Joining host, Barnaby Edwards (Dalek operator), we had Ken Deep (Host of DW: an Occasional Podcast), Nick Abadzis (Titan Comics 10th Doctor), Taylor Dietrich (Doctor Who Store), Andre Tessier (LI WHO, TARDIS Tavern), Debora Stanish (podcast host, author), and Graeme Burk (author) for a lively discussion on the NYCC stage.
This was quite similar to the 10 Years of New Who panel, to be quite honest. It was a full room, which was gained under the promise of having some "Special Guest" up on the stage. To some fans it was disheartening to have Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill roaming the show-floor of the convention center and not joining the Doctor Who panels that were going on. While some were not too keen on how it turned out and stood up and left, mostly stayed—hoping there would be some late arrival by some of the stars they so hoped to see, but nothing…
They quickly tackled the subject of merchandise and how it has changed in the past years—Dietrich addressed how there have been more cosplaying items added to the store, as well more daily wearable corky items with our favorite faces, quotes, and items from the show. They also discussed how well Abadzis has been doing on the 10th Doctor Titan Comic book—and he talked about his discussions with the 10th Doctor action figure on his desk; he said he talks to him and the Doctor always replies in his head. They also went over how they have been trying to bring the stars of the show to NY—Deep said they have been trying to bring the locally after having traveled so many times to see them. They also went over other, more intimate, conventions centered on Doctor Who like LI Who and Gallifrey; adding that Paul McGann might be coming to one. Deep and Abadzis discussed how they both learned to read with the Doctor Who books, and Burk explained that they were as big back in the 70's as the Harry Potter books are now.
After the discussion they started taking questions from the audience, and one of the first questions was: why aren't either Arthur Darvill or Alex Kingston in the panel? They said that they were fully booked with autographing and photo-ops, to which they seemed really apologetic. There were, also, theories made as to why the Doctor for regenerations 9th-11th (Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith) seemed younger and more innocent, was it because he was feeling guilty? And since he is now ready to deal with it he seems older… Panelists agreed it was a good theory, but that no one really knows what Steven Moffat has in store for us.
They were asked who they thought was the most influential villain from the series. Edwards quickly responded Daleks and Tessier said it was the Cybermen for him: how they adapt and learn after being defeated and seem to come up invincible. The general consensus, though, was The Master: how he is much harder to defeat since he is not made out of pure evil, which creates a conflict of emotions within the Doctor.
After being asked if they thought there would ever be a female Doctor, Stanish quickly replied that she thinks we will be seeing Doctor of a different ethnicity before we see a female Doctor—not that it would ever be impossible. She added that even though they have had female directors for the show it would be nice to have female writers for it since it would add a diversity of opinion to the show. They also spoke of the sudden shift in Clara's character from last season to this one. Edwards said he loves her and how confident she is. Dietrich added that on the last season she seemed confused as to where to go in life and she now seems to have gained more perspective in life after traveling with the Doctor, which leads to a great character development and growth. Burk said she was necessary because she speaks truth to power and that is when the shift happened.
When asked what is the best place to start in order to get acquainted with the Old/Classical Who Burk replied he has posted about the 50 best stories to watch of Doctor Who. However, Stanish added that there is nothing to apologize for if you just recently got into Doctor Who—saying you can like just one or the other, you're still a fan even if you haven't watched the old episodes.