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Getting your TARDIS license isn't easy...
July 17th, 2012 12:56AM

Steven Moffat must have the worst time of all at the just-ended San Diego Comic-Con. After all, he spent his trip stateside in his hotel room writing. “I try not to have any need of a life. As a Doctor Who fan, that comes naturally,” the show’s story boss said.

He was in San Diego as part of a panel Sunday to preview the upcoming season of the British science-fiction show. Doctor Who will also say goodbye to Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, who play Amy and Rory, the couple on a road trip through time and space with the Doctor. Gillan said she cried when she heard the news. Gillan said she'd loved the role, starting with her initial appearance, as a policewoman kissogram deliverer--and seeing that first version of Amy Pond among the crowd. “I’m loving all the ginger hair,” she told the crowd.

Their last appearance will involve Weeping Angels, the stone creatures that mean trouble if you blink.

Don’t worry, though. Moffat didn’t rule out the possibility that Amy and Rory might return (“There’s always something else,” he said). The actors will be busy. Gillan will be appearing in the movie Not Another Happy Ending, while Darvill will appear in Broadchurch, a detective show with Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

“The show is the star,” Matt Smith said as he considered the latest transition. He noted that one day he’d like to move on to play a villain.

Of course, there is one worry; “I can look really scared of tennis ball now,” Gillan said.

There are other worries for Doctor Who stars, of course. These are worries like getting questions from the audience that stump you, questions from viewers who don’t look quite old enough to remember Christopher Eccleston. There did seem to be a little hesitation in Smith’s voice when he was asked by a young viewer about his favorite TARDIS gadget. Before answering, he revealed that there’s an actual TARDIS manual to help him sort out the various controls. Eventually, he said he liked the flying gear.

Moffat wasn’t talking too much about the new season, but said there will be a Western story shot in Spain and “dinosaurs on a spaceship” (echoes of Snakes on a Plane, of course), not to mention “more Daleks than you’ve ever seen in one place.”

What stories would the cast have liked to have done? After a fan asked, Smith said he’d like the Doctor to travel to Atlantis, Gillan dreamed up “a piano that shrinks people,” and Darvill thought “the Doctor should join a band.”

Gillan confessed she’ll be taking a bit of Doctor Who with her, in the form of the TARDIS binoculars. “We’ve got various bits of TARDIS,” Smith noted. Moderator Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist added a story about David Tennant making off with a sonic screwdriver.

Of course, Gillan might have been ready to leave the show after the last panel question. Discussing odd habits among the cast, Smith and Darvill demonstrated various forms of “uncomfortable touch,” a way they have of putting guest stars at ill ease, on her.

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