'Doctor Who' at 50: The Comic-Con Panel Thrills With 3 Trailers

Fall TV

People waited in line overnight to catch a glimpse of Matt Smith's last Comic-Con appearance as the Doctor. A panel moderated by late-night host Craig Ferguson offered no revelations about the next doctor, but there was a Con-exclusive trailer — accompanied by the usual extra-stern warnings from showrunner Steven Moffat. Moffat was joined by producer Marcus Wilson, writer Mark Gatiss (who also co-created the series "Sherlock" with Moffat), David Bradley (from the forthcoming "An Adventure in Time and Space"), and, of course, Jenna Coleman and Matt Smith.

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The Trailers

The panel opened with a trailer showing all 11 Doctors. There's also a dance remix (by the way, if nobody's built a dance club to look like the inside of the TARDIS, we're patenting the idea right now).

A second, Smith-centric trailer followed, ending with the last episode's revelation of John Hurt as the "next" Doctor.

The final trailer was for the 50th Anniversary Special. The special will be about the Time War. When we first meet the ninth Doctor in the series reboot, he has just come from the Time War and all we know is he's seen and done terrible things (this, incidentally, is the reason for speculation that Hurt is not the next Doctor, but actually a Doctor *before* Nine who has been deliberately forgotten).

David Tennant makes his triumphant return (he wasn't at the Con, but the cheers that went up surely could be heard across the pond), and there were glimpses of Billie Piper (Rose!) as well.

The panel ended with the classic cold-open musical number from Craig Ferguson that never aired, but enjoyed a second (well, first) life online.

David Bradley aka the First Doctor aka the Red Wedding Guy

Besides the 50th anniversary episode and the Christmas episode (Matt Smith's last), there is also a docudrama about the origins of "Doctor Who" and the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell. And there is no better choice to play him than David Bradley. Both were/are well-respected character actors. Both may have been a little typecast.

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If you don't recognize Bradley's name, surely you will get a little shiver when you see his face when he comes onscreen, whether as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies or as Walder Frey in "Game of Thrones." After 43 years of acting, how has the international fame of these characters affected his life? "The wedding invitations have dried up."


We've been waiting for Silence to fall since Smith's first episode. The question has already been asked on the fields of Trenzalore. Will we finally see the resolution of the prophecy? "There are many things that we've been setting up for quite a while that will be resolved," says Moffat.

A fan asked why Captain Jack wasn't in the anniversary special, to which Moffat replied, "How do you know who's in the 50th?" Though he then followed that with "If we have a great story idea for Captain Jack, we will bring him back." Then he admitted he's been lying about who's in the special for months anyway, so if you're keeping track that's a veiled yes, an oblique no, and an assertion that both the previous statements are untrue. You remember that "Star Trek" episode where Kirk fries that poor android's brain?

One thing he's very clear on, though, is the matter of tears on Smith's departure. "Oh, you will [cry]." Haven't you already done enough to us (Amy and Rory Pond, Clara, Clara again, and of course he killed off River Song before he even started as showrunner), you monster?!

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Favorite Moments

For Smith, it's when Clara visits all of the Doctors in the season finale.

For Coleman, she loves the TARDIS on the cloudscene.

For Moffat, it was seeing all the Daleks together for "Asylum of the Daleks."

For Gatiss, it was pulling off Dame Diana Rigg's dress (to reveal an alien parasite, naturally). "That's something I never thought I'd see on British television."

What If...

Smith says if he wasn't playing the Doctor, he'd have liked to play the Master.

Coleman says she'd want to be Strax, but Moffat thinks she's not tall enough.

Of course, Moffat has always wanted to be the Doctor himself. "That's what I've dreamed all my life."

Learn to Take a Compliment

Smith and Coleman have been driving around the Con, rolling down the window and shouting, "Hey, Doctor! Nice suit!" to people dressed like Eleven. One such Doctor gave an indifferent wave in response; fortunately, there was a Clara behind him who tapped him on the shoulder and let him know whom he just blew off. You never know...

Check out all the TV stars at this year's Comic-Con: