While the Marvel hype machine may have stolen most of the thunder (and all the clouds and atmosphere) during this past weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, there was still a lot of excitement to spare for the beloved Doctor Who.
The cast and crew sat down during their panel and discussed all things Whovian, including what we can expect from the 50th anniversary, how far they've ever pushed the envelope, and what it means to be the Doctor. They even brought along a trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, set to air on November 23rd, but as with every bit of footage from Comic-Con, it's on lockdown for now.
But we know one thing for certain: There will be many Daleks, many flames, and many Doctors for the special. The BBC dropped three new images from the trailer confirming that everyone's favorite villainous alien race would be making an appearance: The Daleks will be battling the Doctor(s) alongside the shapeshifting Zygons:
But that's not all. Comedian and longtime Whovian kicked things off with a bang before introducing the panel, which included current Doctor, and his companion, Jenna Louise Coleman. Joining the pair were executive producer and head writer , star of An Adventure in Time and Space , and fellow writer and EP .
Before the panel got down to talking with the crowd, a moving tribute of the show was shown, showcasing the past 50 years of the incredible show and capping it off with the Eleventh Doctor's run, which moved many in the crowd to tears. The footage ended with the enigmatic Dark Doctor's () last words, "What I did I did without choice, and in the name of peace and sanity," and the Doctor's rejoinder, "But not in the name of the Doctor."
The rest of the cast chatted for a bit, with a humorous moment when Bradley, who plays the villainous Walder Frey on Game of Thrones, quipped that fans of that show aren't too happy with him right now and that, "the wedding invitations have seemed to dried up." Zing!
Then came the showing of the trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time, with Bradley in the role of the First Doctor actor, William Hartnell. From IGN's description of the trailer:
The film looks to be a jaunt back into the heyday of 60's BBC television. What we glimpsed of the tale of the advent of this now globally beloved British science-fiction series had a familiar bittersweet tone. There is magic in there, passion and coincidence, but also loss, as the actor playing The Doctor comes to realize that he too is replaceable, even when he feels he needs, "just a bit more time"...
We can't show you the trailer, but we can show you an extended interview with that same Doctor who begs a little more time:
Smith addressed his departure, saying eloquently that, "It's been a fabulous journey and I take with me best friends. I think we'll make the Christmas special one of the most moving. I’m determined to make it a real belter."
And the love wasn't left out, with host Ferguson introducing the topic of love and chemistry among the Doctors and their companions, making particular note of previous Doctor 's intense and unwavering relationship with soulmate and companion Rose (). Smith agreed, claiming that the Tenth Doctor was far better the ladies than the Eleventh:
Dave's Doctor is more swashbuckling with the ladies. Mine is a little more flummoxed. River is the ultimate alien. Then Clara comes along and she brings a different thing. I think he'd have more chance of snogging Clara.
Coleman laughed and agreed: "He's a bit asexual, your Doctor."
AND THEN...the big reveal. The trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special dropped, and fans. went. wild. Again from IGN's description:
It opens on Smith saying, (and I'm approximating here, so forgive me) "I've had many faces, many lives, not all of which I admit to. There's one I try to forget." We then go through a 3-minute overview of an adventure that looks to primarily focus on a team-up between Smith and Tennant's Doctors, the return of Rose, and a journey through the "Dark Doctor's" (John Hurt) past during the Time War. The chemistry between Smith and Tennant is palpable, and the special looks to be everything we could want and more as fans if that trailer is anything to go by (though, it's impossible to please every fan of this series.)
At the close of the trailer we hear a voice say, "I'm looking for the Doctor," to which Tennant replies, "Well you've certainly come to the right place."
And then came the Q&A portion of the panel, with Moffatt providing perhaps the most poignant description of the Doctor:
There is only one Doctor. He has lots of different faces, but there is only one. He lives in the moment all the time. He’s a creature of the moment, he never looks back or he’d be staring all day. He's every age at once as well, a child, a teenager, a middle aged bore all at once. Matt has done the best job of combining the old man and the child in every moment. Also, he doesn't know he's the hero – he’d be really surprised that there was a show about him – he's a big kid and an old man at the same time. He later added, "The Doctor should be mysterious, he doesn't tell you everything, in fact he's barely told you anything. It's been fifty years and he hasn't properly introduced himself."
Smith rounded out the panel by thanking the fans and saying a simple goodbye:
This has changed my whole life, I've made some of my best friends, and since I'm on my way out, I just want to say...thank you.
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special will air on BBC America on November 23rd. The movie will cap a weekend of celebration of the Doctor, with An Adventure in Space and Time telling the genesis story of Doctor Who.
As a bonus, check out the current results from the massive poll IGN unveiled asking fans who they would most like to see in the role of the Twelfth Doctor, which we STILL have yet to learn:
The man in the lead? None other than the beloved Tenth Doctor himself, David Tennant, with fans begging for him to return to the role of the Doctor. That's an unprecedented event in Doctor Who history, but one that's really intriguing. If the Doctor can regenerate, why can't he regenerate with the same face twice? Why not? It would be...kind of amazing, actually.
What do you think? Who do you want to see in the role? Sound off in the comments, Whovians. Allons-y!
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