Doctor Who Season 8

Doctor Who took Hall H by storm this year, welcoming Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi to Comic-Con for the very first time. “I’ve never been in front of 7,000 people in my life,” he remarked upon seeing the crowd. But it didn’t take him long to adjust. He and the other panelists — stars Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez, and showrunner Steven Moffat — quickly won over the Whovians who’d waited all day.

Over the course of an hour, the group discussed the shifting dynamics between the characters, the “reckless” adventures of Season 9, the possibilities of a female Doctor, the likelihood of a Sherlock crossover, and more. Hit the jump for all the Doctor Who Comic-Con panel highlights.

UPDATE: Watch the full Doctor Who Comic-Con panel after the jump.

(And don’t forget to watch, or rewatch, the Doctor Who Season 9 trailer here.)

5 Things We Learned from the Doctor Who Comic-Con Panel

Clara and the Doctor are tighter than ever, and eager for adventure.

It took Clara, and us, a while to get to the newest incarnation of the Doctor. “There aren’t many shows where you switch the lead actor mid-scene,” Coleman pointed out. She described the relationship between them in Season 8 as “experimental,” since they were still “figuring each other out.”

Toward the end of Season 8, however, they finally “found their groove” as Coleman put it. And that united front will continue as the pair head into Season 9. “They’re very much a team. They are very united in the TARDIS, eating up time and space with reckless abandon.”

Among other things, that means Clara will get a chance to teach the Doctor a thing or two. “Clara helps him with his social skills, tries to make him more of a welcome party guest,” teased Capaldi.

Clara is still reeling from the events of Season 8.

Season 8 saw Clara suffering a major tragedy, and with that comes “a change in perspective,” explained Coleman. “The idea that life is short and I want to live it and feel it and feel alive, and eat up time and space with my best friend in the TARDIS. That’s what she wants.”

But it may not be an entirely healthy change. Coleman acknowledged that Clara could be “running,” and suggested that it may become difficult for Clara to compartmentalize her adventures with the Doctor. “How do you go back to living on Earth, living a normal life?” she said. “I think it becomes addictive, and that’s part of the problem.”

Missy and the Doctor’s dynamic will evolve next season.

While the panel wouldn’t give away too many details about Missy and the Doctor’s relationship in Season 9, rest assured it’ll continue to evolve. “She has to come at it from a different angle, which is surprising and exciting to play,” teased Gomez. “There’s a different dynamic to her.” Moffat later added, “The way Missy comes back into the Doctor’s life is probably not something you’re going to predict.”

The panel also discussed the unusual nature of the characters’ connection. “If you really break it down, it’s a great friendship that just went wrong. We’ve all had them,” said Gomez. Moffat agreed. “They are friends, that’s the terrifying thing. It’s a friendship between a vegetarian and a hunter.” Capaldi weighed in as well. “I think she distresses him terribly,” he said. “I think his heart kind of sinks [when he sees her].”

Don’t hold your breath for a female Doctor.

When a fan (who happened to be a woman in Eleventh Doctor cosplay) asked whether we might ever see a female Doctor, Moffat was quick to point out that “there is no vacancy. You just met Peter Capaldi.” He then continued:

I think my opinion is fairly obvious from the show. What I think about the possibility, and whether it would work or not? I think I’ve expressed myself about as clearly as I could, in the context of the show. If you’re not reading the subtext, then God help you. But some people aren’t reading that subtext because it’s too subtle.

For his part, though, Capaldi is happy to make it happen… in his own way. “Maybe I should do a drag episode, just to try it out,” he joked. But Coleman gave the most diplomatic answer. “I’m sure it’ll happen at some point. But as Steven said, it’s just about finding the right actor,” she said.

Steven Moffat is totally up for a Doctor Who / Sherlock crossover.

Moffat once again addressed the possibility of a Doctor Who / Sherlock crossover. “Just for the record, I have no problem with them meeting. It’s all the rest of them that have a problem with it,” he said. “I’d do anything for a laugh. I’m a tart.”

That said, there’s no guarantee the characters would even hit it off, if they ever do meet. “They’re very different. I’m not sure how they’d get on,” he said. Things might even get competitive — when a fan asked Capaldi how his Doctor would react to Sherlock, he responded, “More cleverly.”

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