New York Comic Con 2014 started with the epic whir of the TARDIS as Arthur Darvill took the stage. A wave of blue and green lights filled the room as a screaming room of fans raised their sonic screwdrivers to salute one of the most beloved companions of the Doctor. The Q&A line filled up in the blink of an eye with breathless Whovian fangirls, proclaiming their adoration for Rory, the last Centurion. Some questions they asked were very thought-provoking and others were…not so much. One girl asked him if he would drink her friend’s specialty tea named “The Rory Tea.” Darvill laughed and said it would be usual to drink a cup of…well…himself, but that he looked forward to giving it a try. He then lifted his mug of tea up to his lips and kind of waggled his eyebrows to the audience.
During his panel, Darvill, the son of a magician and a puppeteer, (performing obviously runs in his blood), admitted this was his first time back to New York City since his wrap up episode, “Angels Take Manhattan.” He jokingly said that he couldn’t go to Central Park without freaking out and watching his back for angels. A fan asked him what his reaction was to being killed off, but he said that he knew it was coming, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. He said, “Karen couldn’t read the script at first. But I thought it was brilliantly written. I find it unusual that so many people tell me they cried. I thought it was a relatively happy ending.” He was then asked that if he were to write his own episode, what would happen? He replied that he’s write for everyone to go to the 60’s because of “music stuff” and dress as pirates. “And…we didn’t do enough food based episodes, so we’d do something like save the Planet Cake.” He also mentioned that he would want to have an episode with all the former companions in therapy and readjusting to plain, ordinary life. “Amy crocheting. Rory picking up the banjo and starting a former companion band…” He even said that he had written music as a spoof for a Doctor Who the Musical episode. He then proceeded to burst into song, “It’s bigger on the inside! He pushing the controls!” Everyone was anxious for him to sing “Let it Go” from Frozen again for us, but he was feeling reluctant. Instead he asked if it was anyone’s birthday and proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday” to one particular birthday boy, Elliott.
Of course, all of us were curious what became of him after he left Doctor Who. He informed us that he will be doing some theater by playing the role of Long John Silver in London. He also joked around about his band wanting to get back together. Darvill had been the member of a band when he was a “spritely teenager” and they had fizzled out. But now because of all the attention his former band is getting from his role in Doctor Who, he suggested that a reunion would be a fun idea. Everyone was also very curious about Darvill’s famous kiss with Matt Smith during the 2012 Doctor Who Convention. Darvill said that when Smith kissed him, he thought “’Why is he doing that? I knew he liked me!’ It was when I fell in love with him and then said ‘get off me.’” Darvill was then asked, “Which was a better kisser, Matt Smith or Karen Gillian?” He answered that Matt Smith was very tender, whereas Karen wasn’t. In fact, he said that he had several awkward moments while kissing Karen Gillian that he wasn’t sure how long they needed to kiss. “I was lucky that Rory was such an ordinary, awkward character because it covered my own nervousness by, uh, ‘acting.’”
The final question made the entire audience draw in a collective gasp as a fan asked, “If you had to choose between the two Amy’s in the episode “The Girl Who Waited” as yourself, rather than Rory, which would you choose?” Darvill was quick on his feet and easily replied, “Can I say neither? I’m a very laid back guy and Amy as a character is a lot of work.” Then, with a crash of applause, the panel was over and people were scrambling over each other to rush over and get Darvill’s autograph.
The next panel I attend was completely unplanned. I was anxiously awaiting the sneak peek of the Firefly online game, “Bringing Back the Verse,” (more on that in just a bit) when a big burly security guy ushered me inside to sit in on the panel for the Canadian television show, “Bitten.” So completely unaware of what “Bitten” was even about, I watched the sneak peek of season two. Now, I was kind of skeptical when a fan beside me described the show as being the werewolf equivalent of “True Blood.” But then during the beginning of the panel, Eric Johnson (Smallville), who was conducting the interview, said that “Bitten” was comparable to the ever famous “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (Meaning that there is one lead girl who kicks some serious butt.) This immediately won me over. (Guilty-I’m a Buffy fan.) The lead actress, Laura Vandervoort, (also known for her role as Supergirl in Smallville) said that she always was a huge Buffy fan and wanted to be Buffy when she was growing up. She began studying martial arts when she was seven years old and as has a second degree black belt. She does all her own stunts and said she loves that the choreographer for the fight scenes lets her use her experience.
For the sake avoiding spoilers, I’ll just say some important characters die at the end of season one. Johnson said that the body count was even comparable to the popular hit TV show, “Game of Thrones.” Creator and Showrunner, Deagan Frykind, said she wanted to keep the stakes high. She also announced that in season two that witches will be introduced into the plot. Throughout the interview, several of the actors described a lot of character development in season two as their characters rise to the occasion. J.B. Sugar, Director and Producer, wrapped the panel by answering a question we all have wondered: “Why are people so obsessed with werewolves?” Sugar said, “I feel that people are obsessed with werewolves because society is living through a screen. Right now I look over the audience and see people looking at their phones, looking through camera lenses. But we all crave this sense of urgency. We crave touch and that primal instinct.” Well said, Sugar.
Twelve years ago, Joss Whedon brought us a television show unlike any other. A show filled with sharp wit, palpable romance, wonder, and friendship that overcomes all odds. Despite the huge cult following, the show was canceled after one short-lived season. However the legend of Firefly lives on, and so does its faithful fan base. It is thanks to that fan base and the genius of Andrea Romano (Voice Actress and Casting), John O’Neil (Developer), David Joseph Wesley (Music Composer) and Andy Gore (Excecutive Producer), that Firefly Online – Bringing Back the Verse is in the making. Scheduled to be released Spring 2015 after already being developed for a year, the founders of Bringing Back the Verse have announced that the compendium of the game is now available on PC. By downloading the compendium and exploring it, “bonus items” will be included in one’s copy of the game when it is released. The game is a multi platform and can be accessed on the Android, iPhone, PC, and on tablets. The music embodies that rustic feel of the show that we love and miss and we even were granted the opportunity to hear Wesley play his banjo for us at the panel. The voice actors are mostly from the additional cast with a few additions. Alan Tudyk has been said to play the role of a “terrifying villain” in the game with his ingenious skills at work once more.
A large portion of the panel was watching game play and receiving a short tutorial. The game play graphics were still a little choppy and will be need to be cleaned up some more. However, it seems the designers won’t be pushing for mind-blowing PS4 quality graphics since the game is expected to be multi platform. In the game you are able to design your own captain and hire your own crew. You are also able to create your ship and take on whatever jobs or tasks you aim to misbehave in. Several of the quests follow certain episodes from the television series, including “Shindig” and “Heart of Gold.” A large emphasis of the game is also on the social interaction of the characters. If you accidentally (or purposely) attack a member of your crew and they don’t die, they may return later in the game and seek vengeance, so beware! For those who are fans (and aren’t we all), you will love to further explore the verse that we saw cut down in its prime. For those who aren’t familiar with Joss Whedon’s unsung masterpiece, this game promises to be a fun, thrilling game filled with action, romance, and plenty of guns. (And Reavers.)
I personally fell in love with Crunchy Roll when I started watching Attack on Titan. The streaming was smooth, the site was easy to navigate and most importantly, they had all the popular anime that hadn’t come to the United States yet! Their panel was smooth and organized, but rather substandard. They promised to give away special items with reckless abandon, so on Sunday they gave away posters that can only be found in Japan. (Unfortunately they announced this to a room full of disappointed Friday fans, so we didn’t exactly get to reap the benefits on that one. Thanks a lot, Crunchy Roll.) However they did announce some exciting new things coming to Crunchy Roll and presented to us the new Crunchy Roll brand mascot, Crunchyroll-hime.
The new shows added to Crunchy Roll this week are “Future Diary” (Wednesday October 15th), “Switch Girl” (also Wednesday October 15th), BONJOUR/Sweet Love Patisserie, which is an anime based off a popular dating sim game, Utraman Max (Tuesday October 14th), and one of my personal favorites, that I’m so excited about, I’m putting it in all caps, CASE CLOSED! (Fall 2014.) They presented all their Crunchy Roll community sites: Facebook, Tumblr, their gaming community, Instragram, their Crunchy Roll social media site and Twitter, and announced that they are also currently hiring. (Look onto crunchyroll.com/jobs). They’re hiring engineers, IT, designers, product managers, financial workers, and translators. (And employees get free lunch and dinner.) Also, keep your eyes open for their Black Friday deal. They hinted that it’s going to be a steal this year. (Which is saying something, because last year they gave away Crunchy Roll backpacks stuffed with anime and manga.)
This year’s New York Comic Con had 151,000 tickets sold, surpassing San Diego by 21,000 tickets, making it the largest pop culture event in the United States of America! Congratulations ReedPOP on such a successful convention!