Awesome Con Recap: Alex Kingston Teases Potential Return to ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Arrow’

Alex Kingston's Q&A takes top spot on my list of best panels at Awesome Con. Photo: Pat Cuadros

Alex Kingston’s Q&A takes top spot on my list of best panels at Awesome Con. Photo: Pat Cuadros

(6/2/15 Update: Sharper Photo from Robbie Hott)

There’s nothing more alarming than a schedule change when you’re already at a convention. “Doctor Who” fans know the feeling all too well, as Awesome Con had recently cancelled the Friday evening “Pond Family Reunion.” Imagine my consternation when a good friend caught up to me at the beginning of what I believed to be the Arthur Darvill line.

“Darvill is at 2:30,” he told me.

“What?” I said.

“They switched Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill’s time slots on the app. Both are still ‘Doctor Who’ panels, he added.”

Alex Kingston shares non-spoilers, hair advice, and great stories. Photo: Pat Cuadros

Alex Kingston shares non-spoilers, hair advice, and great stories. Photo: Pat Cuadros

That was good news indeed, unless for some reason, you don’t particularly like either one of the actors. Kingston was already famous in the 1990s for her portrayal of Dr. Elizabeth Corday in the hit drama series, “ER.” More recently, she’s played River Song on “Doctor Who” and Dinah Lance in “Arrow.” The panel was aptly moderated by Count Gore de Vol, who referred to the celebrated actress creatively as the “more important doctor:” a reference to her character’s archaeology degree. Save for a couple of questions from the Count, the entire hour was dedicated to inquiries from the audience, complete with fezzes and bow ties.

“I see a Weeping Angel in one of the lines!” Kingston exclaimed. She later turned down a “hug of apology” from that Weeping Angel. Nice try! Perhaps if said Angel had tried to offer a Starbucks latte instead, things might have turned out differently. A convention volunteer brought up a venti iced latte halfway through the Q&A, much to Kingston’s delight.

We’ll get to “Doctor Who” and “Arrow” in a moment. However, Kingston provided a lot of insight about her acting methods. She credits her time with “ER” as a very powerful part of her career, with the educational opportunities afforded to her in learning from medical consultants every day on set. When she works in the theater, she incorporates music into her preparation. “I let my instincts choose the song,” she explained. No word yet as to whether she will provide a playlist; similarly, curiosity is abound about the possible release of a River Song box set.

“Arrow” and Hair

Kingston relishes the opportunity to play an American character, as it seems most professionals in the business view her as strictly for English roles. She expects to be back for future episodes of “Arrow,” seeing room for more development in her character. That line of discussion coincided with the inquiry about her hair regiment, which is more along the vein of trial and error. “I need to make a brand [of hair products] … I have a very good pair of tongs,” she joked.

Alex Kingston at Awesome Con 2015 - Photo: Robbie Hott

Alex Kingston at Awesome Con 2015 – Photo: Robbie Hott

General Things About “Doctor Who”

It’s impossible to include all the of the lovely questions that came up during the panel. I’ll gladly recap a couple of the gems that turned up. Kingston’s all-time favorite episode of “Doctor Who” is when the Doctor and Amy meet Vincent Van Gogh. “Every time I watch it, it makes me cry.” She had a chance to keep the extra pair of red shoes from her River wardrobe, but they were far too uncomfortable. “Matt said he wanted them,” she told the amused crowd.

Will River Meet Peter Capaldi’s Doctor?

“I don’t think my time is done, because I haven’t been involved in all the adventures in my diary,” Alex Kingston revealed to the audience. “None of the Doctors so far have that sonic screwdriver.” Indeed, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor still has the screwdriver used by the 11th Doctor. Capaldi is slated for two more seasons, so it’s possible that the 12th Doctor may get an upgrade on his screwdriver and resume his adventures with River Song.

Whether or not the two characters would get along also remains to be seen. Kingston characterizes the 12th Doctor as “darker” with a “bubbling anger” underneath, which would make for a “very interesting” encounter. There are quite a few directions to take on River’s return, I would argue. For instance, Missy has crossed the Doctor’s timeline a few times; did she also cross River Song’s? I think Alex Kingston would also consider that to be a “very interesting” occurrence, but for different reasons.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next! Until then, keep watching this space for updates.

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