Skip to main content

A live report from the official Doctor Who panel at London's MCM Comic Con!

Doctor Who returned to London's MCM Comic Con - and if you couldn't make it, we have all the big news here for you

Popverse's top stories of the day

No matter what time, place, or space, the Doctor is there - and as if to prove that, Doctor Who has returned to London's MCM Comic Con. BBC ran an official Doctor Who panel Saturday at MCM Comic Con (May 2024) with actor Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), executive producer Joel Collins, costume designer Pam Downe, and director Dylan Holmes Williams.

We also filmed the entire panel, and will have details on its world premiere (along with dozens of other MCM panels) here.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

We are just minutes from an EXCLUSIVE discussion about the latest Doctor Who episode, plus a screening for those who haven't seen it yet. Are you waiting in line? I hope so, because there are a lot of Doctor Who fans here at MCM London waiting to get into the Main Stage for this one.
Reminder that we won't be liveblogging the episode, but you can get the experience by loading it up on Disney+ or BBC iPlayer and hitting play when we give the word! It will definitely help to get the full experience of being in the room.
Fans are starting to trickle into the Main Stage here at MCM London for the Doctor Who Screening & Exclusive Q&A. The time is nigh!
Not to make anyone jealous, but everyone who is here in person gets a free gift. Just sayin'.
Folks are still coming in, so the panel is a bit late to start. Turns out a lot of people love Doctor Who. Who knew?
We got popcorn. We got Doctor Who. We got a legion of fellow fans waiting to see the new episode. This is the perfect Saturday night.
Just like always, we ate all our popcorn before the screening started.
Do you have a favorite Doctor? Of course you do! Let us know in the comments who it is so we can argue about who is right (Matt Smith) and who is wrong (everyone else)!
Our fez is off to the DJ at the Main Stage for giving us some truly inspired mash ups. Backstreet Boys. Justin Timberlake. Chumbawumba. It is truly wild in here.
The panel is about to start. If you're not in the Main Stage yet, you're probably not going to get in. But that is why we at Popverse are here!
Journey sing-a-long has started. It really is a Saturday night out.
We're getting started! Host Nadia Jae is out to introduce the episode. Get it link up and ready. We're ready to start in three... two... one!
And we're back with Nadia Jae! That was a heck of an episode!
Along with Nadia Jae, we've got Pam Downe (costume designer), Joel Collins (Executive Producer), Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), and Dylan Holmes Williams (Director of the episode we just watched) answering all our questions.
It was Dylan Holmes Williams first time working on Doctor Who. "It is such an amazing playground you're given to work in."
Jemma explains that "everything" keeps her coming back to Doctor Who. "The writers are some of the very best working today. I've worked with so many wonderful writers. I'm so lucky to have gotten that episode in 2012 and I haven't messed it up yet."
Question for Pam about costumes. "The biggest contemporary was Ruby. Making her look older. We lengthened the skirts and such to keep the feel of Ruby while making her feel a bit more mature."
Joel explains that the simplest way to make a Doctor Who episode feel like Doctor Who without featuring much of the Doctor is "Russell wrote it. He's a genius. He loves Doctor Who and knows it intimately."
About the distance 73 yards. "Russell walked Swansea pier. He walked down the Pier until he couldn't see someone. You could still see them and they were doing but they were obscured. He worked out 73 yards based on his own calculations about obscuring something you could never get to."
Dylan was worried that 73 yards would make you feel too removed from the character but Russell assured him that he was right. Low and behold, he was indeed right.
Fun fact: All of the locations were chosen to keep 73 yards between Ruby and the old woman.
Jemma explains that the episode plays into a deep fear we have of watching people walk away from us. "Its like a nightmare really, isn't it? And I really enjoyed it." Followed by a suitably evil laugh.
Regarding the old woman's costume, Jemma explains, "We decided we wanted her in black and to be timeless."
Jemma explains that "We always knew there wouldn't be any details" in the old woman's costume. "It was all about the silhouette."
Episode was filmed on the Welsh coastline in February. Dylan says they got lucky with the weather. "It was just sunny all the time while Ncuti was there. Once Ncuti left it became all hazy."
Millie wasn't acting about the cold. Ruby was meant to be in inappropriately for the cold, so Millie had to suffer for her art.
"It was really fun to use Wales as the backdrop to launch the episode," explains Joel about the way Wales is front and center in the episode.
We're now watching a clip from Doctor Who Unleashed that explains how they filmed the scene with Millie on the train.
It was an actual passanger train in the UK. They had 90 seconds to board the train with all their crew, cast, and equipment. It was TIGHT but they made it.
Dylan, despite how chaotic it was to film on a moving train, says it was "really fun. Intense but fun."
A big concern was making sure that the public didn't get scared when they saw police or soldiers on the streets when they filmed on location.
Jemma shares a story of Matt Smith hanging from the Tardis at Trafalger Square. It took ten minutes for a massive crowd of fans to gather. "It was thrilling. It was the closest for me that acting ever got to rockstardom."
You will not be surprised to hear that the crowd of people that formed included cosplayers. They are everywhere.
The Doctor's bright yellow jacket was one of Pam's favorites. It was chosen for the contrast between the bright yellow and the green landscape. But it is easy to design costumes for Ncuti. "Ncuti could wear a bin bag really well. I can put him in anything and he owns it."
Joel explains that Ncuti still had bright blonde hair from shooting Barbie. "It was a clandestine meeting with Russell and Ncuti and myself and I immediately thought 'Oh my God. Its the Doctor.'"
Joel explains that "Ncuti had his Doctor voice from day one. It was brilliant."
Jemma says that Millie "was the first companion that I had maternal feelings for. Which was in the script. She was 19 when we filmed that."
Dylan says that Millie "Has a deep well of emotion that can come to the surface at her fingertips."
It is important to remember that 73 Yards was one of the first things that Millie filmed as Ruby. This was episode 4 but it was shot earlier in the run. Filming an episode without the Doctor that early in the run is wild.
"Doctor Who was alwys something I was aware of growing up," explains Dylan. He cites Blink as a favorite episode.
We can all agree that Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor has had a load of great clothes, but Pam's favorite is the 60's outfit. "I think he really enjoyed it which made me like it more."
Pam and Jemma would apparently head to 1930's New York if they had a Tardis.
Turns out that the wrap party for this season of Doctor Who was last night.
And that's the end of the Doctor Who panel here at the Main Stage of MCM London. We're wrapping up the day at the con but we'll be here bright and early tomorrow morning!