Once Upon a Time in San Diego

It goes without saying that the events and festivities of the San Diego Comic-Con are legend in the fan communities. From the marketing blitz, to the exclusive merchandising, to the star-studded panels and appearances, it’s a tremendous amount of stimuli to take in if you’re fortunate (crazy?) enough to attend. But on occasions such as this one, where BBC America hosts a bevy of panels, press interviews, and product announcements accompanied by the incoming cast and crew of Doctor Who, you don’t even have to have been there to have your mind blown. Our own brainpans are still fizzling and steaming, days later.

This week, we attempt to process everything that was given to us by cast, crew, and the BBC themselves over the course of the San Diego Comic-Con 2018 weekend. From the release of the new official trailer (in which more words are heard by our Thirteenth Doctor than ever before), to wonderful panels and press interviews with Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and even producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, to the introduciton and opening sale of the new sonic screwdriver, it’s a cornucopia of Whovian delights.

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Our Summer Smorgasbord

The Stockbridge Showdown

The Stockbridge Showdown (DW Magazine #500): Artist: David Gibbons

Sometimes, we admit, we’re a little easy to distract. Shiny objects, loud noises, one-day sales on sweet-and-salty snacks at the market, the fascinating array of human display at shopping malls, casinos, and convention floors. But we choose to see this as an asset, rather than a weakness: it allows us to be able to absorb Whovian stimuli from a myriad of sources without allowing the majority of our synapses to sizzle out irrevocably. (Note that we said “the majority”, but not “any”. Do you smell toast?)

GPR at ConnectiConThis week, we have resources aplenty to bring interesting Doctor Who discussion to the forefront. From a selection of panels at this month’s ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT, to the latest teaser trailer aired during the World Cup finals, to a great press spread in the Radio Times, Whovians have a LOT to digest. Belly up!

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Broadchurch In Space?: Live from (Re)Generation Who 4

There are those who love the chair-gripping suspense of a complex, trust-no-one thriller. Others dive deeply into whimsical, otherworldly fantasy and science fiction. Some have a place in their hearts for light comedy to provide escape from the troublesome world, or the warmth of explored relationships and character bonds. We can hope that our new showrunner has something up their sleeve to suit all viewers as we embark on Series 11 — perhaps without leaning too hard or for too long on any one style.

In the last of our panel sessions from (Re)Generation Who 4 in Baltimore, we discuss Chris Chibnall’s body of work to date, and what assumptions we can make (or hopes we can have) about what that CV will bring to the next season of Doctor Who. Joined by panelists Brian Biggs of the Whovian Running Club, Irene Richard, Charles Martin of The Space Javelin, and Ian McCann of The Casual Nexus, we do our fair share of theorizing, hypothesizing, and flat-out fantasizing about what the Autumn of 2018 will present to us.

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The Doctor-Companion Symbiosis: Live from (Re)Generation Who 4

When a relationship is forged that is truly greater as a whole than the sum of its parts, the bond can be nearly unbreakable. Not that this bond is not tested — time can be a cruel and unforgiving adversary. But with an (as of the recording) unknown set of relations between our incoming Thirteenth Doctor and no fewer than three “recurring characters”, it leads us to think long and hard about how the pair, or trio, or squad, of characters all benefit from one another’s company.

Joined by a panel of exceptional Whovian intellects, we discuss the give-and-take relationships between the Doctor and their traveling companions, both historically, and with an eye to the series to come. Among our guests are producer Joy Piedmont of Reality Bomb, professor and editor Heather McHale, and writer Nev Fountain of Big Finish. Thanks again to Onizumi Events and their exceptional staff at (Re)Generation Who for helping make this panel, and the entire convention weekend, such a success.

(Oh, and we apologize for the poor quality of Keir’s audio in the pre- and post-panel conversation. He’s clearly on the ropes at this point, and we don’t know if we’re going to keep him around. Unprofessional!)

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The Impossible Pacifist (Live)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recently wrote:

Whether we will be able to achieve world peace or not, we have no choice but to work towards that goal. If our minds are dominated by anger, we will lose the best part of human intelligence – wisdom, the ability to decide between right and wrong. Anger is one of the most serious problems facing the world today.

In the aftermath of Series 10, as we look back upon the arc of the Twelfth Doctor from “Deep Breath” curmudgeon and callousness to the pleas with the Master/Missy for kindness in “The Doctor Falls”, it reminds us that in the pursuit of a peaceful world (or Universe), there are times when even the most altruistic individual feels the pressures of maintaining pacifism in the face of compounding unrest and anger.

It got us wondering: Science fiction has historically proven that truly pacifist characters will either meet an unfortunate end, or have to set aside their ideology in dire moments in order to achieve their altruistic ends. With the War Doctor and other examples of our own beloved Time Lord following suit, is it even viable to have a truly non-confrontational character in the genre?

With continued thanks to the staff of (Re)Generation Who 4, we share our panel discussion on the idea of the Doctor as a pacifist character, how suitably the title fits, and whether there are striations in the representation or fulfillment of that descriptor across the decades of the program. Graciously joined by Charles Martin, Kathleen Schowalter, Don Klees, and Heather McHale, we also draw upon some terrific audience contribution to the conversation about science fiction, altruism, and morality.

EXTRA: How difficult could the question “Which Hogwarts house would the Doctor be sorted into” really be? Well…

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