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DOCTOR WHO Comic-Con Panel Recap

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 8:57 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson


Doctor Who is returning with its ninth season this Fall, and the Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con was packed solid. Showrunner Steven Moffat and stars Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez appeared on stage with moderator and super fan Chris Hardwick.

The panel started with a look back at Season 8, which was Capaldi’s first season. We were shown highlights of Clara and the Doctor’s changed relationship, as well as returning villain Missy, formerly known as The Master. We were also shown the teaser trailer from Season 9 and giving the premiere date: September 19, 2015.

Panel Highlights

Peter Capaldi called his first experience at San Diego Comic-Con “cosmic” and said he’d never been in front of seven thousand people before. He riled up the audience until the entire room was screaming.

doctor-who-capaldi-coleman-image-600x300Capaldi talked about the change in the Doctor we got this past season and his grumpiness. “I think he just saw these qualities in me and cast me that way. Moffat said that writing for each Doctor wasn’t very different for each one of them on paper. He said it was the actor that changed the way the role appears. “It’s maximizing what you have with the new Doctor.”

Moffat said that one of the best qualities about the Twelfth Doctor was his “Scottishness.” He joked that they let the Doctor be English before, and that it doesn’t make sense anyway, for the Doctor to have a specific Earth accent.

Capaldi talked about impact being on the show had on him and how he’s a life-long fan. “It’s the only show that I think is in my bones very deeply. It’s the only show that I’ve followed since I was six years old.” He said he was blown away meeting the Tenth Doctor when he appeared in the episode “Fires of Pompeii.” “I doctor-who-season-8-600x414did an episode with David Tennant. It was fantastic. I was so excited to be there. I thought that would be my only contribution. I remember saying to him, ‘David, David, where’s the TARDIS…I got quite teary.’”

Coleman talked about how Clara and the Doctor have a more “joyous” relationship and more of a partnership this season. She gives as good as she gets. “There was some slapping at some stage,” she said. She said she’ll get to drive the TARDIS more this season, though said that the Doctor doesn’t think she’s very good at it.

Coleman was asked how she maintains her humanity and her other life while traveling. “Well, she has a rule that she has to be dropped off 30 seconds after I’ve left, so I don’t miss maths class or something.” S

Gomez talked about playing Missy and how easy it was. “Luckily I never know what I’m saying when I’m saying. It helped to have it arrive fresh.” She called it “one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever had. It’s a thrill to turn up and be giving the opportunity to be the Master. This is still a pinch me moment, really.” She said the dynamic between the three of them is really easy.

doctor-who-season-8-dalek-600x338Gomez talked about the Master/Missy: “I think he or she or it is everybody’s idea of the best villain you can have, maybe. It’s the best friend that you love to hate. She gets to say all the stuff we think and are not allowed to say. She has an attitude that the rules don’t apply to her. That makes it really fun to play.” She said it’s Missy’s life’s purpose to chase down the Doctor and tell him, “It’s your fault.” “You’re getting in the way of her trying to destroy the universe,” she said.

Moffat explained that the Doctor and Missy are similar. “They are friends. They’re not enemies at all. Called it the relationship between a vegetarian and a hunter. The Doctor is a bleeding heart liberal and she likes to kill people for fun.” Gomez added, “We both kill a lot of people. He feels bad about it. I don’t.”

He’s pleased to see her. Applaud Michelle for coming into this role and embracing it. His heart kind of sinks. I’m pleased to see you and now I’m going to have to put up with all this shit.

It’s been a gas. It’s just been so much fun. The writers all know me now and want to write for me. Because the Doctor and Clara are more in a groove, they’re enjoying being the lcukiest people in history because they get to play in the giant toy box which is all of time and space.

doctor-who-season-8-image-600x337There is a B-movie element which also survives . The effects are fabulous. First felt like Doctor Who when they first threw a rubber spider in my face and said, “Fight it.”

Moffat said he’s surprised the Doctor doesn’t use the TARDIS to prove that he’s an alien. “Yes, it’s bigger on the inside. Get over it” Then he joked, “My mom was right. I should have gotten a girlfriend instead. Applause for my imaginary girfriend. Virginity kept me pure.”

Doctor lets everyone on the TARDIS. Well, Peter’s got such a friendly face.” The Doctor has gotten more relaxed. Yes, it’s bigger on the inside. Get over it. Surprised that he didn’t use it more to prove that he’s an alien. (as a kid) My mom was right. I should have gotten a girlfriend instead. Applause for my imaginary girfriend. Virginity kept me pure.

Audience Q&A

Moffat said that the way Missy comes back into the Doctor’s life is “something you’re not going to predict.” He said he spent time looking at old scenes between Jon Pertwee’s Doctor and Robert Delgado’s Master. When there was applause, he said, “The sound of elderly fans clapping.”

doctor-who-christmas-peter-capaldi-600x412An audience member who Coleman and Capaldi had met during his Make-a-Wish event told them how much he’d helped him, and asked about the characters’ most iconic traits. Coleman told Capaldi it was his eyebrows. Capaldi said it was Coleman’s “big eyes.” Gomez said it was her “lips, obviously,” and joked about her character’s kiss with Capaldi. “The question is, who kissed who and who hung on. There’s some suction there.” She told the audience that in one take, she held Coleman’s hand through the entire scene.

The question about whether or not there could be a female Doctor got massive applause, though Moffat claimed that he’d answered the question with Missy’s appearance. He gestured to Gomez, who said, “I’m not going to reveal myself as a man today.”

When asked which other companion Capaldi would like to travel with. He said, “I’d like to see my granddaughter again. “


Finally, we were shown the trailer for Doctor Who’s appearance in the upcoming game LEGO Dimensions, which showed the Twelfth Doctor and Clara interacting with Gandalf and WyldStyle, as well as a final shot with all the LEGO Doctors.

The trailer, begins with the TARDIS flying through space and Clara running through tunnels filled with water. Hands appear out of the earth, and we’re shown a number of zombie-like creatures with black around their eyes. There is a futuristic looking city (is it Gallifrey?) and Clara in a space suite. There are long shots of Missy and a two-faced woman.

The best parts include the Doctor putting on dark sunglasses, playing rock guitar and the moment we first see Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). She appears in front of the Doctor and he says, “You.” She replies, “What took you so long, old man?”

Doctor Who returns to BBC and BBC America on September 19.

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