Comic-Con: Who, Thrones, SOA & More TV

More than ever, this year’s San Diego Comic Con saw the big movie launches scaled back while television and video games moved to the fore. Dozens of panels took place for various and much loved TV shows, here’s a breakdown of the key news, trailers and revelations from several of them:

Doctor Who
The upcoming season will shake up the formula, dropping the heavy arc elements in favour of a wider variety of episodes including ones set in the Old West (but shot in Spain), a visit with Nefertiti, and even dinosaurs in space.

Showrunner Steven Moffat says the big question left by last year’s finale will be answered – “It’s been there from the start. Other Time Lords have had names – he never gives his. Obviously the question is tremendously important and only I know why. We’ll find out the truth.” Moffat added that this season there’ll be more Daleks than viewers have ever seen.

Asked about the potential movie that David Yates was reportedly developing last year, Moffat dismissed the talk – “There will not come a time when there’s a separate kind of ‘Doctor Who’. What was talked about there was the there would be a separate Doctor and a different continuity. Of course it won’t. That would be silly. Everyone knows that’s silly. The BBC knows that’s silly, and is not going to do that.”

Game of Thrones
HBO used this year’s panel to announce a March 31st 2013 premiere date for the third season of ‘Thrones’, along with the names of a couple of more cast additions.

Joining the returning cast and previously announced Clive Russell as ‘Blackfish’ Tully are the likes of Ellie Kendrick and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as sister and brother Meera and Jojen Reed; Mackenzie Crook as Orell; Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (Catelyn’s younger brother); Diana Rigg as the Tyrell’s grandmother Lady ‘Queen of Thorns’ Olenna; and Nathalie Emmanuel as the Astaporian slave Missandei.

There’s also Richard Dormer as the outlaw leader Beric Dondarrion; Paul Kaye as the red priest Thoros of Myr; Tara Fitzgerald as Stannis’ reclusive wife Selyse Baratheon; Kristofer Hivju as the Wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane; and Kerry Ingram as Stannis’ only child Shireen Baratheon.

Sons of Anarchy
Showrunner Kurt Sutter says that he’d love to do a prequel to the FX series about the formation of the club, but gave no further details. What he did bring was practically the entire cast along with a seven minute preview of the fifth season’s opening episode which goes to air September 11th.

Parts of the clip were blacked out for “content reasons” which Sutter explained was a sex scene between Katey Sagal and season guest star Jimmy Smits. Sutter also confirmed guest roles from Joel McHale and Ashley Tisdale this season.

Spartacus: War of the Damned
Starz unleashed the new trailer for “Spartacus: War of the Damned” and it is now online. The season is scheduled to air January 2013. Talking about the the final season at the panel, executive producer Steven S. DeKnight says the aim was to make “the biggest, most insanely epic” final season they could. There would also be a nod of the head to the famed “I am Spartacus” Kirk Douglas scene.

With the final season approaching, the cast sound like they’ve no plans to let this series lie. Actor John Noble says “The film is very possible down the line” while co-star Joshua Jackson added the show would “live on in some form or another”.

As previous revealed, much of the action will be in the future with the cast released from amber and engaging in a battle with the Observers – pretty much directly continuing from the events in the 19th episode of last season. A video was also screened, mixing previously aired and new footage including such things as the birth of Olivia and Peter’s daughter.