If our first experience at New York Comic Con HAD to come to an end (but WHY, though?), at least we went out with a mile-high mic drop. Sunday was our most productive day; from the second we stepped into the Javits Center, we were making moves, sucking every last second of nerdy joy out of our final hours. I swear that something wibbly wobbly occurred, because time flew by. Before Kim and I could get a grip on what was happening, we were spit back out onto 11th Avenue with the rest of the crowd, a little dazed and a lot elated. Hey, at least we got to meet Tom Mison.
- Having learned our lesson from our failure to get into the Who panel on Saturday, we booked it over to the Gareth David-Lloyd Q&A the minute the doors opened. (Line free. Thank you, press passes.) Of course you know Gareth as the enigmatic tea boy turned bad-ass operative (and Jack Harkness sex toy, but really, who isn’t?) Ianto Jones on Torchwood. I demanded we show up for his panel as our penance for missing The John Barrowman Bottomless Variety Hour at Stage 1-E the night before. And Kim, though I told her she was guaranteed to learn Ianto’s fate before the first question was even asked, was still game to accompany me. Only fair really, since the The Walking Dead panel spoiled me like it was My Super Sweet Sixteen. (“Not THAT car, Mom. I wanted it in BLUE. *cries* You’re such a BITCH.”)
- Gareth was solo onstage and moderated the panel himself, so cheers. We were warned by some Con veterans that some of the audience would be writers trying to work out plot points in their fic. But that couldn’t be true, right? Until about five different versions of the question, “So…say Ianto came back. HOW would that happen? Exactly. In as much detail as you can give us,” were asked, we didn’t believe it. Write your own stories, girls. Gareth isn’t going to do it for you. But he DID express his desire to play an evil, alt-universe Ianto, so get to work on that one, Woodies.
- Predictably, we spent a big chunk of the session discussing the whereabouts of John Barrowman’s member at any given time. Like in this exchange:
Audience member: “Were there any props that you stole or wanted to steal?”
Gareth: “There are lots of props I’ve wanted to steal, but you never know which ones John Barrowman has touched with his penis.”
- Gareth also had to dispel some rumor about an untoward incident in the filming of the shed scene that John was apparently spreading in HIS panel. “He twists things around,” Gareth said. “He accidentally touched MY knob.” I don’t know WHO to believe, but at least somebody was touching SOMEONE’S and that’s all that matters.
- We talked about Gareth’s band Blue Gillespie (Ianto has a metal band – who knew?), who are on hiatus for the forseeable future; his Hogwarts house: Slytherin, clearly; what Ianto would be like as a companion (“Brilliant!”); and how the absence of the Welsh backdrop affected the vibe of the Miracle Day series. He further won us over with his responses to questions about his character’s sexuality (“I don’t see how it’s different from playing anyone else.”) and by remembering the name of the THRILLED little boy who was obviously Gareth’s biggest fan. Thanks to Mr. David-Lloyd for an informative, funny panel and, most of all, for that threadbare t-shirt.
- After holding the door for Gareth, his wife, and baby daughter (Kim: “We are nothing if not polite), we scurried up to the Press Lounge to check in for the #SassyHollow press roundtable. Check out Kim’s post for all the details on our interviews with the stars and creators of our new favorite genre series!
- We ended up not needing the Reserved Seating passes we scored for the Big Finish/Doctor Who panel in the main stage. The queue hall was strangely empty, with the brain-eating fervor of Saturday’s Walking Dead fanatics but a memory. If the session had been about the 50th or the television series in general, it would have been a different story. Still, 1-D was packed with fez-wearing, sonic-carrying Whovians. We wondered if the tween Claras and teen Elevens we saw would be disappointed by an hour-long discussion on radio dramas starring the Doctors from the classic era. And, though they were there to pimp the new audio story The Light at the End, the first question asked of panelists Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon, and more); Big Finish producer Jason Haigh-Ellery; and Sixth Doctor Colin Baker was, “Can you tell us anything about what happens in the 50th?” *sigh*
- Colin Baker is quite crotchety, but tried to insist that the shade he threw at the Doctors who came after him (McCoy and Tennant, specifically) was all in good fun and part of a tradition of friendly shit-talking. Eh, nice try. He DID have some lovely things to say about the modern series though. When asked what episode or moment he would have liked to have been a part of, he waxed poetic on the pure Doctor-ness of Nine’s “Everybody lives.” “Just this once, Rose.” Ugh. On the other hand – he also claims that, since we never saw him regenerate, that he’s STILL the real Doctor and that we should all “rise up and follow” him. Bitter, table for Six?
- Nick Briggs teased EVERYONE by saying that he had just run into Peter Capaldi at the BBC after his make-up and costume tests. “WHAT IS HE WEARING?” Kim and I demand, through gritted teeth. He also described his first table read with Eccles and B.Pips, which gave us a bit of the vapors. As any mention of Nine and Rose is wont to do.
- As the kids toddled out in their tiny Ten suits, we swept up to the front for the cornerstone of our weekend, the pièce de résistance, the cherry on top of the nonfat tofutti rice dreamsicle: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny Talk X-Files. Now, these two have been trolling us all weekend, from their Reddit AMA and this rude photo to their flirty Paley Center Q&A. At this point, I’m just begging for mercy. They walked out on stage, looking just as otherworldly and beautiful as they were for our photo session on Saturday, and sat so close together that I almost had to leave the room right then.
- Who in the hell booked the moderator for this panel and has he or she been fired yet? Kim and I were about to give him the ol’ giant hook and take over that bitch. His questions were awkwardly phrased, confusing, and way too serious for the occasion. Would that he had AT LEAST watched the SDCC panel or read up on the Paley session to avoid asking THE SAME QUESTIONS they’d answered either THE DAY BEFORE or back in July. No one in that room wanted to hear them answer, “What kind of research did you do for your roles?” because WHAT RESEARCH. EVERYONE wanted to hear them talk about hanging out with the Lone Gunmen or that time that Scully ate a bug or, truly, what they do on their date nights that we all know they have. DD and GA did their best to steer their answers into a direction that wouldn’t put everyone to sleep, and at one point, Gillian checked out and got her patented gag reel giggles. When the moderator asked what future projects they had coming up, as if Google had not yet been invented and IMDB were an advancement decades away, David said, “I don’t think these people want to hear about anything else we’re doing. I think they want to talk about The X-Files. Cue the screams and fans running to the mic to line up for questions. And finally, Nerves McGee segued into the Q&A.
- It was terribly fitting that the panel was on October 13th, an important date and number for all X-Philes. It’s also Chris Carter’s birthday, so David videoed the whole room singing to our beloved showrunner. Wish you were here, Chris!
- Gillian had a black trench over her now traditional Con gear of a “COTR” (Conversation on the Rock – you remember) t-shirt, but was still chilly. So David took off his jacket and DRAPED it over her shoulders like Cary god damn Grant and everybody passed out. She wore it for the rest of the panel.
- Someone asked David and Gillian to improv for one minute as Mulder and Scully, and they actually went for it. Gillian started with a “Mulder, it’s me.” and David quickly took it into the direction we all wanted it to go with a “Scully, what are you wearing?” (Kim and I are clutching each other, at this point.)
- As Gillian struggled to answer another FAR too serious question about Scully’s faith and scientific background, David leaned over and tapped her mic sarcastically.” “Yeah…I’m talking shit.”
- Someone asked what it was like to carry the characters of Mulder and Scully with them throughout their careers. Both David and Gillian said they don’t feel like they do, more than they do any other role they’ve ever played. But David did say that he will occasionally sign emails to Gillian, “Mulder.” How many emails is that a year? Five? Gillian: “That’s what you tell people.” YOU GUYS.
- A fan asked them if they were willing to do DVD commentary on episodes, which led David to do a FLAWLESS impression of Gillian (who doesn’t have the best memory) doing commentary. “Oh, hey! It’s that guy! He was nice.”
- FI-NAL-LY, a kind soul asked about the relationship between the two hottest agents in the FBI (besides my boo AD Skinner). Gillian said that she liked that the writers were clever enough to keep them apart for as long as possible, so that every hug, touch, or glance was really meaningful. On cue, David reaches out and touches her shoulder (*screams*), then slides his hand under the table and onto her lap (*SCREAMS*). “We hold hands,” she says coyly, though we can all tell from the angle that his hand is on her thigh. And he keeps it there. Check, please.
- The final question starts out a little cryptically, with a fan talking about how The X-Files taught him about how important it is to have a partner – to challenge you, to have your back, to go through life with. Ooookay? (We heard a LOT of proselytizing this weekend, so forgive our cynicism.) But all was forgiven when the man said “I have a request and a question. The request is if I could have your blessing, and the question actually is to my girlfriend.” That’s right. He PROPOSED TO HIS GIRLFRIEND in front of all of us. Everyone LOST it. She said yes, clearly, (What ELSE would you say to a man who asked you to marry him at Comic Con?! Honey, he’s a KEEPER!) and David invited them onstage for handshakes and hugs. What a joyous way to end our weekend. Do you feel the love, people?
But what of the f-word I promised in the title of this post? Someone asked Colin Baker what his favorite Doctor Who audio drama is, and he refused to answer. He doesn’t like the “f-word,” he said, because it implies something negative about whatever you don’t choose. Comic Con is all about the love (and selling things, but ALSO LOVE), no matter what your f-word show, movie, comic, or novel is. With the exception of a very few bad apples, every single person we met this weekend was kind, helpful, and passionate about whatever they were there to experience. And wherever our oasis of nerdity is – Tumblr, Reddit, Comic Con, your own basement – let’s take what we love from there out onto the streets. Live out loud, fellow geeks. See you next year.