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Doctor Who: All the highlights from San Diego Comic-Con 2018

This year’s San Diego Comic-Con took place from the 19th-22nd July, and the new Doctor Who cast and crew certainly made their presence felt at the event! 

Making their debut convention appearances were series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair) and Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), with the trio joined by new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens.

If you missed the action over the past few days, read on to discover exactly what the Doctor Who team got up to at SDCC and the Whovian treats they had in store for fans.


Although Whittaker’s attempt to use her TARDIS to get to SDCC may have been thwarted…

…nothing could stop her from eventually making it to Doctor Who‘s dedicated panel, held in Hall H on Thursday morning. Moderated by IGN’s Terri Schwartz, the Doctor Who cast and crew members present dropped several hints about the upcoming eleventh series, with their clear camaraderie and enthusiasm for the show shining through.

Panel discussion ranged from the casting of the Doctor and her new friends, to what viewers could expect from their characters and what it meant to them to be a part of the show. It was revealed that series 11 will be made up of mostly new elements – such as guest characters, villains and monsters – although there would be some nods to the history of the show. It was also confirmed that series 11 will be made up of ten standalone stories, making this year’s series the ‘perfect jumping-on point’ for potential new fans of Doctor Who.

As well as answering questions from Schwartz and the assembled fans – more details of which can be found in our coverage – the panel also saw the release of…


As is now tradition, the Doctor Who panel offered fans a glimpse of what’s to come in the show by way of a brand-new trailer, featuring the first officially-released footage of series 11.


Another SDCC exclusive was the reveal of the Doctor’s latest sonic screwdriver. Designed by new production designer Arwel Jones, the new sonic features a more naturalistic look, with a unique curved handle and a crystalline orange light.

A replica of the new sonic has been created in the US by Seven20 and in the UK by Character Options. Whilst US pre-order options are coming soon, the sonic is now available to pre-order in the UK from Character Options before it goes on sale in mid-August.


The Doctor Who panel also saw the screening of a special video welcoming Whittaker to the show, featuring reactions to last year’s announcement of her casting, fan art, celebrity endorsements, and well wishes from fans across the globe:


As well as their own panel, the Doctor Who cast and crew also took part in a separate press conference, answering questions from the gathered media.

The press conference confirmed that series 11 would be getting ‘all new stories, all new monsters, all new villains’. Also confirmed was a Christmas special, which had previously been in doubt due to the initial announcement of ten episodes seemingly precluding a festive special for this year.

Whilst the panel highlighted the increased diversity in front of the camera, Chibnall and Strevens revealed to the press that the Doctor Who team was also growing in diversity behind the camera. They confirmed that the show would be getting its first writers of colour, and that two of the five guest writer spots had gone to women. They also revealed that series 11 has an equal gender split of directors – two of each – and that all but one editor is female.

More detailed coverage of the Doctor Who press room can be found here.


Whittaker’s second panel appearance of SDCC came at Saturday’s ‘Women Who Kick Ass’ panel, presented by Entertainment Weekly. Whittaker joined the panel alongside Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s Chloe Bennet, Watchmen’s Regina King, Riverdale’s Camila Mendes, and The Darkest Mind’s Amandla Stenberg.

All five ladies dissected and shared their experiences of the representation of women in their industry, discussing the label of a ‘strong female’ and the importance of women behind the camera as well as in front.

The panel also believed that it was important that increased female representation positively influence boys and young men as well as women, with Whittaker saying:

“We want to inspire and tell little guys that you can look up to women. We can do the same things…and even more.”


Other Interviews

As well as their official panel and press room, the Doctor Who team also talked to a number of other media outlets during their time at SDCC, including IGNMTVTVLineVarietyEntertainment Weekly, and Entertainment Tonight in America and Canada.

Lego Thirteenth Doctor 

A 19,235(!)-piece Lego model of the Thirteenth Doctor took pride of place at the BBC Shop at the BBC America booth at SDCC – here’s a timelapse video of how the whole masterpiece was assembled:

The Doctor and her wife

SDCC saw the reunion of the Doctor with her wife, with Jodie Whittaker meeting up with River Song herself, Alex Kingston!

Kingston was at SDCC to take part in a panel promoting her latest project, the Sky One supernatural drama A Discovery of Witches, which has also been picked up for distribution in the US and Canada.

Although River’s story was seemingly tied up neatly in the Doctor Who 2015 Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song, this latest image offers a tantalising glimpse of what could be were River to encounter the latest incarnation of her beloved Time Lord – now Lady…

The Doctor struts her stuff on the catwalk…

…or more accurately, Jodie Whittaker, who made a surprise appearance at Her Universe’s fashion show at SDCC – much to the clearly-audible delight of an unsuspecting crowd!

After working the catwalk Whittaker stuck around for a chat about all things Who with Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein, who herself was sporting an extremely impressive Funko Pop gown adorned with approximately 500 Jack Skellington heads!

The US-based fandom fashion retailer Her Universe offers a range of Doctor Who-inspired clothing, with shipping available globally.

Doctor Who meets Brooklyn Nine Nine

The cast of Doctor Who – Whittaker, Cole and Gill – met up with the cast of  US police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a special joint photoshoot, and no doubt kick-starting the rumours that a crossover is in the offing…


What would SDCC be without Captain Jack Harkness himself, John Barrowman?

The seasoned actor and entertainer made another Comic-Con appearance this year, trading in his spectacular TARDIS dress of last year for an equally spectacular take on Captain America – declaring himself ‘Captina Americana’:

A post shared by John Barrowman MBE (@johnscotbarrowman) on Jul 19, 2018 at 4:01pm PDT

Asked about Jodie Whittaker during a question-and-answer session at his SDCC panel, Barrowman had a response to anyone still doubting her casting:

“We fall in love with the characters as we step onto the Tardis with them. The Tardis is what takes us on that journey with the Doctor who is a Time Lord. It doesn’t matter when we step in and find out who he’s regenerated into, then we get to know him and we have a little criticism. But then we fall in love. And this time it’s not going to be getting to know a him, we’re getting to know her and she is going to take us on some incredible journeys.”

The eleventh series of Doctor Who will air this autumn on BBC One and BBC America.