Doctors
On the last day, they went as Carl and Russel from Disney's "Up"
A selfie of me as Superboy
James (Joe's brother-in-law) cos-playing as a sorcerer
David, me and Spencer on the first day
Me and Ken, who was attending Comic Con for the first time
Quinn Rollins (middle) as a panelist for
"The Flash: Run, Barry Run!" panel
Spencer, me and David on the second day
One of the Mormon Geeks meets "The Geeky Mormon":
Me with fellow blogger Jake Dietz
Paul (who decided on a simpler costume this year) and me
The selfie I ended up with of Joe after I asked him to take a picture of me and Paul
Spencer, me and David on the final day
Me in the TARDIS
I don't think any other picture better expresses the joy I experienced at Salt Lake Comic Con

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why still go to Salt Lake Comic Con?

As I was getting ready for Comic Con this year between my irritating cold and getting ready for my vacation after, I found less of my friends would be joining me than usual. The reasons were understandable, job obligations,finances, but the underlying reason I kept hearing was "Why bother? I've been the last several times, plus celebrity X wouldn't be there this year".

I thought about this as I loaded up on Day Quill in order to function, about how easy it would be to skip since all I usually end up doing is wander the convention floor. So I went the first day figuring if it was too much for my fevered mind I can skip the rest of the days and catch up on my Once Upon a Time.

Then I remembered why I go.

In my normal day I have to be a (relatively) professional adult, at work and at church ect. When I want to geek I either have to do it by myself or find one of my geeky friends who are also usually busy being adults. I love my passions, but rarely can I find anyone who's into Supernatural AND DC Comics AND Disney AND Monster High and the pile of other things I'm into...

...until I get to Comic Con.

When I'm there I'm not alone. For one of the few times in my life I'm just like everyone else. I'm not a weirdo or a geek, I'm a person with passions, and those passions are shared with the people around me. It's a nice feeling to get to be the full me, unrestrained and uninhibited.

I know I usually cover all the things I saw, but frankly that's being covered by my fellow Mormon Geeks. The biggest thing I got this year was a renewed sense of community, a recharge to my imagination, and of course some awesome art prints.


Monday, September 28, 2015

T.J.'s Quick Tour of Comic Con

If you didn't know, I'm a dad with three kids. I have a child in gymnastics, another in soccer, and another that thinks it's her personal destiny to destroy everything she touches. Because of this, I have had to make sure that when I do things that take me away from home, I am wary of my time.

With that said, I got to go to Salt Lake Comic Con on Friday. And, like always, I intended to record an ongoing podcast that failed when my phone decided to shut down on me. And then there's the idea of taking as many pictures as possible...which I suck at doing. But I have some to share, just really not many at all. But I did get this pic with my coworker Paige who does things such as work the cosplay contest as well as interview celebrities at the VIP Bash. (Side note: I found out Paige is taller than Austin St. John, the original red Power Ranger. Well that just changed my perception of life.)

So let me tell you about my 1 day at Comic Con. First, I love going to SLCC because it gives me an excuse to take the Frontrunner (local train) to downtown Salt Lake City. Seriously, maybe I'm weird, but I honestly love being able to sit and ride the train. It reminds me of my mission. So after getting my badge from fellow Mormon Geek Joe, I took the Trax and then walked with a few hundred of my fellow nerds to the Salt Palace. Having the honor of having a press badge, let me go through a different entrance. I am very grateful for that.

The first thing I did was go to the Writers' Ink booth where I found Nichole Giles, Jaclyn Weist, Charlie Pulsipher, and Cindy Hogan among others. Yep, everything at Comic Con to see and I go find my friends who I love being able to chat with and say hi to. After that, I was able to walk around freely until I ran into author Jacob Gowans. He and I had some fun taking jabs at the convention in general while being impressed with certain other aspects.

And then I saw her. Jenna Coleman...the...uh....I can't say love of my life. Let's just say she's up there on celebrities I wanted to see in my lifetime. Her portrayal as Clara on Doctor Who has been my favorite companion. She's had some of my favorite scenes in the history of the show along with some of my favorite lines. Shortly after splitting off from Jacob, I was convinced by our guest blogger Spencer to go to Jenna's panel and by no means was I sorry I went. I was sorry I drag my feet and was late. Yep, she maintains her position in the top with the way she spoke and interacted with the crowd. (Not her best picture, but in general, loved this scene from The Magician's Apprentice.) Okay, better get away from this topic...

After that, I walked around a bit and found my way to the Artist's Alley. Wow, what a dangerous place that is. I spent nothing this year there, but I came close a couple times to buying something. Josh Lyman's art is by far my favorite still. I'm not a huge fan of the "playing card" stuff he's got going on, but he has an awesome Mega Man compilation along with many others that I still want to find a way to purchase and prep for when I finish my basement. Also, personality wise, Josh is really fun to talk to and has some great geek cred.

Later, in my vain attempt to find the Shadow Mountain booth to say hello Jacob Gowans during his signing, I heard a voice I recognized immediately. Now, I doubt many of you will think this is cool, and I don't care. I did. This is Ron Simmons. First, Ron played for the Cleveland Browns in the early eighties before going on to the National Wrestling Alliance, which later became World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Of course, WCW was purchased by WWE in 2001. Anyway, Ron Simmons is recognized as the first African American heavyweight champion in WWE/WCW history. Mr. Simmons has a well-known catch phrase, but has also portrayed various "characters" during his 15-year run with wrestling. Ron didn't have a big table, just a small booth among the "normal" people. And yes, I paid for my picture with him, the only time I've done so at a con. But honestly, that's what made this one special. Not everyone is appreciative of his appearance. But I was really happy to meet him. (Okay, you may all collectively roll your eyes and I'll still be happy about it.)

Well, instead of finding Jacob during his signing. I stopped and talked to J Scott Savage and his wife, Jennifer. I gotta say, as excited as I was to meet Ron Simmons and as on cloud 9 as I am from just seeing Jenna Coleman, my favorite part of the con (maybe 2nd, it is Jenna after all) was the conversation I had with Savage and Jennifer. They are just two of the coolest people I know. And seriously, I could sit and talk to the two of them the entire time at a conference and still feel like it was the best time. (They may not feel the same way, but that's okay.)

I got to head out with my fellow Mormon Geeks Joe and Adam for a little bit as we wandered aimlessly around the Artist's Alley. Also, I found the latest MTG Duel Decks to add to my complete collection. Yes, complete collection of the MTG Duel Decks. Currently, that's all 32.

Sadly, after more walking about, I had to take off. Got to ride the train home with one of my best
friends who works downtown, which was a nice treat as well. And then I had a date with my wife where I tried to not talk about Jenna Coleman.

Yep, it was a great day. Missing Comic Con on Saturday for my son's soccer game sucked. But I did finish this drawing I've been working on for the last week or so. I love the way Mr. Freeze turned out. I really like my Penguin and Joker. Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley turned out better than I expected, except Catwoman's face still bugs me. I'm pleased enough with my Two-Face and Riddler. So I may not have been conning with my fellow geeks, but I geeked out on this drawing while watching USC teach Arizona State a lesson in Football.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

T.J.'s Statement to Hypocrites

Author's Note: I, T.J. Bronley, believe I am a hypocrite. If I had a penny for every time I was hypocritical about something, I could probably end the U.S. deficit. My attempt is to vent about something that is bothering me, something I see strongly as hypocritical. And, as usual, I have my sarcastic humor interspersed with my personal opinion. Remember, this is an opinionated blog and not a fact-based historical document.

(Aside: Look how superior Gonzo is to everyone.)

Here's my issue: It is on my nerves when people post on social media what I perceive to be some sort of personal superiority in not liking sports or even not paying attention to sports because it's "not worth their time".

I grew up in a family that loves sports. Above all, my family was a football family. My dad always wanted to play football, but his mother was afraid of broken bones and wouldn't let him. One of my earlier football related memory is around 1987 or 1988 when my dad was getting ready for church and I was in his room watching the Rams with him (more than likely they lost that game, it is the Rams of the late-80s sadly enough.) But with this memory is me just deciding to go into his room and watch it with him. No "This is what I'm watching so deal with it." Nothing about "This is football. Bronleys watch football." And he definitely never said "Watch football or you're in trouble."

My brothers and I all played football in high school. (I only played my Freshman year, which took some pushing from my oldest brother. Then I got lazy...well....lazier.) My dad's a Saints fan, mostly for Drew Brees. My mom was an Eagles fan. My sister is a Niner fan married to a Bucks fan. My oldest brother is a Rams fan married to a major Seahawks fan with their sons split with them. (That is one house divided.) My other brother was a Lions and somewhat of a Raiders fan...I think. He doesn't get as into it (or anything) as the rest of us. And of course, I love my San Diego Chargers no matter how much they annoy me yearly.

I know many-a-geek who hates sports (and most often football). "My dad made me watch with him!" is many times the complaint. "Why is it socially acceptable to get emotional distraught when your team loses the Super Bowl, but when my favorite character dies in a book/TV show I am not allowed to cry?" And then there are my favorite (read: least appreciative) times when people say things like "My (child) told me he/she didn't know today was the Big Game until friends at church reminded them. #winningatparenting."

I'm actually gonna dissect the truth and lie found in each of these three concepts.

First, your dad made you watch with him? You mean he attempted to find a way to bond with you in a way he knew. Perhaps he was waiting until you were old enough to express what you would rather do. Shoot, if I'm with my dad on Thanksgiving or any Sunday of the fall, I'm hoping the TV gets turned on and we're watching football. But he also knows I enjoy nerdy-trivia games because he, like me, has his nerdy side. And this goes beyond my dad. If the games aren't on around my sister or oldest brother I'm wondering if they have fevers. But for my other brother, if we don't have our Magic cards, then it's a waste of time together. This is just how we are. And we all know this.

As for the emotional toll that the Super Bowl takes on people, it's real. But it's no more socially unacceptable than someone tearing up when Andy gives Woody away at the end of Toy Story 3. Seriously, I can't not have tears on my face for that. So why do people get to take the day off after the Super Bowl but not after the season finale of Grey's Anatomy? A couple reason. For you LDS people who forget what other cultures are like, more than likely those post-Big Game absences are alcohol-related. Shocker! Were you drinking whilst watching the finale? Pretty doubtful. Also, I've watched people yell at the TV during everything from Doctor Who to Friends. So, yeah, it's acceptable in my book.
Why? How can some "silly" game have the same emotional effect as Ross and Rachel breaking up or finally getting together? Well, it doesn't. Here's the thing about football teams and most sports teams, we as spectators and fans are emotionally invested in the team. I may not know all my players or their lives, but I know that I like seeing them succeed. If you're gonna cry because Amy chose life in the past with Rory over traveling all of time and space with the Doctor, than you have my permission to ball your eyes out. But don't ever shame someone for yelling or even crying tears of joys at their team or the refs or the Patriots.

To the parents who say things like "My child would rather read than even watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials #winningatparenting" I have something to say. You seem to have an uncultured child. can be cultural? Yep, and in the great nation of the United States of America there are 32 American football teams that each have a culture around them. This number goes up when you include college football teams. And we get exponentially higher when we add high school and pee wee.

(Aside: Look how sad Van Gogh is that you think culture doesn't involve sports.)

Yes, I get that football fans can get annoying. But you know what, there isn't a single person who posts semi-regularly on Facebook that has never had anyone ever annoyed at them. "I'm sure you're wrong, T.J." Really? Let's find things that most people have posted that have annoyed others: Comments praising a politician, pro-pretty-much-any-political-standing, religious comments, anti-religious comments, cat pictures, YouTube videos, memes memes memes, ice bucket challenge, who's eating what, kids' first day of school, and who knows what else. But really, is it worth mentioning how I'm better for not doing the ice bucket challenge followed by showing pics of my cute kids on their first day of school? Not really. If I don't like your post, I don't click "like". I don't comment my annoyance. I move on....and apparently hypocritically write a blog post about it instead. :) See, told you I recognize my own hypocrisy.

Go Chargers! Go Aggies! Go Trojans! For my neighbors: Go Cougs! Go Utes! For my family: Go Niners! Go Rams! Go Saints! Go Lions! Go Bucks! Go Seahawks! And for the rest of you: Go (Your Team's Name Here)!

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

GamesCon Part 2: Utah Games Guild

So when I first walked into Games Con 2015, the first thing that caught my eye was the Utah Games Guild.  I first heard of it from my fellow Mormon Geeks author Stephen. I went up to talk to the person at the front desk. She said that it was something created to help indie video game developers get more coverage.  I wanted to talk to some of the people "in charge" of the Guild, but he was occupied talking with someone else.

After wandering around Games Con, I came back to the Guild's booth and talked with someone that was in charge of their social media events. His name was Josh. He told me that there are hundreds of Utah indie video game developers that just don't know how to market themselves or their games. So, in May 2014, a group of indie developers got together and shared some space to help publicize their work.  To learn more about the Utah Games Guild, see their website or their Twitter.
The Games Guild booth
I'm also going to write briefly about some of the games that I saw.

Can't Look Back is a game that involves trying to defeat your opponents by running into them from the side or back. If a player runs into someone head on, they both die. One of the most interesting parts of the game is that players can only turn from side to side or go forward. They can't go back (exactly what name of the game says). To learn more, check out their website.

Aurora Redemptus is a game all about turn-based space ship battles. Each side inputs their commands and then the commands play out in real time. Players can build and customize their ships as well! Multiplayer is planned for the game. To learn more, see the developers website.

Crashnauts is one of two games that I actually tried out. (Plenty of developers offered for me to play, but I declined so I didn't spend a lot of time with any one game). Crashnauts is a multiplayer brawler game where each player has access to a broad arsenal of weapons including futuristic guns and small range plasma blasts. I won the one and only game I played, mostly because the developer was whispering to me how to play the game. The game was really fun and reminded me of Super Smash Brothers. The game is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to try to get funded. You can also see their Twitter.
The Cruashnauts booth

I also sat down and played a demo for a game called Frayed Knights: The Skull of Smakh-Daon. It is a light-hearted first person 3D turn-based RPG. The demo was a lot of fun with witty dialogue, including the game breaking the 4th wall and saying an area wasn't available because it was only a demo.  The game was greenlighted on Steam! To learn more about it see the games website.

I also briefly talked to someone about a free to play game called Saga. We basically were able to describe the game using a series of abbreviations: co-op MMO RTS TCG RPG. (Yes, I know co-op is not an abbreviation). Basically that means it's a cooperative, massively multiplayer online, real time strategy, trading card game, role playing game.

I had an interesting discussion with Josh while look at his game that he was developing. The game is called Legacy of the Elder Star. It's a side scrolling shoot-em-up game with beautiful graphics. The music was also top notch. When I mentioned that to Josh, he talked about how music was an often under appreciated part of games. He said 'What would Halo be like without a full orchestra playing the music?' It just wouldn't be the same! He also talked about how many different fun little nuances games have. He even pointed out that someone has come and played the demo for his game multiple times, but still hasn't noticed one of the harder to miss mechanics in the game.  To learn more, see the developer's Twitter or the game's website.

Of all the games that I saw, I think Dub Wars really captivated me. When I first walked by, I saw large speakers and heard crazy music. To my amazement, someone was playing some kind of shooter game.  I watched, trying to figure out exactly what was going on. The music and the levels totally entranced me. I finally tracked down the someone involved with working on the game. Basically the game is a shooter where what weapons the player fires depends on what kind of instrument is playing on the music track (the game has somewhere around 150 weapons). All of the music was what would be called 'dub steb' or EDM. Apparently the developers of the game work closely with the music artists to create each level. Each song has it's own unique stage and weapons. Before each stage, there is a splash screen with information about the artist. To learn more about the game, see their website.

Dub Wars: Firing Lasers!
 Well, that's all the games I saw at GamesCon. Hopefully you see some that pique your interest!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

*Cue the whistling* The Andy Griffith Show!

I was flipping through Netflix the other day as I usually am when I'm bored and in between video game sessions, when I came across a childhood favorite: The Andy Griffith Show. After explaining to my wife what it was since she hadn't seen it, we watched the pilot episode and found ourselves laughing harder than we had at anything made in the last 10 years in a while.

Plot wise there's barely anything to describe: We follow the adventures of a small town Southern sheriff as he polices Mayberry, the ideal American suburb, and the wacky characters he interacts with on a daily basis. That's it, seriously, if you haven't watched this show that's the main concept. There was no big drama, no wacky mismatch of lifestyles like the Munsters or the usual 50's  style dig at show-business like I Love Lucy, it was just a show about a small town.

I realized as I went back to the Netflix menu that the show seemed so out of place next to my usual viewing habits. The Andy Griffith Show just isn't like BoJack Horseman, Family Guy, Supernatural, or that one weird alien show I turned on the day I wanted to take a nap and wanted some noise in the background. Here we have a show made 60+ years ago, has no sexual innuendo and the closest thing to violence is when the deputy's gun goes off accidentally, and yet it's better written than most anything else on TV.


I have a theory: As TV evolved more complex storylines and deeper characters were demanded. This demand just kept growing and growing until we reached the point where if you miss one episode of any given show you may as well just give up because without that one piece of context you're going to be lost for the rest of the season. I feel the same concept happened with violence and sexual content, to where we have simultaneously reached a point where most shows have to have one character like Quagmire who's entire purpose in life is to be as inappropriate as possible.

Funnily enough, the Andy Griffith Show reminds me a lot of one modern show, The Walking Dead, mostly because both main characters are soft spoken Southern police officers, but also because for the most part the plots are about how different people get along, albeit one in a far more extreme circumstance (I wonder what Aunt Bea would do during a zombie apocalypse? Probably make them fried chicken...). Why can't we have more shows like that? More shows where it's just about a place and how the people in it interact, but without the sex and violence that give even a jaded childless adult the urge to cover the nearest minor's eyes?

In the end I'm probably part of the real problem. Several paragraphs ago I admitted to having the same trash TV I'm now railing against prominently on my "Recently Watched By Joe" Netflix list, with a long list stacking up behind that. The networks will duplicate what sells, and if that's cartoons made by Seth McFarland

or zombie apocalypse slaughterfests it's because we watch them.

Meh, enough complaining, I'm turning on Andy.


What's your favorite classic TV show?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Guest Post: Doctor Who Companions by Spencer Ficiur

Guest Blogger Spencer is back talking about Doctor Who.

 SPOILER ALERT: Up to and including "The Time of the Doctor" (2013 Christmas special)

Having seen all of the modern Doctor Who (9th Doctor onward) and bits and pieces of the classic series, I have a lot of respect for the original series (yes, the special effects suck, but for the 60s, 70s, and 80s it's pretty good). I love the little nods to the classic series as well (like the 11th Doctor having the Seal of Rassilon in "The Time of the Doctor" after having taken it from the Master in the Death Zone as the 3rd Doctor in "The Five Doctors"). I loved seeing Sarah Jane Smith in the 10th Doctor era, linking old Who and new Who together. In fact I'd love to see more of that, old companions returning. So here are my top 7 Classic Companions I would like to see again (Note: I've only included companions that it would be viable to see again, which would exclude most companions whose actor is deceased).

1. My number one choice is Romana. In the 4th Doctor era we saw two different versions of the Time Lady Romana. A third Romana and another known as Trey (some people believe this is the same incarnation) appeared in prose and audio adventures of the 8th Doctor. Especially with the expected return of Gallifrey in the next few years, we could easily see a new regeneration of Romana, perhaps a return of the 2nd Romana before her regeneration into the 3rd Romana, who the 8th Doctor meets.

2.    I would love to see more of K-9. The mechanical dog appeared alongside the 4th Doctor in the classic series, later returning alongside Sarah Jane Smith in "School Reunion" and appearing regularly in the Sarah Jane Adventures. In my opinion, this could also be a good opportunity to have Luke, Sarah Jane's son from her spinoff, return and tie up any loose ends from the spinoff, since the show abruptly ended as a result of the death of Elizabeth Sladen.

3.    Having recently watched a few episodes of the 7th Doctor with Ace, I would love to see Sophie Allred reprise her role as the sassy, explosive-loving woman that she was (only older now). In addition to simply enjoying her personality, I think this would be a great way to tie up some loose ends from the last episode of the classic series "Survival" and the 7th Doctor's return in the TV movie. Somewhere along the way Ace left the Doctor and I'd be interested to learn why. Russell T. Davies stated that Ace would have appeared in the Sarah Jane Adventures, but due to the unfortunate death of Elizabeth Sladen, that didnt happen.

4.    Seeing as the actor is still alive, I would love to see Ian Chesterton return. Ian traveled with the 1st Doctor and was, in a way, the original hero of the story, since the Doctor didn't get into a lot of physical action. It was referenced (if you were paying attention) in the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" that he still works at Coal Hill. However, I might think it better to set an episode with him in the future, seeing as Sarah Jane references a rumor in "The Death of the Doctor" that as of 2010 Ian and Barbara hadn't aged since the 1960s.

5.    Similar to Romana, I would like to see the return of Susan Foreman, the Doctor's granddaughter, who traveled alongside the 1st Doctor and her teachers. We last saw her in "The Five Doctors" (though I believe she appeared in some audio works). If the Doctor truly believed his whole family to be dead, prior to saving Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor" I think it could be possible for Susan to return when Gallifrey returns.

6.  Though arguably not part of the classic series, I would love to see more of Dr. Grace Holloway, from the 8th Doctor's TV movie.  
      The TV movie has a bad reputation, but I enjoyed it. Taking into account that Grace apparently had some other adventures with the 8th Doctor in the comics, I think featuring Grace would add some depth to the 8th Doctor that I wish we had.

  7.    Admittedly I haven't seen many classic episodes of her, but I would love to see more of Jo Grant (married name Jo Jones). She worked with the 3rd Doctor and later reappeared at his supposed funeral in "The Death of the Doctor" of the Sarah Jane Adventures. It was revealed that she has traveled the world and that she has a family of her own (including grandchildren). I think it would be cool to see Jo interact with the 12th Doctor, who reminds me a lot of the 3rd Doctor.

There you have it. Those are my seven returns that I wish Moffat would make happen. Which classic companions would you like to (realistically) make a return? Why?