SDCC 2012: Doctor Who Panel Recap

By July 16, 2012

It is unlikely to be the last series of the ever-popular Doctor Who, but it is the last time we will see Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in their respective roles. Despite admissions of tears, both are composed and in good spirits. Daleks have infiltrated the room, and Karen tells us of an encounter with a fan dressed as the evil creature that very morning.

A photo of Matt Smith and panel moderator Chris Hardwick appears on screen. They had run into each other the previous night. Though his Tenth Doctor costume may have resulted in an uncomfortable encounter, they both agree that it would have been far more awkward had he dressed as Matt Smith’s Doctor instead.

A Dalek rolls itself over to the microphone and attempts to exterminate the panel members with a homemade manipulator arm. The actors survive to answer its question, and it departs with some assistance from the next person in line.

Showrunner Steven Moffat remains tight-lipped about the Doctor’s true name, much to Matt Smith’s chagrin. After all, if anyone deserves to know, it’s the Doctor himself. At Karen Gillan’s prodding, Moffat relents and reveals the Doctor’s true Gallifreyan name to be Jeff. No one believes him, of course, but it garners a good laugh from the crowd.

What part River Song may or may not play in the upcoming series is anyone’s guess. Alex Kingston is nowhere in sight, nor is her character in any of the footage revealed to the audience. We still know little about the Ponds’ departure, save for the fact that it will involve the Weeping Angels. Moffat hints that their exit may come with a note of finality, leaving the audience slightly unnerved.

Image Source: Washington Post

Before they leave, however, we will finally meet Rory Williams’ father in a hilarious scene involving an accidental trip to see dinosaurs in space. It is not the only great scene we are treated to; the Doctor, Amy, and Rory will pay a visit to the American Old West, where the Doctor’s claim to be an alien gets him in hot water with the locals.

The actors give us a glimpse into the special bond they’ve formed after three years of working together in Cardiff, isolated from the rest of the world. Arthur and Karen provide hilarious imitations of one another, and all three reveal the odd habits of their co-stars. Karen chews the skin from her lower lip while thinking, Matt makes odd noises while getting prepared, and Arthur is the group’s dad. They speak and act with genuine affection toward one another, using Karen as a guinea pig to demonstrate their awkward interactions with newbies on set. And, if the rest of the panel wasn’t exciting enough for die-hard fans, Arthur reveals an upcoming project with Matt’s predecessor, David Tennant. Whovians, it seems, will have much to look forward to in the year to come.