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Live: 'Doctor Who' panel at Comic-Con

Live: 'Doctor Who' panel at Comic-Con
© BBC
Read live coverage of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary panel, direct from Comic-Con in San Diego.

There's so much to discuss in today's Doctor Who panel that a regular hour-long session seems wildly ridiculous.

The last we saw of the Doctor, he was confronted with a previous incarnation that he had tried to forget - John Hurt The Doctor, no less - while visiting his own grave. That storyline continues into the much-anticipated 50th anniversary episode this November, which will also feature the returns of - SQUEAL! - David Tennant (also the Doctor) and Billie Piper. Not only that but it was also recently confirmed that Matt Smith will be departing the show in the Christmas special, meaning that a brand new incarnation of the Doctor is on the cards.

It's safe to say that there's a lot on the agenda in today's panel so make sure you follow along with us live below!

Please note that all times in this blog are Pacific, which is eight hours behind the UK and three hours behind the East Coast.


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Hello and thanks for joining me for my final panel here at this year's Comic-Con: Doctor Who! With minutes to go until we're underway, a clap of The Master's beat has started up in Hall H.

Huge cheers as the panel begins. "Please welcome, eclectic method," says the VO before a clip reel from the full 50-year span of the show plays out. It's a Cassette Boy-style mashup of clips and audio excerpts.

Host for this panel is Craig Ferguson! "Hello sweeties," he jokes before going on to explain his credentials to host this session. It's a carbon copy of Amy Pond's voiceover from her first episode, explaining who the Doctor is.

"I've had many faces, many lives. I don't admit to all of them. There's one life I've tried very hard to forget."

Out come the panel: producer Marcus Wilson, Mark Gatiss, David Bradley, who will play William Hartnell in An Adventure In Time And Space, Steven Moffat, Jenna Coleman and Matt Smith.

We've just watched a big old recap of the last series, ending with John Hurt declaring that he is The Doctor.

Moffat says he needs to get a bigger TV. "Matt's chin from that angle! Oh, from this angle too." Smith: "Pfft. Scottish people."

Moffat on Amy and Rory's deaths: "They did in their eighties, how much more merciful could I be?"

Gatiss talks about AAITAS. "It's the story of how a very unlikely group of people came together through a series of happy accidents to create the show that we know and love today, with David brilliantly playing the first doctor."

Bradley recalls classic Who and says "it was just something you did on a Saturday". Of his Game of Thrones backlash, he adds: "Well, the wedding invitations have dried up."

We've just watched a trailer for the drama. Did they use any of the old footage or props? Gatiss: "It's entirely a new build. One thing happened, in the original TARDIS is a brass pillar. The production designer went back and said 'we need something like this' and the guy said 'what, those?' They had some from 50 years ago just lying around."

He says that they had four Marconi cameras on set and one still worked, giving the same output it would have at the time. "I recorded it all for my own personal use," he adds.

How much does Moffat have mapped out? "I got the memo from Verity Lambert outlining what she wanted for the 50th, so I just went with that. There are a lot of things we've been lining up for a very long time and we'll resolve that in the final episode. So there's always a plan but the newest idea is always the most exciting."

Smith: "I'm very proud of what we achieved. I'm determined to make the Christmas special a real belter." Moffat says he's up to page 22 of the write.

Was Smith intimidated by his predecessors? "If you look at me and Dave, Dave is more swashbuckley with the ladies, whereas my Doctor is more flummoxed. Clara has come along and is different to Amy, she challenges him in a different way."

Trailer for the 50th anniversary upcoming. Moffat is angry because someone posted audio from the Sherlock clip the other day. He says: "If the audio for this goes online, there will be no more Comic-Con exclusives in future."

Screwdriver face-off.

Will 'The Doctor Who Experience' come to America? Smith: "I'm very happy to ask our colleagues to bring that to America. Or failing that, fly to Cardiff." Moffat: "The more people who watch Doctor Who here, the more likely it is."

"Oh, you've redecorated. I don't like it."

Rapturous applause. Plenty for the fans to get excited about there. A lot of Tennant in the clip.

Moffat: "… and you've seen nothing yet."

Audience Q&A time. What were their favourite scenes from last season? Smith: "At the start of The Name of the Doctor, when Clara is visiting all eleven of us, is really cool." Coleman: "I also love the TARDIS on the cloud. It was such a strong image for me."

Any more episodes planned for America? Smith: "I want to go on record as saying I really want to shoot the Christmas special in America. Can we afford it? Is this a maybe?"

Moffat: "We might go back to America if we can think of a good reason to go there." Typical enthusiasm from the Moff, there.

Gatiss: "I've had a good idea for a story. There should be an alien invasion of Comic-Con. Because who would know?"

Would they do another story like 'The Satan Pit'? Moffat: "Everything's up for grabs. I love that story too. So absolutely." What an odd question.

Panel regular 'button lady' asks how Moffat views the Doctor. "There is only one Doctor. He lives in the moment all the time.He never looks back because if he does he'd be staring all day. He's every age at once. He's a child, he's a stroppy teenager, he's a middle-aged grump, all at once. The thing to date Matt has done the best is to combine the old man and the child. He doesn't know he's the hero."

What was their favourite memory from filming series seven? Moffat: "At the very beginning we did Asylum of the Daleks, and I went into a room where all of the Daleks were sitting there. Every kind of Dalek, it was brilliant."

Moffat confirms he hasn't picked Matt's replacement yet.

Why wasn't Captain Jack in the 50th and will he come back in future? Moffat: "You can't put everybody in the 50th. How do you know what is and what is not in the 50th? I have lied my arse off for months. You know nothing so don't make presumptions. It's always story-driven. If we have a great idea for Captain Jack, he'll come back. If we don't, he won't."

Smith: "As I'm on the way out, I just wanted to say thank you for your encouragement and support."

How has Who changed Coleman's life? "It's changing every day at quite a fast rate. This is new. I get filled with the magic of it all, particularly this year to be part of this celebration."

Is there a difference between UK fans and US fans? Smith: "You're all louder, which is great."

If they could play any character, who would it be? Smith: "Probably The Master, because eI think he's quite alternative and it's quite meaty." Coleman: "I'd play Strax." Moffat: "You're not tall enough." Gatiss: "I'd like to be Jo Grant."

Has Moffat ever written anything and thought 'I've gone too far'? "Yes, and then we put it on television."

If they could take the TARDIS back to a moment in their lives, what would it be? Moffat: "That's a deeply personal question." Smith: "Some I can say in a room full of 7000 people, some I just can't."

Ferguson does a straw poll of how many people in the room watch it legally as opposed to illegally. The naughty pirates win. Moffat: "I think that's a big wake-up call to everyone working in television right there."

What are their favourite River Song moments? Smith: "So many. I love the scene in her prison and she kisses me. She's so camp." Moffat: "I quite like the farewell scene. It's the first time we've ever seen The Doctor kiss someone else, him take the lead, and no-one remarked on it, I was quite surprised."

If they could create their own alien monster to battle, what would it be? Coleman: "I'm picturing lots of arms right now." Smith: "I'd quite like something great and big that would chase you. Although no, I like the psychological ones."

Ferguson rants about the contradiction of a Weeping Angels 'action' figure. Moffat: "I've written three Weeping Angels stories, and they're hell to write. How do you write a chase scene for something that doesn't bloody move?"

And that's a wrap on this panel and in fact for my coverage of this year's Comic-Con at large. Thanks so much for joining me this year, I hope you enjoyed it. See you next year!

And that's a wrap on this panel and indeed my coverage of this year's Comic-Con as a whole. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you again next year!

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