Sunday was painful waking up. After our unsuccessful attempt at meeting Russell T. Davies on Saturday morning, we knew we were going to have to arrive as early as possible on Sunday to get into the Doctor Who panel at 10am. We woke up around 6:45, packed our bags up, grabbed a quick breakfast, and were at the train station by 7:30. Even then, the platform was already pretty crowded. Fortunately, we were able to get on the first train that pulled in.
There was a guy dressed in a very accurate tenth doctor costume that got on at our stop. He even came with accessories: he had two sonic screwdrivers and psychic paper. The Tom Baker Doctor was also at our stop. It was exciting to see multiple people in costume or Doctor Who/Torchwood day.
We made it into the convention center by 8 and booked it straight for the badge pickup hall. The program said it didn’t open until 9, so we assumed we would be waiting in line before even having a chance to line up, but everything was open. We walked right in and got our badges then hurried over to the Ballroom 20 line. There were people walking around everywhere already, which explained why the tickets at the BBC America booth were long gone by 9:30 the day before. The line was already fairly long, but they hadn’t lined anyone up indoors yet, so we figured we’d have decent seats. I was surprised at the number of Doctors in costume there were. I figured I’d see one or two, but there were dozens, and even one dressed as Matt Smith, the 11th doctor. There was even a girl in a Dalek dress and another girl dressed as the TARDIS. It was a fun line to wait in. I even got my picture taken. A girl was going around taking pictures of Doctor Who t-shirts for some web site, and mine made the cut. When people around me realized what my t-shirt was, they loved it.
The line started moving and we made our way inside. Our seats were much better than I thought they’d be. We were in the front section on the side, maybe 20 rows back. They passed out Classic Doctor Who comics, which was a nice way to kill time reading. I realizedFinally, the stage lights came on and out came Russell Davies, Julie Gardner, Euros Lyn, and David Tennant. The hall was packed by the time it started and David Tennant got an extended standing ovation that he completely ate up.
The first thing they did once everyone was seated and introduced was talk about the fact that David (I was starstruck on Saturday, but we were mates on a first name basis by Sunday) had just filmed his final scenes as the Doctor. They talked about the screening the night before and the upcoming final 3 specials. Then they screened a special teaser trailer of the final special. It was awesome, and included confirmation of the return of a particular actor and a particular villain (I won’t say in case you want to avoid spoilers). The crowd went crazy at that part. As the lights came up, David yelled, “that went way too fast, roll it again.” The crowd screamed, lights went down, and they played the trailer again. I got chills.
The rest of the panel was great and even ended with an extended trailer of The Water of Mars, the next special. It ended with the ominous four knocks that were referenced in Planet of the Dead. I don’t know if that was the actual knocking moment, but whatever it was, the next special looks amazing. We moved up a little closer after the panel ended, even though we had decent seats. Next up was American Dad. They did a read through of the first act of their Christmas special and then screened early animation of the rest of the episode. I’m not a big follower of the show, but this particular episode was really funny. It was also cool to see Seth McFarlane read so many different characters. When that panel finished, we were able to move up another few rows and closer to the center. By this point we were in the fifth row and satisfied with our seats for the Torchwood panel. Two rows up, the Torchwood kids were hanging out again.
The next few panels flew by. There was one from Paper Heart, which was cool to see. I love Charlyne Yi when we saw the screening at the LA Film Festival, and I loved her again at this panel. Next were panels about Alien Trespass and then a panel about Mystery Team. The Mystery Team panel was funny and it made me want to check out their online videos when I get a chance.
Then the final event of Comic-Con for us started: the Being Human/Torchwood panel. Being Human went first. Russell Tovey joked around a lot and even got the crowd to do the wave. They showed a few clips and it looks like a promising show. I’ve DVR’d it and am going to try and watch this weekend.
Then Torchwood was up. There was a smattering of boos when Russell Davies came out. Apparently some people are ridiculously upset about the (SPOILER) death of Ianto (/SPOILER). Upset to the point of sending nasty emails and letters to writers, starting websites to protest it, and trying to organize a chant for the beginning of a panel. I’m glad they were a very small minority. I was upset when it happened too, but it made sense for the story. Russell Davies, John Barrowman, and Julie Gardner all did a wonderful job of fairly address why it made sense for the character and the importance of staying true to the story. In addition, Torchwood has moved from BBC3 to the main BBC1. They had to go out with a bang and in with a fresh start. The decision made sense on so many levels. It’s also not like death is a new thing to the show. Through the first two seasons, they’ve shown that no character is safe; that’s how dangerous working for Torchwood is. So fans of the show shouldn’t in any way feel slighted by the move no matter how much they liked the character.
Only one of the annoying ones asked a rude questions and I give great credit for the way they respectfully answered back. I’m glad the cheers drowned out anything else, because they deserved it. Torchwood: Children of Earth has been far and away the best television event of the year. The Torchwood panel was also extremely entertaining thanks to Barrowman. He nearly took over everything for a while and completely flustered the moderator.
When that panel wrapped up, it was time to go home. Unfortunately, it wrapped up at the same time as the last few panels. We walked around the edges of the exhibition floor we hadn’t seen yet first. The comic book side wasn’t nearly as packed as the studio booth side, and had a more relaxed vibe. There were some cool old action figures, but I already have the best ones sitting in storage so I didn’t buy any. We followed the last of the crowd out and had to wait forever to catch a trolley back to our car. By the time we reached the car, we figured we’d have dinner in town before the drive back. That turned out to be a great idea because the traffic back to LA was awful. So many people were heading back at the same time that it didn’t clear up until after Orange County. We made it back home around 10pm, dropped our bags, and crashed. Comic-Con was amazing. I can’t wait for next year.