Now I’m not one to drink and tell, but the night at the Hyatt was unforgettable. I think next year I’ll just spend the entirety of Comic-Con there. I met a lot of people I admire but the shocker of the night was who was sitting at the table next to me: Nichelle Nichols. Freaking Uhura!! Just hanging out with a few people, drinking some champagne. All I can say is, that woman is a party animal. It was way after midnight!
Amazingly, I got myself up early and made it on time to the BBC America: Doctor Who panel. I figured this was my last chance to see David Tennant for a while since Matt Smith is replacing him as the Doctor very soon. Director Euros Lyn, Executive Producer Julie Gardner and writer/Executive Producer Russell T. Davies were also there. They showed a preview clip of the next episode to be aired here in America, “Planet of the Dead” and, more importantly, showed footage from Tennant’s very last episode, “The End of Time.” Here be spoilers: John Simm is back as The Master. I got chills.
The first thing the panel wanted to get out of the way was a rumor that there’s going to be a “Doctor Who” movie with Tennant. There’s not. “But what it’s made us think is maybe it would be a good thing to do at some point,” said Gardner.
Tennant talked about what it was like first getting the role. “It’s something that I grew up obsessed with really so it’s very strange to now be sitting here at 38 and in it,” he said, “It’s got to be a bit overwhelming. You go into a supermarket and your face is on a cake and t-shirts and children’s pants, which isn’t something they prepare you for in drama school.” Later on, a fan told Tennant she’s eaten some “Doctor Who” cake and it was quite good.
The Editor-in-Chief of the “Guinness Book of World Records” was there to present the panel with a new award. “Doctor Who” has been in the book for being the longest running sci-fi show on television, but with some new data they’ve compiled, which apparently included illegal downloads, they now feel safe to call it the most successful sci-fi show on TV. “I can hear Comic-Con war breaking out out there,” said Davies.
One fan asked for advice dealing with the changing of the guard, but everyone was in agreement that it was going to be very emotional. Upon being shown Tennant’s last episode, composer of the series Murray Gold had an intense reaction. “We’d been music spotting the finale and we’d reached the last twenty minutes of the second episode and Murray starts shaking and covering his face and sobbing uncontrollably, which I think is what you all are going to do when you see it,” said Lyn. “Get your tissues ready.”
One thing you’ll be happy to know is BBC America is working to air the last episodes uncut and closer to their release in the UK.
Next on my agenda was another BBC America panel, this time focusing on two shows – “Being Human” and “Torchwood.” I’m a huge fan of both. “Torchwood’s” miniseries “Children of Earth” just finished its five-night special on the channel and “Being Human” just premiered the night before the panel. Writer Toby Whithouse and actors Lenora Chrichlow, Russell Tovey and Aidan Turner were granted the first half of the extended panel. Before things really got started, Tovey expressed his wish to see the audience perform the Mexican wave and they gladly complied. “You’ve just fulfilled a dream for me, thank you,” said Tovey.
Even though “Being Human” is about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost, the cast insists it goes deeper than that. “It’s more than a supernatural show. It’s steeped in humanity and realism and naturalism and it tackles issues I think that we deal with all the time,” said Turner.
“Every single story is about finding the human reference point, the points of contact that kind of make it accessible,” added Whithouse.
Though the first episode just aired, fans who’ve viewed the entire series illegally are eager for a second season. “We haven’t started filming series two yet,” revealed Chrichlow. “We start when we get back.” It will air January 2010 and consist of eight episodes, two more than the first season.
When it was time to bring out the “Torchwood” crew, the audience roared with applause. “Oh, you could have waited until we left,” said Tovey.
Lyn, Gardner and Davies were back for the “Torchwood” half of the BBC America panel and brought with actor John Barrowman from the cast. Before he arrived on stage, three fans in the audience shouted, “We. We want. We want Ianto,” in the style of the children in the “Children of Earth” miniseries, which has now been released on DVD.
Once he settled in, Barrowman said, “I know, I know it’s a very sad thing. We’re all sad but life has to go on and you know, he was hot really.” It wouldn’t be the only time Barrowman would get saucy with the crowd.
“A day never went by when I tried my hardest to embarrass him,” said Barrowman about director Lyn. Thinking he meant he tried to seduce him, Barrowman felt the need to correct himself for the audience. “No, no! I’m trying to be really good here today. I’m trying to not have the double entendre because it says here, ‘please be aware that many of our members may be under 18 years of age.’ Well you know ‘Torchwood’ is a little more adult so get out if you are,” he joked, “or stay and learn something.” He even managed to pull the moderator from TV Guide, Rich Sands, into the fun. “You know you can laugh too,” he said, “You don’t have to be so serious, cause you’re also quite hot too.” Sands’ face immediately went beet red.
Barrowman just seemed to be having a blast at CCI. “I learned a new word this year. Fangasm,” he said. “I’m a sci-fi fan. I’m a geek like everybody else. I’ve loved it since I was a kid so it’s great to be here.”
Davies broached a hot comics-related topic. saying he thinks it’s about time Barrowman become a superhero. “Well you know the one that I want to play. Captain America,” he said. “So not gonna happen, but I would love to be in lycra.”
Speaking of lycra, I saw some of my favorite costumes today. There was a perfectly endowed Power Girl, a Superwoman (the “All-Star Superman” version) and the cutest Poison Ivy I’ve ever seen. I also ran into another Leeloo and we took a comparison shot of our tattoos that excites me way more than it should.
CCI was all I was hoping for and more. I had some ridiculous celebrity encounters and met some of my favorite creators. Sure I’m leaving broken down and sick but that’s the way my last relationship left me too. Hmm, maybe I need to break the pattern. What do you think? Next year I’m going harder, longer and making CCI my bitch. That is, unless I wind up moving to San Diego before then. In that case, we’ll just hang out as “just friends.”