I wasn’t exposed to Doctor Who until about five years ago, but I dug right in at a time when all the “New Who” was available on Netflix and pretty much watched the entire series, ninth through eleventh Doctors, in about two months. Ten is my favorite doctor. Ten is everyone’s favorite Doctor, because Ten is the best Doctor.
When I found out there was a New York Comic Con panel starring the best Doctor, the second best Doctor, and the Doctor’s wife, I immediately snatched up the assignment to cover the panel. And then I found out it was off site. Hammerstein Ballroom. Okay. Not a deal breaker. Transportation in New York terrifies me, but the Hammer (I don’t know if anyone calls it that, but I’m going to) is only a few blocks from the Javits, so it was an easy walk.
Then I found out this panel cost money. Tickets ranged between $19 and $249. Still not a deal breaker. I love some Doctor Who. My ticket cost about eighty bucks. I don’t know where those nineteen dollar tickets could possibly have even been, because I was in the THIRD BALCONY, and the only seat assignment I could pick was in the second row from the back.
When I arrived for the show on Friday night, I discovered the balcony was actually “General Seating,” so I actually ended up with a pretty good view from the front row. Not “crystal clear pictures from a cell phone camera” good, but the crazy lighting probably played more than a small role in that hiccup.
The show started with a DJ and an emcee running around giving away prizes, including a sweet nine disc DVD set of every episode of the third best Doctor, Peter Capaldi, which I won somehow. The rules of the game weren’t very clear. I was just sitting there. I didn’t answer a trivia question or anything. The oddness of the pre-game was nothing compared to how crazy the games would get later, though.
Finally, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Alex Kingston took the stage. Aaron Sagers asked the former castmates a bunch of the staple questions, to which he received not one straight answer. After a while, the floor mics were opened up, and Tennant promised pastry prizes for good questions, but he was oddly stingy with the cakes.
Then, it was time to play games. This is when the show went completely off the rails. Contestants were plucked from the audience. They performed challenges for pastries, but the rules were never really established, so folks were being eliminated left and right with little rhyme or reason, given pastries that some had to return. It was one of the oddest things I have ever seen, and it was dead brilliant. There were impersonations, and trivia, and at a few points we were serenaded by the whole trio.. It was absolutely bonkers.
The only note that I have (beside the price point and location) is that this all-star comedy variety show was slightly dominated by David Tennant. I mean, I don’t mind. He IS the greatest Doctor. I just know that Matt Smith and Alex Kingston are also very funny, and I wouldn’t have minded just a little more even distribution of mic time.