Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Panel [Comic-Con 2013]

The Doctor - Dr. Who

Doctor Who, a show that has been around since 1963, has spanned across many mediums. Die-hard Who fans (“Whovians”) are truly unique – and no I’m not mocking you – making Doctor Who’s presence in Hall H an interesting experience. So interesting it took me 7 hours to get in…but I made it just in the nick of time. With the next program set to launch November 23, an hour-long panel, deemed the “50th Anniversary panel,” had big guns like executive producer Steven Moffat, writer Mark Gatiss, as well as stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. Gatiss was also on the panel to present the upcoming docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, along with star David Bradley who plays the first Doctor William Hartnell in the drama.

Fans were obviously excited to get anything Doctor Who related, but they grew louder and louder with every piece of footage. In total, the panel consisted of three videos and a lengthy Q&A session.

The first footage was basically a 50th Anniversary homage to series, showing all the high points and, yes, some of the low points. There were a lot more cheers than jeers as the crowd celebrated iconic moments.

The second footage was for the hotly anticipated 50th Anniversary Special (currently untitled) that will premiere in November. What’s truly unique is that multiple doctors will appear in the episode that should certainly be a fan favorite. Having read it’s intended to be a love letter to the fans, you could tell from their reactions that they’d agree. The most notable spike in excitement occurred when the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) joined the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) on-screen.

The last footage was from the upcoming docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, which is a stand-alone documentary highlighting the 50th Anniversary. Some of the same props and ideas from the good ol’ days were used while filming this special. It was even described as “spooky” at how much the actors looked alike.

Technically, we did get another bit of video at the end, too, in the form of a dance/music video from moderator Craig Ferguson. The bit was pretty funny, adding to his overall enjoyment on the panel.

In the Q&A portion, there was a lot of oo’ing and aw’ing at the panel (pretty standard all weekend), but a few pieces of information seemed interesting to me. The panel discussed the difference between U.K. fans and U.S. fans noting that U.S. fans were “louder.” They proceeded to prove that point. Also, they mentioned a future U.S.-based episode wasn’t out of the question if the story presents itself. They also spent some time talking about the demographics and how truly remarkable it was the twenty-something crowd was still into a show that was developed so long ago. I’d agree with that statement.

Doctor Who came and went at Comic-Con, but not without some extreme fan support. The panel was blown away by the enthusiasm, while the fans were blown away by the footage. It was an all-around great day for those that made it inside Hall H for the panel.

Network: BBC America
Starring: Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman
Premiere: November 23

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