TGINYCC! Gotham has been taken over by, Batman yes, but Daleks, and Dirk Gentlys too because it’s New York Comic Con! Friday morning, Doctor Who fans packed the Theater at Madison Square Garden for 60 minutes with a glowing Peter Capaldi, moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis.
The Doctor arrived with his signature shades, short hair, a killer Bowie t-shirt and a “Hello New York!”
Before Peter came out, Clark said he just hoped to get through the panel without crying. After the love-fest at San Diego Comic-Con, glad he was able to. We were lightly less successful.
So what brought on the waterworks again? We’ll get to that.
After showing some of Peter’s best moments as the Doctor, fans got to ask the departing Doctor their burning questions. And even we learned some things we didn’t know!
1. Those Mondasian Cyberman in the finale? Steven Moffat may not have been keen on them at first as Peter revealed he was worried they may just look like Cybermen with jumpers on their heads, but he came around and made them work for Peter. And work well they did.
2. If director Rachel Talalay ever needs anyone to write an intro for her memoir, she should really ask Peter Capaldi. Peter spoke flourishingly about what set the director apart from others, referring to other modern directors as “plumbers,” just trying to produce something in the end. Rachel, on the other hand, is an artist.
3. If you’ll remember, Peter has been known to write a letter or two in his day. Ahem:
Well, Peter actually met David Bradley who plays the First Doctor in the upcoming Christmas Special around the time Bradley first played the role in An Adventure in Space and Time. Afterwards, he sent note to Mark Gatiss that read, “Thank you very much for letting a young man meet Doctor Who.” Awww.
And although he wouldn’t revel much about the upcoming Christmas Special, he did speak beautifully of his co-star, explaining that Bradley’s not doing an impersonation of William Hartnell but rather “evokes the spirit” of William Hartnell. Man. What high praise, especially considering Hartnell was Peter’s first Doctor.
4. Peter said he didn’t give newly Doctor Jodie Whittaker any advice about taking over the TARDIS, but he did share how he found out that the Doctor was maybe, possibly, not a man: he was in his favorite clothing shop (his Doctor’s iconic sweater also happens to be from the same shop), and they told him they got a call from the BBC asking for the pants Peter wears as the Doctor in a size 30-inch waist. He deemed that too small to be a man’s!
Once the news was revealed and he finally connected with her, “she just lit up the room.” She admitted to him that she’d seen him in cafés and shops for three months leading up to the announcement but couldn’t go up to him. Peter assures Whovians the show is “in good hands.”
5. One fan asked if Peter wold ever return to the world of The Thick of It as Malcolm Tucker. While Peter said he probably wouldn’t be returning to that world specifically, he did reveal he’ll be working with Armando Iannucci again next year. We’re already excited.
6. He pretty much came up with not one but two concepts for Doctor Who episodes on the spot. The Doctor meets Jimi Hendrix fighting the “flower people” or “petal heads” that release ozone to make people trip out. Ultimately, the Doctor invents the wah-wah pedal. Jimmy plugs in the Tardis and the rest is history.
Apparently, “there should also be a Doctor Who story where he battles his own hair.” Peter revealed that he initially didn’t want to cut his hair short for his first season and ultimately let it grow… and grow… till it took over. For the record, we would watch both of these episodes.
7. Many Whovians point to the Doctor’s war speech during “The Zygon Inversion” as a defining moment for the Doctor.
But Peter said that he actually has people come up to him about his “fear is a superpower” speech in “Listen,” which was a riff on the First Doctor’s commentary that “fear makes companions of all of us.” He shared that one fan told him she told the speech to her children before facing serious medical procedures. (Now you understand the crying.)
8. When Steven Moffat first pitched the idea of Stephen making his grand entrance in “The Magician’s Apprentice” playing a guitar on a tank, Peter didn’t get it. He thought, “Isn’t that like a Cher video or something?”
At the end of the panel, we got to thank Peter.
Yes, we cried again.
So, what will Peter do now that it’s almost over? He’ll, of course, spend time with his family, and “do arty things.” We’ll wait for what is sure to be an iconic moment (Peter’s description, not ours) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” on Christmas Day on BBC America.
Peter’s panel whet our appetites for a positively joyous Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’s panel on the Main Stage at the Javits Center. The audience was treated with the entire first episode, which officially premieres October 14 at 9/8c, only on BBC America.
But even before that, they were treated to a singalong. Led by Max Landis. Singing “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. (Fans will remember the song’s significance from Season 1.) And even before that, one lucky fan got up on-stage to show off his yo-yo skills (the panel giveaway) but instead explained sat in one of the cast member’s seats and talked about why he loves the show so much!
Understandably, the cast couldn’t’ reveal too much about Season 2, but here are a couple key nuggets to sustain you.
Hannah Marks and Max Landis revealed the origin of the scissor swords we’ve seen in sneak peeks. Apparently, one day Hannah was talking to Max about how scary the bathtub scene in Eastern Promises is (as you do), and Max asked, “What if there were scissors, though?” Max Googled. A lot. To see if scissor swords had ever been done the way he wanted. While animé Kill la Kill features a scissor sword, only one side is used. This won’t be that.
Oh, and one genius fan asked Fiona Dourif if it hurt to speak as Bart. It does.