This past weekend saw MegaCon come around once again, which was held from April 10th through the 12th, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. Among the multitude of things to do at Florida’s largest and best known convention, the show featured quite a few celebrity panels for many of the actors and their respective shows throughout the convention, with a few in particular standing out for me, which were hosted by the convention’s Master of Ceremonies, Marc Lee.
One of these panels particularly featured two of the well-known female actors from Doctor Who, Alex Kingston and Karen Gillan, who also appeared as Nebula, daughter to Thanos and sister to Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. While these actresses were very engaging, funny and charming, there were a few items of particular note that many a Doctor Who fan will find welcome from a spoiler perspective and if nothing else simply quite interesting.
During the course of the panel one fan specifically asked Alex Kingston if she thought her character, River Song, would be meeting the current Doctor and if so what her reaction would be to the new Doctor’s face?
“Well she’s definitely seen lots of faces in the past, so I don’t think that it would be a surprise necessarily. And to answer the question you started to ask, (whether or not River Song would be meeting the new Doctor) all I can say is ‘Spoiler’.” To which the very large crowd reacted with a roar of approval as all in attendance innately understood that Ms. Kingston was actually hinting very heavily that River Song would be making an appearance in an upcoming episode of Doctor Who.
The actress then went on to say, “The sonic screw driver which was given to me (a previous episode of Doctor Who), by the Doctor,” as she motions behind her, “ is not in fact the sonic screwdriver that has been seen . . .” and at this point Ms. Kingston paused as if for effect, before continuing to say with a good deal of emphasis, “. . . YET!” to which the crowd again reacted with a loud round of clapping and cheers. Karen Gillan’s eyes could be seen going wide as she pointed to Alex while saying, “Ooooohhh, that’s something.”
Then from off to the right of the stage the panel host, Marc Lee blurts out, “Spoiler!”, to which the crowd again laughs heartily and claps!
Then interestingly enough, another fan pointed out to Ms. Kingston just before her upcoming question, that since River actually knows the real name of the Doctor, did she (Alex Kingston) actually know the name of the Doctor? Immediately Karen Gillan again chimes in by looking toward Alex Kngston saying, “Good question.”
Smiling from ear to ear, with a devilish look in her eyes all she said was, “Oh Yes I do!”
With that the crowd went wild with giddy applause and laughter at the thought of such a highly prized intergalactic state secret being talked about openly. As the actress harmlessly basked in the envy of all in attendance, even Karen Gillan was seemingly enthralled with the thought of being able to potentially know the unknowable. Looking directly at Ms. Kingston and holding up her index finger she plead, “We want to know so badly. Please, give us the first letter.”
Then a moment of anticipatory silence seemed to fall over the crowd as everyone in the large hall thought, if only for a second, that she might actually give away the first letter of the Doctor’s name. With a very purposeful and sweeping look across the audience, Ms. Kingston’s gaze then fell squarely on Karen Gillan, as the acclaimed actress said simply, “NO”. To which the crowd’s reaction and laughter were almost deafening and quite fun.
Soaking it all up and obviously enjoying stringing the crowd along like putty in her hands, Ms. Kingston then said, “Even Steven Moffat doesn’t know.” And then with yet another pause for effect, she looks out at the audience and smiling says, “But I do.” To which the crowd goes wild yet again, followed by huge applause.
As the laughter and applause died down, the next fan both celebrities to pick which characters in Game of Thrones they would each choose to be and why.
Interestingly both actresses indicated that neither one of them were familiar with the show, to which they accepted a fair amount of ribbing from everyone including the panel’s host, Marc Lee. Karen Gillan then realized that another Doctor Who actor named Iain Glen, who played a character by the name of Octavian in two episodes of Doctor Who, was also cast in Game of Thrones as Jorah Mormont.
Alex Kingston then immediately agreed with her, and shared a behind the scenes memory from the set of Doctor Who, in which she recalled being on set with Iain Glenn, “I was telling him when we were down in the mine shaft, that he had to take that role,” with Gillan then saying, “Yeah, I remember that.” Continuing on Kingston said, “because I knew that he was going to be brilliant, so he took that role because of me I like to tell myself.” as the crowd again clapped and laughed approvingly.
The next attendee Allie Cheatum, waited patiently in line to ask a question and as soon as she said that she had just gotten married to Michael Cheatum and was on her Honeymoon at MegaCon, Alex Kingston insisted on having the newlyweds come up to the stage and after hugs and well wishes, Ms. Kingston had the entire audience give the newlyweds a huge round of applause!
As a spectator and fan it was quite refreshing to see how the actresses were able to effortlessly create a warm and comfortable vibe and it was quite easy to feel a genuineness from both of these British personalities that was quite refreshing and welcome. Well done as well to Marc Lee for hosting a great hour of in depth, fun and personal experiences with two of our favorite Doctor Who female characters and thanks as well go to both Alex Kingston and Karen Gillan for being so real!