There’s a lot for Doctor Who fans to be excited for this year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved science fiction series that has captured the hearts of many around the world. With that brings a bunch of new surprises as we not only rejoice in the many years the show’s been on the air, but the end of a chapter for our latest reincarnation of the doctor, played by Matt Smith. Who will be the 12th Doctor? What will our heroes be facing during the 50th anniversary episode and has show runner Steven Moffat been hiding what other cameos we might see?
Once the previous panel was completed, the Doctor Who fans made their presence known by starting the famous drum beat that we all remember has been stuck in The Master’s head. Shortly after, everybody pulled out their own sonic screwdrivers, lighting up Hall H with a sea of blue, green and that whirl sound that comes out of the iconic device.
When the recent Doctor Who theme blasted through the speakers of Hall H, all of the attendees screamed in glee as our moderator Craig Ferguson stepped out to begin the panel. Since Ferguson is a fellow Doctor Who fan, he knew better than to keep the fans waiting, which is why he quickly introduced those there for the panel today which included Marcus Wilson (producer), Mark Gatiss, David Bradley, Steven Moffat, Jenna Coleman and Matt Smith. They said their hellos and a minute later fans were treated with a recap video, going over all the major events that happened during the 11th Doctor’s run, including the big surprises within the latest season. This girl here didn’t get to see the final episode of this latest season, so when I found out what happened to River Song I almost started crying. Why did you have to do that Moffat!?
At the end of the video they teased a little bit of what’s to come on November 23rd when the show comes back on the air. Once that was done Ferguson got straight into the questions, first to Moffat about being the show runner to Doctor Who out of all things:
Steven Moffat: Well I was 2 when it started, and it would have been a surprise choice… You feel responsibility, well no you don’t, you just feel unbelievable excited. what’s the point of feeling afraid or responsible? You’re thinking “I get to do Doctor Who!” Even if I do it badly it’s cool. It’s been the thrill and a trip of a lifetime. I’m still a fan of it, even though it wrecks every day of my year, I just adore it.
There was a reason Mark Gatiss was there, and that was to promote the new BBC docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time that focuses on the creation of Doctor Who and the story of the 1st Doctor, William Hartnell (played by David Bradley). “It’s the story of how a very unlikely group of people came together through a series of happy accidents to create this show that we’re still loving and celebrating today,” says Gatiss. Right after that they premiered the first official trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time.
Gatiss continues on talking about how they recreated the set of the first interior of the Tardis:
Mark Gatiss: It’s all a new build, the Tardis and everything is a new build. One thing that happened, which was fantastic… In the original Tardis, there’s brass pillars. The production designer went to a facility with the picture of it and said “We need something like that.” The guy goes “What, those?” There they found the same ones from 50 years ago, waiting to be hired again. This whole project is full of little coincidences like that. What’s incredible is we had four Marconi televisions cameras from the time, and one of them still worked.
After that short conversation it was time to show off the official 50th Anniversary trailer for Doctor Who, which sent fans into a frenzy. Moffat shared some harsh words with the fans, threatening to never bring any more exclusive Doctor Who content if the 50th Anniversary trailer so happened to leak in some way, shape or form. Still, it didn’t dampen their spirits. They wanted more and right away, but unfortunately that was the most they’re going to get until November 23rd. Moffat continues to tease with some well-selected words:
Steven Moffat: It’s a lot of improvisation to be honest, but there are certain things we have been setting up for a very long while that we’ll be resolving in the 50th with Matt’s final episode. There is a plan but the newest idea that you have is also the most exciting somehow.
The fans aren’t the only ones who are excited about the final episodes of the 11th Doctor. Matt is anxious to get back into his famous tweed jacket as well:
Matt Smith: I’m excited! I mean I can’t wait to go back and shoot. It’s been the most fabulous journey. I’m very proud of what we all have achieved. I’ve taken great friends and I feel like we’re making the Christmas special the most brilliant.
He continues on talking about the difference between the 10th and 11th Doctor, along with his companions:
Matt Smith: He’s the same man but also each actor that pays it comes with a different sort of emotional background and makeup. If you look at me and David [Tennant], Dave is sort of more swashbucking and my Doctor is sort of flubbish. River [Song] is the ultimate alien to him. Now Clara’s come along and she’s different [compared] to Amy [Pond]. She challenges him in a different way.
Jenna Coleman: He’s a bit asexual really, your Doctor is.
It’s time for the fans to ask their own questions, whether they’re a little silly or not. When one fan asked whether or not they could have the Christmas special shot in America at some point, Matt Smith immediately perked up. He tried asking Moffat if it was at all possible, to even give him a maybe, but he wouldn’t even say that. Sorry American fans! Looks like Moffat may not be a huge fan of working in America again from the way he was acting. Mark Gatiss jumped in on the conversation and gave what could be a cool/silly Doctor Who episode idea, which I hope somebody will do a fan version of one of these days (because let’s face it, there’s no way this would actually be made):
Mark Gatiss: There should be an alien invasion at Comic-Con. Who would know? They could just walk about and no one would know.
Moffat comments on the personality of the Doctor at this moment:
Steven Moffat: He’s a creature of the moment right now. As a time traveler everything is happening to him at once anyways. I sort of think he’s every age as once as well. He’s a child, he’s a strappy teenager, a middle age man, all at once at the same time. Matt to date has done the best, to combine the old man and the child, so you see them both all the time. He doesn’t know he’s the hero. He’d be really surprised if there was a show about him. He’d be quite surprised he’s our … I suppose we’d all be surprised by that. He’s a big kid and an old man at the same time and we love him.
But is the 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler the only two characters from previous Doctor Who episodes throughout the past 50 years be the only people we see in the anniversary episode? A slightly huffy Moffat schools a poor Captain Jack Harkness fan about the surprises in store for us:
Steven Moffat: You can’t put everybody in the 50th. It’s been going for a very long while. You have no idea what is or is not in the 50th. I have lied my ass off for months so you don’t know nothing. Don’t make presumptions. It’s always story driven. If we have a great idea for Captain Jack then we’ll bring him back.
How did Doctor Who change Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman’s life? They explain a little bit on that:
Matt Smith: It changed everything. It changed my life and my family’s life. I’m proud and grateful to be part of it. I have some of my closest friends from having worked on the show, and also because I am on the way out, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support and encouragement.
Jenna Coleman: This is new. I mean I kind of get filled with the magic of it all. This year is about such a celebration and just to be part of this circle is fantastic.
When posed the question of how Moffat goes about the writing process, this is what he said:
Steven Moffat: The only way to write anything is tho write it for yourself. When you think of a joke you think of a thing that makes you laugh. It’s witless and pointless to work with what other people like. I write Doctor Who just for what I’d like to see in Doctor Who. I just wish I could have my brain wiped so I can just watch it.
Doctor Who will be back on the air this November 23rd.