SDCC 2012 TV Recap: Sunday

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Traditionally, Sunday is the slowest day of ComicCon. Most of the major panels have already happened and many fans opt out of the festivities to head home and rest up a bit before the work week starts up on Monday. Others opt out of at least the morning portion for another reason- the Saturday night parties tend to go very late. Increasingly, though, Sunday is becoming the home for TV, with one panel after another in Hall H, while Ballroom 20 and several of the other rooms go unused, and those of us willing and able to get our butts out of bed nice and early were rewarded with some of the most anticipated TV panels of the Con. Including…

Fringe

After Fringe’s last second final season pickup, it was no surprise that this panel was, for the most part, a chance for the cast and showrunner to reminisce and say goodbye, both to the show and the fans. After showing a teaser trailer for season 5, the panel got underway, with Damian Holbrook moderating and J.H. Wyman and most of the regular cast in attendance. Things quickly got emotional, with Jasika Nicole, then Anna Torv, and then Lance Reddick all tearing up while they discussed their favorite scenes not including themselves. Joshua Jackson brought things back, though, when he described some of his favorites, mostly full of awesome effects and gore. Then there were the recurring jokes about Jackson managing to spill water on an inconvenient area of his pants during the opening clip reel. It was a funny and heart-felt panel and the audience questions were for the most part interesting. Perhaps the fan highlight was the appearance of the Female Observers, who came to the mic to ask why we’ve only seen male Observers to this point (apparently it’ll be addressed in the upcoming season). Wyman was tight-lipped about the season to come, but did confirm that the season premiere will pick up in the future, at the end of the flash-forward episode from season four, and John Noble threw out the idea of a potential filmic continuation at some point down the line. On top of an entertaining and touching panel, everyone who made it in to the 6500-chair hall received one of the hottest swag items of the Con- a nice quality grey fedora with a Fringe-labed ribbon. This panel was immediately followed by…

Supernatural

After opening with a clip reel from the previous season, the Supernatural panel got underway. Jeremy Carver, the series’ new showrunner next season, kept his mouth shut about next season and, as they haven’t started filming yet, there was very little about the future that the panelists were able to discuss. It was confirmed that some amount of time will have passed between the finale and the season eight premiere, and that Sam’s getting a love interest of some sort, but otherwise, the spoiler well was dry. Unfortunately, the moderator spent far too long asking repetitious questions in the beginning of the panel, hoping to get a morsel or two that never came. Otherwise, the panel was entertaining, with Jensen Ackles in particular having fun and hamming it up. The audience questions were pretty solid, though the PtB in the Hall seemed a bit censor-happy if fans didn’t get immediately to their question. Unfortunately, the audience was less responsive to the panel than the Fringe crowd and it became clear afterward that a significant chunk weren’t Supernatural fans, but Whovians who were camping in the Hall to see the next panel of the day, which was, of course…

Doctor Who

The sound-wall of cheering for Chris Hardwick, who moderated the Doctor Who panel, and the Who cast and producers was rivaled only by the Firefly crowd from Friday. This was one of the most entertaining and best-run panels of the Con and Hardwick is clearly in his element as a host/moderator. SDCC would do very well to try to find others in his mold to run as many panels as possible next year, as inconsistent moderating was one of the more common problems with the panels this time around. The panel kicked off with a clip from the end of last season and, along with a clip from last season’s “The Girl Who Waited” that had much of the audience sniffling, fans were treated to extended clips from the second and third episodes of the upcoming season (which look fantastic, by the way). Showrunner Steven Moffat didn’t provide any character spoilers, but did let the audience in on several of the foes the Doctor and co. will be facing this season, though nothing well-informed Who fans didn’t already know. As was announced quite a while ago, the Companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darville), will be leaving the show before the Christmas special, and much of the panel was devoted to sending them off in appropriate fashion. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darville are clearly good friends as well as utter goofballs (to various extents) and just watching them interact was a blast. Also a lot of fun were the audience questions, particularly the first two, which came from two very different Daleks, the first an adorable young girl in a Daleky dress and the second someone in a tricked out wheelchair who did a bang-on Dalek impression. The entire panel was a lot of fun and, for this Whovian at least, one of the absolute highlights of the convention.

Check out this week’s episode of the Televerse podcast (available Tuesday evening) to hear more of my thoughts on the Con, including several not TV-specific panels I checked out, and you can also hear some my immediate impressions by listening to the ComicCon Wrapup episode of the Paul Goebel Show, segments for which were recorded each day during the Convention. It’s been an absolute blast to cover San Diego International Comic Con 2012 for Sound on Sight! This was my first time there and, fingers crossed, it will not be my last. I hope you’ve enjoyed these recaps, and if any of you make it to SDCC 2013, I look forward to meeting you there!

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