Deadline Comic-Con TV correspondent Gary Hodges files:
Geeks will be relieved to know that “Gleeks” didn’t overshadow the traditional Comic-Con crowd, the audience for the Doctor Who panel just as massive and twice as loud as Glee’s. The first new episode of Doctor Who will air August 27th on BBC America. Moderated by Wired editor Adam Rogers, the panel started with a reel of footage from last season to remind the audience where they’ve been. Rogers then introduced producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis, writer Toby Whithouse, and actors Karen Gillan and Matt Smith – the eleventh Doctor himself, at his first convention in the States.
Doctor Who, much like Star Trek, is known for its fans as much as anything else, so naturally they dominated the Q&A. The panel took questions from not one but two Daleks (a denizen of the Doctor Who universe), and many of the other people asked highly technical (read: “technical”) questions about things like how some of the Doctor’s devices work, if Smith knows what every button on the control panel of the Tardis does, or why the ship sounds the way it does. The cast talked about the intense secrecy on set, and how they only receive scripts a day before shooting.
The panel was asked their favorite Doctor from all the show’s history, and nearly unanimously nominated Tom Baker.
A young girl asked if the Doctor would ever “regenerate” as a woman. “I think it’s possible,” Willis said. “Every time the Doctor regenerates, the thought crosses the mind.”
For all the fanservice, though, the panel was light on reveals. A few enigmatic clips were shown of the upcoming season, with a creepy locale that looked and felt like the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, showing the Doctor using someone else to lure – and presumably capture – a tall,
horned creature. (We later learned this clip was from an upcoming episode titled “The God Complex.”) We also very briefly see the Doctor conversing with Adolph Hitler, and locations that seem to be Nazi Germany. One fan asked if we can expect to see more of the Doctor’s “dark side”, and Smith said “I think there will be a lot more,” Gillan adding “I think we see a lot of that in Episode 10.” But too many questions were answered with some variation of “I’m sure Steven [Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, who was not present] could answer that if he were here.” At the end, though, Smith did ask the crowd to give departing Wenger and Willis “a big woo-hoo”, and the fans were happy to oblige. Here is a new Doctor Who trailer: