Day 1 of Fan Expo Canada 2017 started off with a bang, the halls lined with fans anxious to attend Matt Smith’s Q&A panel in room 106. It’s been 3 years since Smith’s last Toronto Fan Expo appearance, and he was welcomed with great enthusiasm from fans young and old.
Several fans had the chance to ask Smith questions about his Doctor Who career, his recent role of Prince Phillip on The Crown, and some even asked him for advice on pursuing acting and performance careers, all of which he answered willingly, with a friendliness and kind attitude you can’t help but love.
Of course, the all-important question on the minds of all Whovians currently, is that of the upcoming regeneration of the Doctor, who is set to be portrayed by Jodi Whittaker. When asked for his opinion on this news, Smith said that this casting choice is “exactly what the show needs, and it’s [the show] at its best when it’s reinventing things. She’s a brilliant actress and a great person.”
Additionally, questions of nostalgia and favourite moments from his time on Doctor Who, were plentiful. He reminisced about his prankster behaviour on set, claiming to have snuck into co-star and friend Karen Gillan’s trailer to scare her, among other stories.
Smith also discussed the final days on set leading up to filming his regeneration with Peter Capaldi. “It’s tough… It’s a weird day, when you die, essentially… But you just gotta try and find the new.” He described himself, Capaldi, and anyone else who has portrayed the Doctor, as a sort of “club,” because “only the Doctors know what the Doctor’s going through.”
It was clear that Smith thoroughly enjoys interacting with his fans, not just answering questions and moving on. He would ask questions back at them, compliment people’s cosplays, and provide words of encouragement to his young fans starting out in their acting careers. To one fan dressed in a recognizable golden princess dress, he exclaimed “Belle is my favourite Disney princess! And that’ll get me in trouble, as Cinderella is very close to me!”
Although room 106 holds thousands of people, it was as if Matt Smith were interacting individually with each and everyone there, connecting with each person on some level. This interaction, made memorable by his exceptionally friendly attitude and humour, made for a memorable and entertaining panel – a great start to the four day convention.