This past Sunday at the mecca for all things geek, San Diego Comic-Con, there was a Doctor Who panel which myself and Swankmotron attended. The amount of people there just for the Doctor who panel was insane! On the panel were executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis, Toby Whithouse (who wrote “The Vampires of Venice”, and the upcoming episode “The God Complex”), and Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Here are some tidbits that were given along with the Q&A with questions from the fans.
-They had a dummy ending for the season six finale and really didn’t know who River was or what until end.
The following is Swank-mo-tron’s transcription of the Q & A.
Matt:We’re truly all fans of the show, so we’re all as excited as when you watch it, especially with all the twists and turns this season.
Q: Were you fans before you got the parts?
-Karen:We didn’t watch it growing up, but we knew what it was. I’d watched a bit of it.
-Toby Whithouse:We spent all of our lives working to this moment. When I was a child, I didn’t know I was doing research for my future job. It’s so ingrained in the English consciousness and it’s massively important. It’s amazing to see it so well received here.
-Matt:It’s really exciting for us that it’s growing so much and that it’s more widely seen.It’s quite wonderful to be part of the legacy of Dr. Who, something with such history.
-Beth:We’re the luckiest people in the world coming to work every day. It’s like working in a toy store.
Toby:For a man of a certain age, writing “INT. TARDIS” is quite a thrill.
Beth:In Neil Gaiman’s script, on page 2, he wrote “INT. TARDIS” and just past that he wrote “I’ve been waiting my entire life to write that” and we kept it in every draft.
Q:Will we get resolution to the astronaut killing the doctor?
Toby: We’ll probably address that at some point. But I don’t know. You work on Doctor Who and you learn about things you don’t want to. I deliberately don’t know how it ends because I want to see the end just like you.
Q: Matt, When do we get to see new episodes?
Matt: The next episode is August 27 on BBC America
Q: (Man dresses as Dalek) Will any of his kind be featured in the new season?
One word for that: Spoilers. Not answering.
Q: 5 Doctors special? Will there be another one like it?
Toby: You’d have to ask Steven, but yeah. Why not.
Q: (Another fan dressed as a Dalek) When the Doctor’s Daughter will be coming back so he can exterminate her?
Matt: Steven Moffat question. You never know.
Q: Will the dream lord be back?
Matt: I’d love to have him back. The doctor has so much guilt and death on his hands, so I think it’s a really interesting question. I’d love to see him back.
Q: What is your favorite alien race?
-Karen: I love the sisters of plenitude. (The Cat Nuns)
-Matt: I’m into the sisters of plenitude aboslutely. But I’m into the Weeping Angels.
Q: Taking Matt out of the equation, who’s your favorite Doctor:
-Piers: Tom Baker
-Beth: Tom Baker
-Toby: Tom Baker – David Tennant
-Karen: Christopher Eccleston
-Matt: What’s so wonderful about this show is that there’s so many generations of the doctor.
Q: (From a little girl dressed as a Weeping Angel) I was wondering if the Doctor can or will regenerate into a Woman?
Beth: I think it’s possible, but it’s also up to the actor or actress who’s right at the time. Whoever is making the show at that time will make that call.
Q: Matt, How much of yourself do you put into the Doctor? And how much of the Doctor rubs off on you?
-Piers: Matt IS the Doctor. What you see on the screen is pretty bloody close to him, though he’s probably a bit less competent.
-Matt: I’m no where near as cool as the Doctor.
-Beth: The way the character has evolved, Steven evolves and writes to that. So the two come together very organically.
-Matt: I wish I was as cool as him.
-Matt: Just like Amy Pond is way cooler than Karen.
-Karen: No, it’s true.
-Piers: Matt’s a modest guy, but he’s the first person nominated for a BAFTA for the role.
Q: What was the audition process like? When you first got there?
-Matt: Everything is Top Secret, you get the script the day before. You only get a day to look at it and do your thing. My mum kept texting me and saying “You should be the next doctor” and you go and do it and there’s a couple more people there. And I’ll never forget when I got the part and I got the call and they wanted to give me the part and it’s such a life changing thing. IT was rough.
-Piers: It was the easiest casting decision we made. The moment he walked into the room it was obvious. It was really simple. The day after we met Matt for the second time I got an email that said, “It’s him. Let’s face it, it’s always been him.”
Q: Do you much research for the science behind the show?
Toby: Yes. Um. Yes. The kind of research of a child watching Hammer horror films. It’s spacey-wacy-timey-wimey. It’s a great coverall, because I certainly don’t know what I’m talking about, science-wise. For the God Complex, I researched Greek mythology, which will make sense when you see it. It’s more research like that. You research the tone more than the science.
Q: The fez. Did that just seem like a fun line or would it be this huge thing sweeping fandom.
-Matt: That’s one of those things you have no idea about. That’s Steven Moffat to have the ingenuity. It’s actually him that makes fezzes cool. That was me actually, bleeding on to him. I kept telling him I wanted to wear a hat and he gave me the stupidest hat he could.
-Piers: And bowties?
-Matt: Bowties are cool.
-Beth: Matt did the costume. He pulled the tweed jacket out of a bag and the bowtie and I was like “noooooooo” and I went away, but it just worked.
Q: Why do you keep killing Rory?
Matt: We keep getting him back. That’s what’s important.
Q: I actually wear bowties in real life and they really are cool. Throughout this last season, you had secrets for your characters that you had from your characters, how does that work?
-Karen: It helps. My secret, I forgot.
-Matt: Steven told Karen something and she won’t tell me. But, you know, it was really interesting. It was something interesting and frustrating. That’s good. The Doctor always wants to know the most and it was interesting for this season and I hope it translated to on screen.
Q: How many sonic screwdrivers have been broken?
Matt: Phil the props guy, he’s solid gold and does a fantastic job, and I have to give credit to the crew. There’s this great box, it’s a sonic box and there’s 5 sonic screwdrivers in there and I break one a day. I’m very clumsy. And I break bits of the TARDIS quite a bit.
Q: If could crossover Doctor Who with any show other than Torchwood, what would it be?
Karen: Star Trek the next generation. I want to meet Data.
Matt: I like that The Big Bang Theory keeps referencing Doctor Who.
Q: Will we see more glimpses of the Doctor’s Dark side?
Matt: Yes. Well, I hope so. As I said earlier, there’s a lot of blood on his hands and he’s so effervescent and mad because he has to keep saving people and if he slowed down he’d go mad. He’d be losing people, like Sarah Jane and letting go and so on. And I think Steven is really interested in it to and so I think we’ll see a lot more of it.
Q: If you can choose any guest writer, who would you choose?
Matt: JJ Abrams.
Karen: Roald Dahl
Toby: Roald Dahl
Beth: That’s a good one
Piers: Russel T. Davies.
And that wrapped up the panel. Here is the trailer for the back half of series 6 that they showed us. It is chock full of Cybermen, Silence, Hitler, Weeping Angels, and is that River dressed as the eyepatch lady?
And here is the clip from episode 11, The God Complex.