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My 2009 Comic-Con Adventure

NSU's Fearless Production Manager Safaris Through Precarious Panels At Comic-Con

by Harris Toser


Having gone to the San Diego Comic-Con for 15 years now, I must say the show and the experience never gets old for me. Comic-Con 2009 has been history for over a month now. I feel very fortunate that I've gotten to go all these years. It's something every fan of comics, cards, gaming, movies, TV, and anything else pop-culture related should experience once in their lives. If you haven't gone, try and make plans to go…you won't regret it.

So what was the big deal this year? I can only speak about my own experience, which I'm certain is vastly different from the other 130,000+ attending fans. Below are some highlights of my very own Comic-Con 2009. Click on the photos and links below for larger versions and to advance to more photos from those panels and events.

Doctor Who/Torchwood Press Panels
Doctor Who PanelBy far, the biggest moment of this year's Comic-Con for me was an opportunity to attend a roundtable meeting with David Tennant, Julie Gardner, Russell T. Davies, and Euros Lyn. Tennant, of course, is the current Doctor Who through year's end and Gardner, Davies, and Lyn are all integral players in the current incarnation of Doctor Who and Torchwood. This event was so hot, it had to be held in a secret location…well, not really, but it was held in one of the adjacent hotels.

The event started out with Tenant and Gardner joining our table of eight talking Doctor Who. Tennant commented on the bag I was carrying. A popular giveaway this year was a bag big enough to hold many of the Octomom's kids inside. Several such bags were given away for Harry Potter, Fringe, and other titles. Tennant wanted to know if BBC America had such bags and I was able to pull out my Doctor Who bag and show it to David. I told him I'd be willing to part with it at a good rate. Ha!

David also asked about this "Comic-Con thing," wanting to know if any panels were sparsely attended. We assured him he had nothing to worry about.
Comic-Con hardware and jitters aside, the conversation moved on. Tennant told us his final episodes would consist of the upcoming The Waters of Mars special and a final two-part episode, entitled The End of Time, which will see Tennant "regenerating" into his new appearance, played by Matt Smith. Air dates for the three episodes have not been announced. Tennant said there will be elements that run through all three episodes. "Things happen in The Waters of Mars that we come back to in the finale," said Tennant.

Shortly before Comic-Con, pictures from the set of Doctor Who with Matt Smith had surfaced. Tennant and Gardner will not be involved with these episodes. Gardner said "We're the audience again." And Tennant said "It's exciting now to watch it again and not know. The other day, when the first photographs came from on the set, we were all like oooooh, look at that! Look at those trousers. We're excited to be viewers again."

When asked what he says to those that are going to miss him as the Doctor, Tennant had this to say: "I'm afraid they won't miss me as much as they think they will because how the show works is the new guy comes in and you go 'who is he?' for about two weeks, and it feels a bit disconcerting, and then HE'S the Doctor. That's one of the many brilliant pieces of genius that define what makes the show so special. That will happen—I promise. As much as they feel it can't continue without me, it can and it will, and I look forward to watching it."

And while David says he has no plans to continue the role, he does have a filmed episode of spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures coming up in addition to his three Doctor Who episodes. There is also an audio book in the works with the voice of Tennant. "The last words I utter as the Doctor might be in an audio book" Tennant says wryly.

And what advice did David give Matt Smith about the role? "He's a great actor. He knows what he's doing. He'll bring his own energy and enthusiasms with him. And that's how it should be really. He doesn't need my advice. And he sort of shouldn't have my advice. It's the same character but a different man every time so it has to be him."

Next, it was time to talk Torchwood with Russell T. Davies and Euros Lyn. Our chat with Davies and Lyn (Davies is writer, creator and executive producer of Torchwood; Lyn directed the five-part Children of Earth third season) coincided with BBC America's airing of the five-part season three of Torchwood. In this writer's opinion, this "television event" was not to be missed!

Davies was asked if killing off characters as he did throughout Season 2 and 3 of the series was difficult and was like losing a child? "It's not like losing a child. It is a good story told well. It's simply my job to do that sort of stuff — to kill people I've brought to life" says Davies. Lyn explained telling this story "without dealing with death and without taking our audience on a painful journey where they grieve for our characters would be selling them short." As a way of illustrating how Torchwood team members don't "live happily ever after," Davies pointed out how a Torchwood team member was killed off on the very first episode.

Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood's lead character (played by John Barrowman), started out as a character on Doctor Who, so naturally, the discussion turned to Jack coming back to Doctor Who and if we would be getting a little more closure on his character in the final two-parter, as has been rumored. "What on earth makes you think Jack might be in Doctor Who" Davies says dramatically, "You'll just have to watch."

Perhaps the most amusing part of the interview (and let me say Davies was quite amusing throughout) was when someone asked him about his quote in Entertainment Weekly where he said if people didn't like the ending (of Torchwood), they should watch Supernatural. The quote was actually taken a bit out of context — Davies is actually quite a fan of Supernatural, or more to the point, of the two young stars of the show (more on that in a minute). "You know the campaign to send coffee to the Torchwood offices – do you know how many packets of coffee we've had? Nine!" [An online campaign had viewers sending in packets of instant coffee to "save the coffee boy," Torchwood's Ianto Jones.]  Davies tells us this campaign was blown out of proportion by the so called net media. "He's NOT coming back. So what I meant was there were people literally saying I'll never watch it again; if you want a program to watch that's brilliant and Torchwood has betrayed you, go and watch Supernatural. It's an excellent show. I can't wait for the next season." And when Davies was told there was a Supernatural panel after his panel, he asked excitedly (and half-mockingly) if "the boys" were going to be there.  Someone handed Davies a magazine with "the boys" on the cover and he swooned over it. "I love them. Which one do you fancy most? You can spend a long time…" When asked who he prefers most, he said "literally, it changes from day to day and I spend a lot of time thinking about it [lots of laughs]. It's probably Jensen at the moment."

More Doctor Who photos from Comic-Con:
Doctor Who Photo 1
Doctor Who Photo 2
Doctor Who Photo 3

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