Nerdist Podcast featuring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan – Nikki’s Review

I promise that a more detailed write up will be coming from me soon, but right now (as I’m still tired and recovering from jet lag/convention lag/whatever you’d like it call it) I’m going to touch on a few of my favorite moments from San Diego Comic Con. And it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these moments will center around Doctor Who. Saturday and Sunday were the two most eventful days for Doctor Who, so I’m going to start around that time with my review of the Nerdist Podcast Live.

Sorry, Chan, but you knew this was coming.

Saturday began with me and Chris heading down to the exhibit hall so we could take part in the BBC America’s lookalike/costume contest. It was never about the winning, but more about the camaraderie – and that was exactly what we found. I was shoulder to shoulder with a couple of dozen Whovians, and that couldn’t have been more fun. Just the chance to be photographed by the BBC and chat with other like-minded people was fun beyond words. And it was pretty neat that every time Chris and I visited the BBC American booth, they insisted we stand still long enough for a picture to be snapped. Sometimes it’s the unexpected that makes a convention extraordinary.

After spending some time on the convention floor, Chris and I went to the hotel to freshen up and then walked the mile to 4th and B for the Nerdist Podcast Live. (Yes, I scored us tickets to the 8pm show.) About twenty people were already outside when we got there which meant the time went by quickly, and after a few pictures were snapped and a handful of stories exchanged, we were let into the venue to find our seats. (We were also down the street from the premiere of Cowboys and Aliens, which meant I could see the red carpet from the front door of the venue. Pretty cool, don’t you think?)

Chris and I settled into the center of the third row and chattered awhile with Graham (who if you find this post, drop me a line – you were awesome!) while waiting for the show to start. I have to give great credit to 4th and B for fitting in so many of us (right around 800 nerds were able to enjoy the show thanks to the seating arrangement), and also send props to the amazing bartenders they had staffing that night. Talk about some great drinks.

The show started before too long, and it was great to see the Nerdist again. I’d had the chance to see him before in Dallas, and the comedy was as funny as it had been before. I’ll never look at a hotel room the same way again, and I will always feel the need to wipe off the mirrors in the shower before using them. (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to understand, the last thing I want to do is destroy the minds of the younger readers who might be out there.) And there was a surprise guest towards the beginning – mister Wil Wheaton himself! Add in the fact that Wil is a huge Doctor Who fan (and quite the lover of Karen Gillan, it seems), and we were in for a fantastic night.

Nerdist didn’t waste any time, and the podcast became a hilarious recap of Comic Con thus far as well as a salute to Doctor Who. (Again, I won’t delve into specifics here – the podcast is very funny and deserves to be listened to in its entirety.) Matt Smith joined up on the stage to thunderous applause, and it didn’t take long for Hardwick to greet him as if they were old friends. The rumor was that Karen had been kidnapped, and Wil Wheaton was quick to offer to rescue her. But fortunately for the audience (and maybe unfortunately for Wheaton?) Karen Gillan wasn’t far behind.

It’s rumored that my scream of delight can be heard on the podcast recording. I will admit or deny nothing – for now. The audience did, though, erupt into camera flashes.

This wasn’t the first podcast Matt and Karen had done with Nerdist, and it isn’t a secret that Chris Hardwick is quite the Doctor Who fan – as was most of the audience. They shared their Comic Con experience so far, talking about their visit to the convention floor (surrounded by the necessary BBC press and attendants, of course) and adventures in a CVS pharmacy (it’s true, Nerdist, that wasn’t fair – but then again life isn’t fair, right?).

To go into detail about what was said in the podcast would almost feel like a disservice to the show, so I’m going to encourage everyone to listen. Until I learned of Nerdist (or Big C, call him what you will), I didn’t listen to much comedy. Now, the podcast has a home on my iTunes where there will no longer be a vacancy. Very, very funny.

Later on into the show, Hardwick asked a couple of questions that had been tweeted to him by followers which Matt and Karen were happy to answer. Then came the time for some questions from the audience members.

Now, this is where it gets a little cool.

Around the time the questions were being asked, my friend Chris began waving his sonic screwdriver in the air with hopes of catching the coveted attention of Hardwick. And being the friend he is, one with my best interests always at heart, he promised me that if he was called up, I would be going with him. He did know I had a question I very much wanted to ask Matt and Karen. So he continued to wave the flashing, buzzing screwdriver

Then the unthinkable and the oh-so-hoped for happened.

Hardwick called for “the gentleman with the bow tie” to come up.

And the gentleman with the bow tie was my friend, Chris.

Hand in hand, we hurried to the front of the stage and our appearance prompted amusement from the Nerdist. Matt and Karen squinted to see us since they were on the bright side of the lights, but once they took in what we were wearing there was a pleasant and amused reception. (I think it was something along the lines of “Hey, it’s you guys! guys!”)

Now here comes my fangirl moment from the whole experience. Because I have to say, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are two of the most attentive celebrities I’ve seen. Here I am, one fan in a sea of about 800, and they intently listened to the question I asked. For a fan, that’s probably one of the coolest things that can happen. Never mind that you’re getting to talk to one of your favorite celebrities, they’re listening to you so you can have an answer. Really listening, as in looking back at me while I’m looking at them. It’s something that’s hard to put into words, but that meant a great deal.

I asked a question that had been itching in the back of my mind about the characters of Amy Pond and the Doctor.

Then, my friend Chris asked Matt Smith if he would hold his sonic screwdriver.

And cue the cheers and laughter from the audience – and Matt Smith’s response of “Of course.”

So cue my friend’s sonic screwdriver being passed up from his hands to Hardwick’s to Matt’s, and Matt holding it aloft on stage. Then cue him flicking it open with the Doctor’s usual motion of doing so (and Karen echoing this with a flick of her own wrist), then pressing the button to light it up (insert Wil Wheaton’s excitement here, too) before tossing it around in the usual motion of flip-and-catch that the Doctor does.

Yeah, it was as awesome as it sounds.

Chris got his screwdriver back, and I got my question answered. (There’s video of it here courtesy of my new Bloggie Touch, but for the best audio you can listen to the podcast and find us about 1:22 in.)

We didn’t take part in the TARDIS burritos because we and a few other fans rushed outside to see if we could say goodbye to Matt and Karen as they were leaving, but unfortunately they were rushed away to other commitments. But that doesn’t change the fact that the entire night was incredible.

Looking back at it now, it’s still hard to believe. I doubt I’ll ever forget that night. So thank you to the Big C for bringing Matt and Karen to the show, Wil for being there, and the BBC for letting the whole event happen.

There are some fantastic pictures here on Flickr, and this picture of Matt is him looking at me while I asked my question. Here, he’s holding my friend’s sonic screwdriver.

Nikki’s Camera Rating: 11 Cameras out of 10 because for the Doctor, it’s fitting. This event was worth the one-mile walk and more than worth the ticket cost.


Damsel Nikki


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