No Doctor Who Panel At ComicCon

From the San Diego ComicCon Unofficial Blog, there will not be a Doctor Who panel at ComicCon this year!  I’m very glad I wasn’t able to attend, as this would be my main reason for heading to SDCC:

The line for Hall H may have just gotten a whole lot shorter on Sunday.

On Tuesday, June 10, BBC America and the BBC Worldwide announced a global Doctor Who tour to promote the upcoming season, with the tour coming to New York City on August 14. In the press release, it was mentioned that “Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman will appear together for the first time in the US when they arrive in New York”. The only problem with that? San Diego Comic-Con is nearly a month earlier, on July 24-27.

So what does that mean for Doctor Who‘s appearance at the convention? Nothing good, as it turns out.

A representative at BBC America confirmed to us that there will indeed be no Doctor Who panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

While there’s still likely to be some Doctor Who happenings around the convention – BBC has already called for fan art to decorate its booth, which typically sells Doctor Who themed merchandise, and last year also saw an offsite fan meetup for the 50th Anniversary – there definitely won’t be a panel at this year’s event. And considering the announcement about Capaldi and Coleman’s first US appearance being in August, we don’t expect any festivities BBC America has planned to include the two stars on site.

Doctor Who had previously skipped SDCC in 2010, in a year that would have also introduced fans to a new doctor (the then first-timer Matt Smith). Since its 2011 return, the show had gotten an upgrade to Hall H on Sundays, the day when some of the most anticipated television shows (Supernatural, Community, Breaking Bad) have taken over. Doctor Who is typically considered the linchpin of that line-up, so it will be interesting to see how its loss affects Sunday’s programming schedule this year.

While the loss of Doctor Who is unfortunate, we still fully expect BBC America to have the same level of involvement in the convention as they have in previous years. We already know that they will once again have a booth, and we wouldn’t be surprised by panel appearances from Orphan Black (assuming the show is renewed for a third season) or the upcoming paranormal series The Intruders, starring John Simm and Mira Sorvino.

Previous Doctors Talk Age

During the 50th anniversary celebrations there were a lot of things going on, and in one panel some of the former Doctors met up and discussed if age was important.

The Eleventh Hour Panel

There was a panel the day before The Day of the Doctor aired, at the Doctor Who celebration in London.  Of course BBC America had someone on hand to report.  Maybe someday I can get to do one of these things 😉 :

Themes of loss and rebirth loomed above “The Eleventh Doctor” panel today at the Doctor Who celebration featuring Matt SmithJenna Coleman, showrunner Steven Moffat, and producer Marcus Wilson.

By the end of Christmas Day this year, two of those names—Smith and Wilson—will have officially departed the show, while the other two will usher in a new era of Who with Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi.

But this transition will not occur without a period of mourning. Asked about her saddest moment while on the show, Coleman responded, “Saying goodbye to this one,” pointing at her partner-in-crime, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, who will be subsumed in a blaze of regenerative energy and turn into Capaldi in this year’s Christmas special.

Moffat agreed: Matt’s departure would be the saddest moment for him in his three years running the series. After all, Moffat took over the reins of the show as an ultimate fan, and Smith embodied the character he grew up loving. “I’ve worked on many shows,” Moffat said. “Some I’ve created. I’ve never been as emotional about them as I am about Doctor Who.”

But Doctor Who revives itself through constant changes, with companions coming and going, and the Doctor taking on new forms. “You never tire of seeing someone enter the TARDIS for the first time,” Coleman said when asked about why Doctor Who endures.

Finding an appealing, commanding Doctor has always been a key part of the show’s survival, and Matt Smith seemed almost genetically engineered for the role. Moffat revealed that the production team were “almost certain we were going with someone older, since David Tennant was a young Doctor.” But that’s because they hadn’t met Matt Smith yet, and when he auditioned, he immediately nailed the crotchetiness necessary for playing a 900-year-old. (Moffat boasts that he has the casting tape on his laptop. Will it make its way to YouTube one day?)

Fans, who loved the romance and righteousness Tennant brought to the Time Lord, were willing to give a new actor a chance. Smith, whose hair is finally growing back after he sheared it off for Ryan Gosling‘s How To Catch a Monster, waxed rhapsodic over his rock star reception at the Village East Cinemas for the U.S. premiere of his Doctor debut, “The Eleventh Hour.” “You guys go wild for it over there,” he said.

“I tried to embrace his old crankiness while have a young face,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Smith says the Doctor is in good hands with Capaldi. “Peter Capaldi is an actor of the highest regard,” said Smith. “Anyone with doubts should watchThe Thick Of It.”

But, of course, before Capaldi takes over the TARDIS, there’s still Smith’s penultimate episode, the much-awaited “The Day of the Doctor.” The panel was mostly mum about the highly guarded plot details of the 50th anniversary episode. Moffat praised Marcus Wilson’s contributions to it: “The 50th looks like a multimillion dollar blockbuster, and it’s all because of this guy,” gesturing toward Wilson. (Wilson, whose final episode is the Christmas special, says he’s sad but “I’m going out with a bang.”)

Meanwhile, Jenna Coleman’s lips are sealed when it comes to revealing former companion Billie Piper‘s role in “The Day of the Doctor.” “I have been told to say nothing regarding Billie,” she told the crowd. “So that will be a big surprise tomorrow night.”

SDCC Doctor Who Panel

The full Doctor Who panel from San Diego ComicCon.

SDCC Panel Nerd HQ

I’m going to post more tomorrow night, but hopefully this will be the last post for tonight.  I just can’t seem to stop!  This should keep you busy anyway, since it’s the full panel 🙂