CONsole Room is THE Twin Cities Doctor Who convention. But how did it start?
Doctor Who fandom has been around in the Twin Cities for a long time, in the form of fan clubs, conventions, PBS pledge drives, viewing societies and meetups. Running somewhat parallel with Twin Cities fandom-at-large, Doctor Who fans have found plenty of like-minded individuals at general SF conventions like CONvergence, Minicon, and Diversicon. But when the show went off the air in 1989, many of the fan clubs slowly withered away, and the last dedicated Doctor Who convention in the Twin Cities happened around two decades ago. Some groups continued for awhile, like the Minnesota Doctor Who Viewing Society, and new groups have since formed, like the Gallifreyan Human Alliance at the University of Minnesota. With Doctor Who back and bigger than ever on the telly now though, a new generation of fans are spending time in the vortex. Some of them find satisfaction in the adventures of the twenty-first centuary version of the series, while others have gone back and reveled in the 50-year history of our beloved program. A little over ten years ago, you’d be lucky to find someone wearing a 4th Doctor scarf at Minicon. Now, there are ongoing Doctor Who-themed photoshoots at Anime Detour! Arguably, Doctor Who is more popular today in the Twin Cities than it was back in the days of the Whoniversity helping out with the PBS pledge drives, or Mini-UNIT making fan videos and showing them at the library.
CONsole Room came about through a number of local fans deciding the time was right to have an entire weekend in the Twin Cities dedicated to Doctor Who. The name comes from the Twin Cities tradition of having fan conventions with CON as part of the name (Minicon, Diversicon, CONvergence), as well as the global trend of Doctor Who conventions named after an iconic part of the show (Gallifrey One, ChicagoTARDIS, Regenerations). And where does the Doctor feel more comfortable than at the controls of his beloved ship? After tossing around a few ideas, CONsole Room started to take shape, much like the TARDIS herself.