SDCC 2012: DOCTOR WHO Travels Through Time and Space To Conquer San Diego

Like last year, San Diego Comic-Con belonged to Doctor Who. From TARDIS hats, to Daleks everywhere, the culmination of all of that was the packed to the rafters Hall H panel on Sunday afternoon. First up, moderator Chris Hardwick showed off the last scene from previous season, to the loudest cheers we have ever heard, and we’re at Comic-Con. Then, to keep it going, out came panelists Steven Moffat, Caroline Skinner, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill.

Asked about coming on to the show, Moffat said that, “I’ve been thinking about Doctor Who since I first saw it.”

Turing to Smith, the Doctor thanked the fans, and then Hardwick showed an “embarrassing” photo from the previous night, of Smith confronting Hardwick, who was cosplaying as the David Tennant Doctor, to laughs and cheers.

They briefly chatted about fun at the Con, and then the big elephant in the room came up, with the Ponds leaving midway through the upcoming season. “I didn’t stop crying for two weeks! Everything set me off!” said Gillan on leaving the show. Smith said that he was sad to leave, then Hardwick brought up that in the elevator on the way over, Smith turned to Gillan and Darvill, and said, “Hey, didn’t you used to be on Doctor Who.”

Next up, Hardwick cued up a clip reel showing off the Best of Amy and Rory Pond, featuring an emotional clip from the episode where Old Amy says goodbye to Rory. “Comic-con’s a lot of fun, right guys?” joked Hardwick when the clip finished.

On the ending, and saying goodbye, Moffat said, “That was a tough one to write. It’s not just fiction you’re ending, it’s also a real life experience, for Karen and Arthur. It was genuinely, properly sad.” Asked about the ending, and any teases., Moffat said, “Take a guess.”

Hardwick said that he trusted Moffat to not break the fans hearts for too long, to which Moffat said, “Why do you trust me? What have I ever done to earn that?” To laughs from the panelists and audience.

Continuing to talk about leaving, Gillan said, “I’m going to miss running down corriders away from imaginary monsters. I’m going to miss these guys, I really am. I made some of my best friends on this show.” Smith noted that they’ve all become so close, they “don’t even have conversations anymore, it’s just noises and silly phrases.” Joked Darvill, “We call those episodes.”

Speaking of what’s next, Darvill did an impression of Gillan, plugging, “Not Another Happy Ending,” and then a “Occular,” to laughs from the audience. Then Gillan, doing an impression of Darvill, said, “I’m bumbling a bit,” to cheers, and Darvill pretended to walk off stage. Then she really plugged his upcoming projects, including “Broadchurch” with David Tennnat, and it’s actually written by the actress who played Prisoner Zero!

Then, there was some news from Moffat, who showed off clips from the Western episode, which is titled “A Town Called Mercy.” In it, the Doctor does some goofy business with a toothpick, and clearly gets grabbed by a mob for being an alien. It was short, but fun!

Next up, audience questions, kicking off with an adorable little girl dressed as a Dalek, who asked Matt Smith what his favorite button, screen, or gadget in the TARDIS was. Smith talked about the hand-book that tells you how to actually use it, but he loves the gear that flies the thing. Smith then asked the girl if she had a favorite bit, and said a surprised, “What? NO.” to huge laughs.

When the next audience member came dressed as a Dalek, Moffat joked, “Is anyone not dressed as a Dalek?” The actual question was whether there was going to be a multiple doctor episode, to which Moffat said, “I’m not going to tell you! Not even to a Dalek.”

Asked about the question that’s been right in front of us, “Doctor Who,” Moffat said, “To be honest, it’s been there from the start. Other Timelords give their name. Obviously, it’s tremendously important.” He did reveal that we will find out why it’s important, and possibly even we’ll find out the Doctor’s name coming up.

The next bit was about whether we’d see a villain team-up, like in, “The Pandorica Opens,” to which Moffat joked, “Can you imagine how long the meeting must have been to get the Pandorica Alliance together? I think such a useless alliance of readily defeat-able foes would never get together again. And they accidentally blew up the universe!”

No news on Gillan on Inspector Spacetime, but she would love to be on Community at some point in the future.

Asked about favorite costumes, Darvill said Centurion, Gillan said Kiss-o-gram, and Smith said wearing the fez.

The next question was about crazy fan questions, Smith mentioned a woman who told him he looked, “just like her hedgehog.” Gillan said there was a woman who grabbed her, angrily asking whether she was Smith’s girlfriend. When she said no, she cheerily let her go.

A sleep deprived fan giddily asked about favorite plots they’d like to see on the show. Smith said Atlantis, though Moffat noted that the show has done that three times. “To hell with continuity, we’ll do it again!” joked Moffat. Gillan said she’d like to do something with pianos, where they get shrunk down and have to dodge the hammers. And Darvill said he’d like to see the Doctor play in a band. Hardwick, to huge cheers from the audience, said he’d love to see an episode set during the continuity of Groundhog’s Day.

Last question was whether the cast had noticed any weird habits, Smith said that Gillan pulls her bottom lip, Gillan said Smith makes sort of a “Prrraap prap!” sound when he gets excited. And Gillan and Smith said that Darvill gets grumpy. Darvill followed that up saying that he likes stare at Gillan until she notices. And the whole cast likes to get too uncomfortably close with anyone new on set, as a running joke.

Before we went, Moffat plugged that all the Daleks will show up in the season premiere. He also mentioned the Weeping Angels, the and that there were plenty of secrets he can’t tell us yet. Before we went, though, there was one big piece of news:

“I’m going to tell you the secret of television success. It’s you put dinosaurs on a spaceship,” said Moffat. And then they showed a clip from an episode titled “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” It starts in Ancient Egypt with Nefertiti, before cutting to the future on a spaceship, then to 1902, then to the Ponds. And then over to the dino-ship. Rory’s Dad is with them, and terrified. Amy reveals that in this episode, The Doctor hasn’t seen the Ponds for ten months. And then, the clip ended with the dinosaurs showing up, and, in case you couldn’t get, The Doctor saying, “Dinosaurs on a spaceship!”

And that was it! Keep it tuned to MTV Geek for plenty more from Comic-Con!