The fun started outside when we caught our first glimpses of cos-playing geniuses, Jess immediately pointed out a TARDIS and said ‘we’ve found our people’. When we eventually got inside the mass of people was almost overwhelming. One had no choice but to allow the crowd’s tide to carry them along. Like n00bs we consulted our map and flew past all the gaming, comic book and merchandise stands, trying to find our way to the Logan Campbell Centre for the Doctor Who panel.
Before we entered the LCC, we stalked a Dalek. Which Exterminated us…with water.
In the LCC, the crowd from the panel before ours dispersed as we took our seats, the excitement in the room palpable. Well, unless you were my sister who got chased up the stairs by a man-sized Elmo. The MCs hyped up the crowd as we waited and finally Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice), Jenny (Catrin Stewart), Strax (Dan Starkey) and Dorium Maldovar (Simon Fisher-Becker) were ushered onto the stage, met with cheers and applause by the ever-accommodating crowd.
There were some less than interesting questions that yielded some hilarious answers, some questions from people who haven’t been devouring news about the 50th Anniversary special like their life depended on it and then there were some questions (and more importantly answers) that really got the crowd fired up. While it seemed like the group genuinely had no idea what the 50th entailed, with each saying they had no involvement with the special, they had no problem speculating about it as fans of the show. When asked whether Tennant’s role would be that of the human!Doctor, or the actual Doctor, all speculated that the Tenth Doctor would appear with two hearts, not one.
McNeice called Matt Smith his ‘special Doctor’, echoing Catrin who stated that Matt Smith would always be her Doctor- who also said one of her favourite scenes to film was the fighting-sequence. One fan asked what it was like to kiss Matt Smith and Catrin intimated that the kiss wasn’t scripted, the kiss was followed by a slap, which incidentally was her favourite part of the scene. Although, she informed us, she did slap Smith a bit too hard in the first take, and that there were quite a few takes. We were then treated to the four actors’ rendition of the show’s opening theme tune.
Someone asked ‘If you could be any other Doctor Who character, who would you be?’ Simon immediately said ‘The Master’, Catrin said ‘Clara’ and Ian responded ‘Amy Pond, because we have similar legs.’ One fan asked whether they, as fans and actors who have worked on the show, thought it possible for the Doctor to regenerate into a woman. The crowd offered ‘ooohs’ as the fan asked the question but Catrin’s immediate response was ‘Yes. Anything is possible in Doctor Who.’ The response was met with an enthusiastic roar. Simon also added ‘Absolutely. There are Timeladies and in fact before Sylvester McCoy was chosen, a woman (his friend) was being considered for the role’.
We also had a Strax impersonation competition.
Nearing the end of the panel, the group was asked to do the Nerdfighter sign and say ‘Don’t Forget To Be Awesome’ it was amazing.
With our hour up we once again braved the outside to explore some more, coming across more brilliant cosplayers and their amazing costumes. Jess took, dangerously, a photo with a Weeping Angel. I may not have blinked, but we must remember that an image of an angel itself becomes an angel.
It was all over when we discovered a TARDIS and some Daleks.
Honourable Mentions (and regrets):
– We saw some wrestling and got caught up in the crowd of people baying for blood.
– Gutted we didn’t get to see Evanna Lynch or the Supernatural Panel.
– Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special will be broadcast globally on the 23rd/24th of November. Anyone else realised late and found that all the morning sessions are fully booked? We’ve booked a 4:30pm session and now have to avoid the internet at ALL costs until after we’ve seen it on the day…the Day of the Doctor.