Comic-Con 2011 Day One Recap – Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, Psych, Game of Thrones, and more | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Doctor Who’s Matt Smith at Comic-Con 2011

Comic-Con 2011 Day One Recap – Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, Psych, Game of Thrones, and more

Plus: Chuck's Zachary Levi, Ringer, Lost’s Jorge Garcia, and others

Jul 22, 2011 Game of Thrones Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

Comic-Con is an endlessly frustrating experience unless you just accept the following: you’ll spend a lot of time waiting in line, you certainly won’t get to see everything you want to, and you will spend some time watching panels you don’t care at all about (such as for TV shows you’ve never seen) while waiting for ones you’re dying to see. Day one of Comic-Con 2011 began with us waiting in line for an hour and a half and thus not getting into a Burn Notice panel featuring Bruce Campbell. We got into Ballroom 20 just in time for a panel on Covert Affairs, a show I’ve never seen, but following it was a panel on Psych, a show I love. Here’s a rundown of most of what we caught during day one.


After watching half a panel on DC Comics’ Flashpoint event, which didn’t really give all that much away, things really kicked off with a panel from USA Network’s comedy show Psych, about a fake psychic detective. The panel opened with a specially shot video of stars James Roday (Shawn Spencer) and Dulé Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster) lamenting that they needed to find a way to top last year’s Comic-Con panel. There solution was bring on screen Sci-Fi legend William Shatner, who will be guest starring on the show’s upcoming sixth season and did a little filmed bit for the audience.

Then Psych‘s creator Steve Franks took the stage with a guitar and his two bandmates in his band Friendly Indians. “We’re one of the last few shows remaining to have a theme song,” Franks’ said before Friendly Indians performed the theme song, which they wrote and recorded for the show. The cast slowly came out on stage to sing along. A preview for the forthcoming season was screened and showed off such guest stars as Shatner, Molly Ringwald, Danny Glover, Kristy Swanson, Jason Priestly, Malcolm McDowell, and others. This was followed by a clip of Shawn hooked up to a lie detector and asked by Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) if he’s a real psychic.

When asked about the rivalry with the other fake-psychic show, the CBS hit The Mentalist, which started after Psych, Roday proclaimed, “The Mentalist may have more fans, but we have better fans.” Hill said that his favorite Psych episode was the one where he got to dress up like Michael Jackson and reenact the “Thriller” video while being directed by John Landis (who directed the original video). “We can pull off anything as long as we solve a murder and Shawn and Gus are together,” said Roday, summing up the show’s formula for success. It was also revealed that one future vampire-themed episode will be fittingly titled “This Episode Sucks.”


Ringer is a new CW show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, in which she plays twin sisters. When one dies, the other, who is on the run, assumes her identity. The trailer looked a bit mellow-dramatic. Ioan Gruffudd, who play’s the husband of one of the sisters and played Mister Fantastic in the Fantastic Four movies, was asked what he liked most about Comic-Con and he replied, “Watching other people wear blue spandex.” Gruffudd, who also tends to do costume dramas, also joked that a reason he did Ringer was because he “got to wear contemporary clothes.”

Game of Thrones:

The panel for HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones was moderated by the book series’ author George R. R. Martin. After watching a recap of the show’s recently completed first season, Martin joked, “We covered in 10 minutes what took me 1200 pages.”

“It’s like crack on paper,” said producer David Benioff about Martin’s books and why he wanted to adapt them.

Lena Headey said it was “fun to play a character who isn’t trying to be morally good,” but that it was hard when fans came up to her and said they hated her character. Emilia Clarke was cast straight out of drama school and Jason Momoa was cast because fans of the book suggested on message boards that he should play Khal Drogo.

Lots of beloved characters die over the course of Game of Thrones. Martin said that he mourns all of his late characters, but didn’t like stories where the good guys never die and the stakes aren’t real. “I tell myself it’s not me killing them, it’s the other characters,” said Martin about how he deals with it.

TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites Panel:

Every year at Comic-Con they have a panel or two sponsored by such magazines as TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly that feature multiple actors from various different TV shows or movies. They can often be awkward, as clips from each person’s project is screened, the moderator tried to tie them all together, and the talent look restless when the focus isn’t on them. TV Guide’s Fan Favorites panel this year was no exception.

The panel featured such actors as Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Jorge Garcia (Lost, Alcatraz), Nestor Carbonell (Lost, Ringer), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood), Nelasan Ellis (True Blood), and Leslie Hope (The River), along with two of the producers of Vampire Diaries (Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec).

The panel was all asked when they first realized their TV shows had a cult following. Garcia said he knew that Lost was going to be a hit when a flight attendant knew his character Hurley’s name, even though the show had barely been on the air. Also, the day after the show premiered to good numbers, Garcia said to his cast-mates, “I hope you guys like Hawaii.” Levi said that he knew Chuck was going to go over well with geek fans when the pilot was first screened at Comic-Con and got a standing ovation, which made him tear up at the time. “One of the best places to be in the world at this time of year is right here in San Diego with you guys,” said Levi.

Garcia is working with Lost producer J.J. Abrams again on his new show, Alcatraz. Abrams really wanted to work with Garcia again and asked him to be on the show. “I believe in the underdog and I believe at some point he’s going to have something that’s going to hit,” Garcia joked about super-producer/director Abrams.

Chuck‘s next season will be its last. “It’s been an incredible journey we’ve all been on together,” said Levi, referring to the fans, especially those who helped rally to save the show the multiple times in been in danger of cancellation. “We get to close it up and do it on our own terms,” said Levi, pointing out that it was better to know now that it was their last season, rather than be cancelled unexpectedly. “Don’t go with the ‘You’re all dead’ ending,” Garcia jokingly advised Levi, referring to Lost‘s polarizing series finale. “It alienates some people and they’ll tell you again and again how they loved the show, but hated the ending.” A clip from Chuck was shown, but there was no sound, only music, so Levi and Garcia adlibbed the dialogue.

Doctor Who has been airing since 1963 and Matt Smith is the 11th actor to play The Doctor and was an unknown when he was cast. “It was bizarre because no one had a clue who I was…it was daunting,” admitted the British actor. Smith’s favorite previous actor to play The Doctor was Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, and he also had praise for Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston, and David Tennant. He said that the show’s next episode, “Let’s Kill Hitler,” is his favorite one so far. When asked if he could travel in time and space, as his character does, he said he’d try and visit at Atlantis (if it really existed) and that also, “I would go and visit the dinosaurs, but I’d pick up Frank Sinatra along the way.”

Smith was star-struck by Kristin Bauer van Straten and Nelasan Ellis, as True Blood is his favorite show. When asked about his character’s costume, he said that originally they were going to put him in a long leather jacket, but it didn’t look right. He suggested a tweed jacket, because he already owned one. “In the next episode I’m wearing a new coat…and I get a new hat coming up,” he revealed. When asked if Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) would return to Doctor Who, even though he’s busy on spinoff Torchwood, he said that Barrowman is always welcome to come back and strut his stuff. He also teased, “I think there’s potential to get a few Doctors back for an episode,” adding that he and show-runner Steven Moffat had discussed the idea of having some of the living actors to have formerly played The Doctor come back for an episode in honor of the show’s 50th anniversary.

When asked to sum up the Comic-Con experience, Levi said, “Where else as an actor do you get to feel this loved?” Garcia went one better, saying that his friend described Comic-Con as such, “It’s like the Renascence Fair, only awesome.”


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September 26th 2015

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June 7th 2017

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