In the final installment of our coverage of New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2018, the stars behind TV’s most iconic time-travel series—Doctor Who—talk innovation, hope, and how the show’s spirit of change creates room for new audiences while honoring the show’s traditions.
By Shani R. Friedman
On the last day of New York Comic Con, after many other panels, finally it was time for The Doctor. Which doctor? Doctor Who, of course—featuring the first woman to take over since the show debuted over a half century ago. The live stage was the final stop after a weekend of events for new doctor Jodie Whittaker, writer Chris Chibnall and producer Matt Stevens. Earlier in the afternoon, they had screened the first episode of the new season, which would also be making its global premiere later that evening. They screened a trailer, the theme of which was “It’s About Time”—a sentiment the wildly enthusiastic crowd shared.
When asked how they were doing, Whittaker—who looked quite “flash,” to use a Britishism, in her bright-red pantsuit—summed it up by saying, “We’re spent.”
The moderator noted, “The show is changing in a fundamental way. It hasn’t been like this since 1970 when the show went to color. This is your chance to do the same thing.”
Stevens replied, “Doctor Who was born out of experimental change. It’s a radical, risk-taking show. If you’ve never seen the show before you can own it this year. But it also connects back to 1963. The doctor is a beacon of hope.”
The three also talked about working with a new showrunner this season. According to Stevens, “We didn’t want to be in the studio as much as in past seasons. We left Cardiff and went to Spain. We also changed the aspect ratio of the show.”
The moderator concluded by asking the panel about how the set and overall process has been taking shape. Whittaker said, “A sense of fun and enjoyment is exuding out on the screen in a positive way. It’s been extraordinary and emotional. We’re like good mates going on an adventure.”
As I left the Javits Center after walking miles and miles over four days, racing from panel to panel, getting lost and waiting in long lines for the bathroom, I, like many who attended Comic Con, went home and took a nap. Until 2019!
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