Doctor Who At Comic-Con

Doctor Who has just gone down a storm in the Hall H Comic-Con panel, where 6000 Who fans (some of whom had been camping for days to make sure they got in) got their chance to come face-to-face with cast and crew – very, very loudly.

With Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, producer Caroline Skinner and Who’s main man Steven Moffat on the stage, it was a mix of chat, audience questions and a couple of clips from the new series – clips we won’t be treated to in the UK. Eek!

There wasn’t much in the way of news we didn’t already know. Moffat teased about answering the big “Doctor Who?” poser set at the end of series six. Apparently it’s incredibly important: “And only I know why.” He also said of the new series, “I don’t think we’ve ever had a bigger variety of episodes than the ones we’re about to show.”

Elsewhere, Karen Gillan revealed that she cried for two weeks when they were filming Amy’s final episodes and that she’d like to appear in Community‘s “Inspector Spacetime”, while Matt Smith said he’d like the Doctor to go to Atlantis, and recalled the experience of meeting a fan who thought he was a replica of her pet hedgehog. Weird. Otherwise, it was all about the clips

The first clip [MILD SPOILERS AHEAD] was from Toby Whithouse’s Western episode. It opens in a quintessential movie saloon, with the Doctor striding through the saloon doors with the walk of a skinny John Wayne. Matchstick in mouth, he goes to the bar where he asks for, “Tea. The strong stuff. Leave the bag in.”

When he introduces himself as the Doctor, they all stand up in the usual way a Western crowd does when a melee is about to ensue – and a man comes to take his measurements. It turns out he’s an undertaker (a similar gag was used in Back To The Future: Part III). A barfly then asks if the Doctor’s an alien. “That’s all relative, isn’t it. I think you’re the aliens. But in this context yes, yes I suppose I am.”

The second scene was considerably bigger in scope, and delivered on what Moffat described as “the secret of success” – putting dinosaurs on a spaceship. It began with the Doctor in an Egyptian pyramid, being seduced by a very keen Queen Nefertiti who he’s clearly just helped to solve a little locust infestation. He receives a message from the ISA, who say that a rather odd-looking ship the size of Canada will hit Earth in just over six hours.

With Queen Nef still in tow, he picks up Edwardian explorer (played by Sherlock’s Rupert Graves), before paying a call on the Ponds for the first time in ten months – materialising the TARDIS around their living room, where Rory is fixing a lightbulb with his dad Brian (played by Mark Williams).

Soon they’re on the Canada-sized ship, which is full of cobwebs – Brian looks rather confused, while the Doctor is delighted to have a gang. “I’ve never really had a gang before. It’s new.” [Maybe he's forgotten about "Journey's End"]. Then a big door opens in front of them, and – as we all know – that normally means danger in the Whoniverse. Waiting for them are a pair of ankylosaurus dinosaurs, and as the Doctor tells everyone else to “Run!”, the fun glint in his eye suggests he’s just as excited as us. Dinosaurs. On. A. Spaceship. Beats Snakes On A Plane any day. The new series can’t come soon enough…

Look out for more Doctor Who stories from San Diego over the coming days. To see how it happened, read our live Twitter blog from Hall H.