By Lorenzo Marchessi
Panel Report #1: Hundreds of people camped out overnight on the Comic-Con grounds where fans from around the world got to see the cast and crew of the British fan sensation Doctor Who. Celebrating its 50th year in 2013, and having been a longtime fan of the series starting with Peter Davidson as the fifth Doctor in the ‘80s, then David Tenant as the 10th Doctor in 2006, and now up to Matt Smith as the 11th and current Doctor – the show is still clever, witty, funny, and very original after five decades!
Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat, and executive producer Caroline Skinner were present in the 6,500 seat auditorium where the atmosphere was electric as moderator Chris Hardwick from “The Nerdist” moderated the entire hour long event.
“If the world was a bit more like Comic-Con, it would be a better place,” said the Doctor Matt Smith. “Don’t you agree?” Referring to saying goodbye to the Ponds, “I couldn’t stop crying for two weeks,” said Karen Gillan, remembering when she learned that her character Amy Pond would be leaving. “I’ve made my best friends on this show,” she added. “I’m going to miss running down corridors from imaginary monsters.”
Matt Smith spoke to the ephemeral nature of the series, “This show isn’t about us. The show is the star. Each week it can be anything. The heartbeat of the show is in the quality of writing. Just by where the Doctor and the companions take you every story – it’s always fresh and compelling!”
Finally asked to reveal something about the upcoming season, Moffat responded that there will be more Daleks than the fans have ever seen in one place and that the horrifying Weeping Angels will be back for sure. “I don’t think we’ve had a bigger variety of episodes than what we’ll be showing this season,” Moffat said. What is a Dalek? They look like a salt ‘n’ pepper shaker – but they’re the deadliest creatures in the universe and have been for almost 50 years!
Fans have more than just heartbreak to expect in the upcoming season of Who. Moffat revealed a new episode title that basically says everything we need to know: “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” Skinner, the new executive producer who cut her teeth with the 2011 Christmas special, says the season will be as “incredible as and epic as ever.”
To end the panel, Moffat explained that putting dinosaurs on a spaceship was “the key to the show’s success.” Then the fans were allowed one last look at new footage that showed the Doctor picking up the Ponds and Rory’s dad and landing on a spaceship that had dinosaurs aboard and with the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. (Special Surprise: A ginger haired Harry Potter veteran makes an appearance as Rory’s dad!)
Being a Time Lord, of course, means that Matt is subjected to endless travel jokes from random strangers. “If you ever meet me in an airport,” he said, “don’t say, ‘You didn’t bring your TARDIS then?’ It drives me mad!”
This was by far the best, most humorous and down-to-earth panel at Comic-Con this year!