The Doctor has returned to San Diego for Comic-Con 2012. Joining him was Amy and Rory, most likely for the final time. Not to be left out, executive producers Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner also joined the cast this year. In the panel, the cast and showrunners offered up details on the highly-anticipated 50 year anniversary of Doctor Who - as well as who may be returning for it.
The show started at 12:30 PM Pacific Time (3:30 PM Eastern) in Hall H and, as mentioned, featured actors Matt Smith (MS), Karen Gillan (KG), Arthur Darvill (AD), lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat (SM) as well as executive producer Caroline Skinner (CS). If you missed Comic-Con this year, sit back, relax, and catch up on the latest Doctor Who news - as well as take a look at the panel highlights in our live blog updates at the bottom of this article.
The panel kicked-off with a look back at where Doctor Who season seven left off (in "The Wedding of River Song") - showcasing the finale's closing scene:
Nerdist CCO, Chris Hardwick moderated the discussion - which offered a lot of entertaining build-up for season seven of the series but also a somewhat bittersweet opportunity to reflect on Matt Smith's companion couple, Amy and Rory. The pair will be leaving the show mid-season, before the arrival of new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman, and a good chunk of the panel was focused on picking Gillan and Darvill's brains. Matt Smith was equally reverent of his parting co-stars - calling them, unsurprisingly, his Doctor's favorite companions. The retrospective also featured a re-screening of the Rory and "Older Amy" goodbye scene from season six, episode ten - "The Girl Who Waited."
Next up the panel focused on the larger Doctor Who experience - with the actors discussing their favorite people and creatures (KG: Vincent Van Gogh and Weeping Angles), costumes (AD: The Roman Centurion, KG: Kiss-A-Gram Police Uniform, MS: Tweed, Bow Tie, and Fez), gadgets (MS: the TARDIS flight lever), as well as the producers talking about where the show is headed. Speaking about season seven, Skinner promised that the episodes are "huge" and "all very different," serving as a lead-in to the first piece of sneak peek Doctor Who footage - an American saloon scene.
In the clip The Doctor, Amy, and Rory walk into a Wild West bar - The Doctor chewing on a toothpick as he orders tea from the bartender. Upon announcing that he's "The Doctor," an aged undertaker begins to measure his shoulders, while the patrons question him - and the companions - about whether or not they are "aliens." When The Doctor turns the question back on the impatient Westerners, they attempt to restrain him.
After the clip, Hardwick opened the panel up for questions from attendees - including one from an actual Dalek (with working energy manipulator and an "Exterminate" battle cry). The cast responded with some especially interesting answers: Matt Smith wants to film an episode in Atlantis and Karen Gillan is open to a cameo in Community’s upcoming Inspector Spacetime Convention episode. One fan even asked Moffat about THE oldest question in the universe - Doctor Who? - with the writer giving a surprisingly candid answer (especially after he refused to comment on similar "plot" spoilers):
"It’s been there from the start. He never gives his name [...] It’s a tremendously important question. But I know why (and the name) – and you will find out the truth."
Moffat wouldn't elaborate further but promised more Dalek’s than viewers have ever seen, Weeping Angels, tragedy, and westerns - claiming there's never been a "bigger variety of episodes than the ones we’re about to show you."
Following his comments on season seven, Moffat went on to showcase a lengthier clip "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" - that sees The Doctor recruit Nefertiti (while attempting to avoid her sexual advances), a new character portrayed by Sherlock's Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves), Rory, Amy, and (accidentally) Rory's father, Brian (played by Mark Williams). The Doctor leads his "gang" to a derelict space station overrun with cobwebs - complete with spiders (very curious indeed). The group searches the craft by flashlight until they come upon a massive metal door that, upon their arrival, slowly begins to open. As everyone turns to run for their lives, The Doctor leans toward the doorway for a better look. As a pair of Ankylosauruses burst into the room, Amy tugs at The Doctor whose face twists into his iconic smile as he says "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship!"
The panel concluded with a standing ovation for Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill - before the cast exited the stage.
Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con page for all the convention news - as well as further updates on The Doctor. Doctor Who?
Check out the full Doctor Who Comic-Con 2012 live blog coverage below:
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more Comic Con and Doctor Who coverage as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Doctor Who season 7 premieres fall 2012 on BBC & BBC AMERICA. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List!