Early morning on Sunday, when many con-goers were dragging themselves out of bed with a two-day binge hangover and plans to add a third, Doctor Who‘s own Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie sat in for a Q&A with Dragon Con in the massive Marriott Atrium Ballroom. Even at 10 am, both Capaldi and Mackie were delightful, funny, and reflective about their time on the beloved BBC show.
Capaldi was often drawn back to his love for the original series he watched as a child, remarking on the dedication of the actors as well as they magic created with essentially no budget. He mentioned that he refuses to go back and watch any of his childhood favorites for fear that his contemporary view will destroy the magic he remembers once he sees the “cardboard” nature of the show.
Mackie got in a few good moments with the crowd, especially when she mentioned that the biggest lesson the Doctor should have learned from Bill was to not put people who had been shot in an elevator to the bottom of an enormous spaceship. Ouch.
When asked about his favorite line or most memorable speech, Capaldi hemmed and hawed until recalling that during the recording of “The Zygon Inversion” he got an unexpected visitor on set. The speech The Doctor gives during that episode on peace was so long, Capaldi was concentrating on getting it right, not noticing the men in suits and sunglasses arriving in studio. After he finished the speech, applause broke out from, it turns out, the American Ambassador to the UK who was stopping by Cardiff on a tour of the country and stepped in to watch filming.
Perhaps the most amusing thing for the hometown southern audience was when Capaldi told a quick story about a woman who did something nice for him earlier that morning. He thanked her, saying, “Bless your heart.” The crowd ooooed at this, confusing Mackie. The moderator tried to explain what this phrase means to those of us who live in the southeastern United States, shocking Mackie that a phrase she sees as innocuous could have such patronizing connotations. Bless her heart.
While news was not made, especially considering the time gap that both have been officially off the show, the talk was enjoyable and showed some of the Scottish irascibility that makes Capaldi such a joy to watch.