Monday, July 27, 2009

Comic-Con: Day Four Recap

Our intrepid reporter Robin survived all four days of Comic-Con. Here's her day four recap, featuring lots of Who-vian goodness. Please join me in thanking Robin for all her hard work covering this event for us. She eased the pain for those of us who had to armchair it from home!

First off, thanks to everyone who left encouraging comments or RTed me on Twitter! Being my particular flavor of nerd I do worry that I'm running off at the mouth and nobody else in the room is particularly interested, so I really appreciate the feedback :)

Yesterday morning. Well, we got home around 11:30 the night before, and set our alarms for 5am. Except I accidentally set mine for Mon-Fri, and our host shut hers down and went back to sleep. We eventually rose from the grave around 6:15 and were out the door by 7 (we had meant to leave by 6, but... yeah.) Still, we got good parking and scurried off to get in the Ballroom 20 line yet again, not wanting to take any chances that we might miss out on Doctor Who! We were in line by 8:15, and while there were plenty of people ahead of us, there was no doubt we'd get decent seats, which was a nice feeling after days of wondering if we'd be able to see things. Also a nice feeling? Recovering my camera at Lost & Found!

So, the panel. First of all, David Tennant is every bit as skinny as he looks on Doctor Who, possibly skinnier. Second, they immediately addressed the rampant rumor that they were going to announce a Doctor Who movie; they are not. However, Julie Gardner says, the strength of and response to the rumor has made them think it might not be a bad idea!

They showed a teaser reel for the last 10th Doctor specials, which included glimpses of Donna and her grandfather, the Ood, and, somehow, the Master! Who knows how that works, but it took up all our dinner conversation trying to figure out where he might have come from.

There was a lot of discussion of the finale and the new doctor, mostly because there was the distinct feeling that the fans need some reassuring. They told us the finale is quite the tear-jerker, but that we should have faith that after a few episodes, we'll all be full-fledged Doctor Eleven fans.

Other tidbits. A man from the Guinness book of world records arrived to award Doctor Who a plaque for being the most successful show ever on TV. David Tennant loves Firefly and Serenity but his brown coat isn't an homage; he just really wanted to wear a long coat.

They ended the panel with a clip from "Water of Mars,"which looks pretty creepy. It also ended with a scene of the Doctor saying "I don't hear anyone knocking!" followed by four loud knocks on the metal door. One of my party pointed out that the Doctor was told in "Planet of the Dead" by the psychic that "your song is ending... he will knock four times" so we're very curious now!

Uninterested in American Dad, we then hit the show floor one last time, miraculously just in time to score a Doctor Who swag bag at the BBC booth! I'd been trying all week to get one! After sleeping through my alarm, getting pulled over and interrogated to make sure I'm actually who my badge says, and being yelled at to roll up my pants cuffs before getting on the escalator, I figure recovering my camera and getting a Who bag more than made up for all of it!

After wandering the floor a bit more, looking for end-of-show sales and giveaways, and deciding we were pretty much Comic-Con-ned out, we headed back up to Ballroom 20 to snag seats for the afternoon panels including Torchwood. We sat through short panels for a few indie movies, during which I promptly fell asleep, folded over in my chair (a fun way to make up, lemme tell you. Sal says Alien Trespass looks like could be pretty good. It's an attempt to recreate a 50's-style sci-fi). The BBC is clever, and realized they had our undivided attention prior to the Torchwood panel, so they took that opportunity to push a new show called Being Human about a vampire, werewolf and ghost living in Bristol (a drama, though, not a sitcom or anything). The director explained that the original concept for the show had been about humans: a recovering sex addict, a man dealing with anger issues, and an agoraphobic, but the idea didn't take off until they realized it could be translated into a more supernatural context. Interesting enough that I'll certainly give it a try. Also the young actors were adorably excited to be there-- one even asked us to do a "Mexican Wave" (British for The Wave) so he could film it, and was very excited when we immediately complied.

What can be said about the Torchwood panel? Granted, I'm not the most eloquent person, and as a scientist my communication skills often leave much to be desired, but how does one adequately describe John Barrowman? Every inch a showman, a larger-than-life personality (he actually throws his head back to laugh, which I find endearing), happiest in front of an adoring crowd, and incapable of avoiding saying anything dirty even when he tries.

I will avoid spoilers here, as I actually haven't seen all of Children of Earth yet. However, I will say that probably 50% of the panel was spent talking about Ianto (at the first mention of the name, Barrowman ducked under the table) and at least 50% of shouts from the audience were Ianto-supportive (the other 50% were mostly "we love you!" and "you're hot!"). Another 10-15% of the panel was spent worrying that people won't like Captain Jack anymore after the events of Children of Earth, though the crowd noise convinced them that things might be okay after all.

Like the Doctor Who panel in the morning, this one ended too soon, but John Barrowman seemed just as reluctant to end it as we were. He stood on his chair to wave goodbye. But we had the Buffy sing-a-long to look forward to, so that softened the blow a little. Not only that, but we were able to move up to the front section of seats with a great view of the screen.

Having been energized by caffeine and Barrowman, we were very excited to finally participate in an event like this. We missed all the previous ones (when they were playing around the country), and then the network got all snooty and decided nobody should have them. Volunteers passed out commemorative buttons, prop parking tickets (with fines for things like "Parking on the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' Sign"), and little rubber monster finger puppets appropriate for "grr, argh"ing. I hadn't watched the episode in a long time, but it was the one that got me into Buffy when I was in college so all sorts of warm fuzzies there. And it's so much fun to sing! We didn't have actors performing the parts onstage like Rocky Horror or the original OMWF shows, but it was still hugely entertaining. Boy, can Anthony Stewart Head sing!

It was a really lovely way to end the con for me, on -- literally-- a high note. Even though I'm sad it's over, I am exhausted and have a giant pile of swag to sort through in an effort to get everything onto the airplane with me. Not to mention several pages of quotes to write up and a memory card full of pictures to sort and upload. Thanks to our wonderful blogmistress, and to all of you for letting me share this experience -- I'm neurotic enough that I always need to feel like I'm doing something constructive, and being able to act as correspondent fit the bill and then some!

P.S. Pre-registration is already open for next year. Just, you know, for your information.


Red said...

So looking forward to the quotes. And pictures.

Thanks for doing this.

jessi said...

Thanks, Robin! Reading your posts was almost as good as being there myself. :)

alexis said...

I should get my tickets for 2010 now.

Thanks for all the reporting. *e-hug*

Cara King said...

Thanks for keeping us informed, Robin! And so glad you got your camera back!

Sarah Blue said...

Robin, Thank you, thank you, thank you!

There is no way that I could have gone this year but there were so many great events happening that I really wished that I could somehow particpate. And you answered that wish. Reading your recaps has just brightened my day and, as cheesy as it sounds, lightened my heart. Seriously! Haha! Talk about being a nerd. ;) Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Dayna said...

Reading your posts were almost as good as being there. And I'm really kinda jealous you got to see David Tennant, John Barrowman AND the Mythbuster guys.

And you think Anthony Stewart-Head can sing in Buffy, hon you have got to see Repo! The Genetic Opera. He plays a wicked tortured docter/organ repossession fella and sings his pants off. Well not literally...though that would have been just as fabulous.

Cel'eena Cree said...

thanks a lot for your recaps, Robin. I don't think I'd go to the san diego comic con even if I lived in the US, the queuing and disappointment sounds too much for me to handle. But I look forward to reading some more recaps next year, and I plan to attend the slightly smaller London Film and Comic Con next year.

Cel'eena Cree said...

Dayna - I LOVE Repo! Anthony Stewart Head is absolutely amazing.

Dani said...

Definitely give Being Human a watch - it's been airing in the UK for a few months now and is seriously enjoyable. Also, I am j-to the-ealous about Mythbusters.

JusticeRobin said...

oh em gee you guys thanks so much for all your kind words! It's really nice to know you all enjoyed them. I had to actually go to work today so the quotes didn't get done, but they're coming, I promise, and I've even found illicit YouTube videos for some of them.