Right now, there are a whole lot of Whovians camped in line at the San Diego Convention Center, waiting for their Doctor to come to Hall H. Many in line will no doubt reading this post on their tablets and smartphones.
To them, I say this: Don't be cruel to yourself. Stop reading now.
You've waited, perhaps through the night, huddled with your badges in hand like Ood slaves, and all just for a distant glimpse of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, aka the Ponds.
If you keep reading, I'm not responsible for your nerd rage.
On Saturday night, about 300 of us got to see Smith, Gillan and Darvill up close on a panel at Nerd HQ, the off-site hangout for Comic-Con attendees hosted by the Nerd Machine (a company run by Zachary Levi from Chuck). Not only did we see them, we got to hear them sing.
I swear on the honor of my Sontaran clone batch. The Doctor and Amy and Rory Pond belted out the middle bit of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," from "Scaramouche! Scaramouche!" to "for meeeee!" We banged heads as we applauded.
I know, right? You would've sold your second heart to see that. Then this is going to be even more painful for you: I can't upload it to YouTube because Nerd HQ said no video. Sorry, sweetie.
But I can write about the panel.
First of all, there were no spoilers, unless you count the bowler hat Matt Smith was wearing. ("Bowlers are cool!" he says, and confirmed such a hat will appear in an upcoming episode.) Beyond that, the trio made it clear early on they weren't going to talk much about series seven, which centers around "the Fall of the Ponds." Gillan said she cried for about two weeks after it wrapped up. Smith said he misses the little games they would play on set and the monosyllabic language they devised—but no scoops for the bloggers.
But a fan doesn't need a plot revelation when you've pulled together those three performers, who seem to feed off each other like little children in the backseat of a station wagon. At Gillan's goading, Darvill performed a brief interpretive dance. Later, Gillan put a crack in the wall showing off her Dalek impression. At Smith's behest, she shrieked, "Doctor, do you like green apples and can I buy you a soda?" like the world's most genocidal celebrity handler.
The audience spanned the Whovisphere, from the old school Tom-Baker fanatics to a trio of girls in sexy T.A.R.D.I.S. dress, and Smith responded to questions more often with interaction than just an answer. At one very precious moment, he assured a 6-year-old fan that he would always be there to stop the Weeping Angels.
There were obvious questions from the audience, for sure. No, they don't really have a clue about whether Rose Tyler will come back. Yes, it sure is funny how many times Rory has died. If Smith could have multiple Doctors in an episode, he'd choose David Tennant's 10th Doctor and Christopher Eccleston's 9th Doctor among the living, Patrick Troughton's 2nd Doctor if he could resurrect the dead.
But for every yawner dispensed with quickly, there was another fun what-if question.
One audience member brought up cosplay, asking what costumes they would choose to visit Comic-Con as fans. As Smith and Darvill wittered on about how impressed they always are by the outfits, Gillan burst in with a hearty "Klingon!" Darvill chose a giant motorized Jabba the Hutt costume, with the idea that he could use it to plow through crowds.
Smith described himself as a massive Batman fan, both the comics and the films. So he picked Batman or the Joker, then whispered maybe the Penguin. (That's a little puzzling, since Penguin is squat and rotund while Smith is exactly not that. He either needs a Penguin costume that's taller on the inside, or he will have to wait until his next regeneration.)
Asked what television show they wish they could cross over with Doctor Who, again Gillan was the first with an answer—Mad Men. Darvill went with Sesame Street (which is at least on a friendly network).
Smith thought Sesame Street would be good (note to self: buy this shirt for next year's Comic-Con), but he dashed Gillan's hopes by declaring the Doctor would be bored by the 1960s advertising agency. Several audience members called out "Sherlock," (another character adapted by Who showrunner Steven Moffat), but Smith poo-poohed that as well, arguing that the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes would just find each other ridiculous.
No, Smith thinks the Doctor would get a kick out of the world of Breaking Bad. Consider that one for a minute. Who's got a better mobile meth lab than the Doctor?
Looking backward, each identified "The Girl Who Waited" (or, as Smith described it, the one with the magnifying glasses and Old Amy/Young Amy) as the most emotional episode of the sixth season.
"It was really weird because I was acting opposite a girl who was just giving me the most blank expression I've ever seen with this big ginger wig on," Gillan says. "It wasn't that emotional at the time."
We also learned that playing the Doctor has changed how Smith bathes. Or at least, that was the example he used to describe how playing the Doctor has given him an imagination greater than his own.
"It's completely transformed my life," Smith said. "You're running a bath, but if in your head you can run the bath as the Doctor, it makes a bath infinitely more interesting, because you just fill it with weird stuff. It's being able to see the world via someone who thinks that way has been remarkable, and it's changed my life and my family's life."
As for the future, Smith's obviously got more time and space to surf as the Doctor. Gillan will play an "eccentric writer girl" in Not Another Happy Ending, a film being shot in Scotland , before coming back to the states to star in a horror film, Oculus. Meanwhile, Davrill will be starring beside David Tennant in a drama series written by Doctor Who/Torchwood alum Chris Chibnall.
In other words, next year you may have to wait in three lines.