SDCC 2012 Nerd HQ – Doctor Who Panel Recap & Gallery

Conversations for a Cause at SDCC 2012 was a selection of panels hosted offsite at Nerd HQ, which raised money for the international children’s charity Operation Smile. Money was raised through the $20 panels, photo ops at the HQ, and spontaneous auctions. It has been reported that around $140,000 was raised.

If you would like to join the cause and donate to help a child gain something we take for granted every day — a smile — you can do so here.

The air in the back room of Nerd HQ, set up and staged for the panels held all weekend long there, was absolutely electric on Saturday evening. I’ve been to Doctor Who panels at the actual Con before, and while those are exciting in part due to having 6,000 more screaming fans behind you in the room waving their sonic screwdrivers (also, an overnight wait in line where you start to wonder about your sanity is part of the fun, I swear!), absolutely nothing beats intimacy. So in the few minutes before the panel started, with 250+ odd people filling both seats and the standing room only area, the excitement around the room was palpable., co-sponsor of Nerd HQ this year, has each and every panel archived on their site for your viewing pleasure (another reason you should go make a donation to Operation Smile: a thank you for the courtesy!). I’ve embedded the video below our photo gallery. I highly suggest you put aside an hour to watch; it was fantastically entertaining. That said, if you don’t have the time, some of the highlights include:

  • Matt Smith telling a little girl who asked if he was scared of the Weeping Angels that they are very scary, but not to worry — he’s there to fight them off.
  • The “Ponds” describing their upcoming work plans. Karen Gillan: films called Not Another Happy Ending and Oculus. Arthur Darvill: a play in London with his best friend, and then working alongside David Tennant on Broadchurch.
  • Is River Song coming back? Well, after explaining that they have gotten very good at talking without saying anything (and Matt Smith calling her Amy Pond’s mother accidentally), they go on to hedge but essentially confirm she will appear.
  • Karen Gillan cried for two weeks after she and Arthur Darvill filmed their last scenes. She also mentioned that she’s never had siblings, but now thanks to Matt and Arthur she knows exactly what that’s like.
  • What would they be doing if they weren’t acting? They all answered for each other, with Matt saying that Karen would be in a girl band (“I’m too tall! I’d just be the weird one in the back…”), Arthur saying Matt would be a footballer, and Karen choosing contemporary dancer for Arthur’s alternate career path.
  • Matt goading Arthur and into reprising the rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” they’d sung on a rickshaw (pedicab) whilst riding throughout the streets of the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego. Hilarious. Off key. Garbled lyrics. But so very much enthusiasm!
  • Matt then goading Karen into doing a rather frightening Dalek impression, to round out the night!

Check out the photos in the gallery below, or scroll further for a video of the full panel (archived courtesy

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