Doctor Who stars charm at Minneapolis Comic-Con

Categories: Nerdery
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Photos by Stacy Schwartz
Karen Gillan and Matt Smith at their Comic Con talks
After years of being pranked by her co-star, former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan hatched a plan Saturday afternoon to get back at her former Doctor, Matt Smith.

What if, Gillan proposed, when Smith came out for his Sunday noontime talk, he was introduced as David Tennant, the actor who played the iconic Time Lord in the years before Smith took on the role?

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Alas, it didn't work. Smith was introduced as Smith, and he promised revenge when he learned of the plot later. "Oh Karen. She's going down," he said.

Even though the two actors appeared at the Minneapolis Convention Center a day apart, you could feel the chemistry between the two. The pair performed together for two and a half seasons on the iconic, half-century-running British television program, and were both in their 20s when they landed what likely is the biggest roles of their lives. 

"Matt and I are like two idiots together," Gillan said.

Smith's childlike energy certainly has connected to a new generation of fans. There were plenty of youngsters who were just babies when the revamped show returned in 2005. A lot of them carried replica sonic screwdrivers, while wearing bow ties and fez hats (all available in the dealers' room, of course).

Smith said that he wasn't even disappointed to have lost out on the role of Watson in Sherlock. "At the time I thought, 'Oh damn.' The scripts were really good," he said.

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Photos by Stacy Schwartz
The TARDIS was in attendance, and had a question for Matt Smith
Of course, being Watson would have meant no Doctor, and "Martin [Freeman] was meant to be Watson," he added. (Side note: The above question was asked by perhaps the best Doctor Who related costume at the event, a walking police box.)

For Smith, the big news, announced on Friday, was that he will be in the cast for the next Terminator film. "I've been implanted with a chip. If I talk about it, my head will explode," he said when asked to reveal any details about the film.

Gillan had her own non-Doctor-Who related project to hype: Guardians of the Galaxy (she's also in the now-running Oculus). Co-star Michael Rooker even made a guest appearance at the end of her talk. Her role is the villainous Nebula. Going to the dark side was a thrill for the actor, though she did work hard to make sure Nebula had motivation deeper than just being bad, she said.

Often, the tone of the discussion turns on the kind of questions asked. Smith was put at ease very early on as he was asked about football -- he had ambitions as a youth of playing professionally -- which gave him a chance to talk about his favorite team (Blackburn Rovers, who just missed out on a chance to play at the top tier of English football next year), and add a note about names: "If you keep calling it soccer I'm going to go crazy. And it's rubbish, not trash."

Plenty of the questions were certainly ones asked every time out (His favorite classic Doctor? Patrick Troughton. Favorite episode he wasn't in? "Tomb of the Cybermen." Favorite monster? The Weeping Angels.), but Smith and Gillan answered them all with plenty of good humor. 

When asked who his favorite companion was, Smith hemmed and hawed for quite a bit, not wanting to commit to Gillan or Jenna Coleman. "It's like cheating on your girlfriend," he said.

Of course, Smith's time in the Tardis is gone, having given way to Peter Capaldi on last year's Christmas episode.

"Peter will be brilliant. He'll do something inventive and new," Smith said. "I'm a fan like you guys now. It will be a new show and a different show."

Gillan was thrilled to have another Scotsman in the lead role (he's the third, joining Sylvester McCoy and Tennant) and hopes that they will let the actor be his foul-mouthed best. "I think they should have him swear a lot, but have vortex noises when he does," Gillan said.

And Smith admits he would love to be back in the control room. "I asked Steven [Moffat, the show's producer] when is the earliest we could do another anniversary show," Smith said.


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