Too Many Doctors

Photo by Jill Brandenburg
Photo by Jill Brandenburg

The “Supergate 3: Is There a Doctor in the House?” panel on Saturday afternoon in the Westin Peachtree ballroom started with guests David Hewlett, Teryl Rothery, and Paul McGillion pausing at the edge of the stage together to give everyone a photo op and for Hewlett to take a selfie. From that very first moment, the tone of the panel was set.

Hewlett started out by saying that the first thing he has learned from Dragon Con is that if there’s an elevator, you need to get on it! He said that he’s been randomly leaping into elevators all over the place now. Rothery noted that the elevators can be overwhelming when you’re short like she is because everyone just keeps piling on.

Throughout the panel, the banter between the guests flew fast and furious, especially between Hewlett and McGillion, who co-starred on Stargate: Atlantis. But Rothery certainly wasn’t holding back, either. At one point a fan asked a question about what were some of their favorite scenes to film, and Rothery picked up the cup that was sitting in front of McGillion, holding it up for the audience to see. “Scenes?” she said. “Scenes? He’s drinking Scotch! He can’t remember episodes, let alone scenes!”

After the audience finished laughing, Rothery actually answered the question, saying that she really enjoyed filming a scene with the late Dom DeLuise. In the scene, Rothery’s character wasn’t able to see DeLuise’s character, so he spent it blowing in her ear and doing other things to try to distract her and make her break. Rothery finished the scene without breaking. After they had wrapped, DeLuise turned to her and said, “Wow, you’re good!”

Hewlett replied that one of his favorite scenes was getting on a plane with Jewel Staite and then getting to go hang out with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

McGillion’s answer was more of an anecdote about filming a scene with Rachel Luttrell in which she had exactly one word to say, “Who?” McGillion, in contrast, had a long bit of technobabble dialogue. They did several takes of the scene for various reasons, the director of photography had to walk backwards, he’s pouring sweat, but when they finally get McGillion’s part right, Luttrell says, “I forgot my line.” So now whenever McGillion sees Luttrell, he teases her with “Who?”

A couple of questions centered on Hewlett as a director. One fan asked him about filming Rage of the Yeti. Hewlett laughed a little at himself about the movie, noting that we shouldn’t run out to see it, but also said that it was fun to film. When else do you get to take a snowcat up a mountain in Siberia? He said that the cast hated him because he took their alcohol away. Sometimes there would be a storm and the only thing to do would be to sit around and drink. Then they’d stagger off to pee and not be seen again. “It’s not worth dying for Yetis!” Hewlett said.

McGillion was also asked how Hewlett was as a director, since he worked with Hewlett on A Dog’s Breakfast. In answer to the question, Hewlett said, “I’m amazing.” To which McGillion promptly replied, “Shut up.” But McGillion then followed it up with saying that Hewlett is really great as a director, and he’s a smart and clever actor. Not able just to leave it there, McGillion also had to tell a story about the movie, which Hewlett also starred in. At one point in the movie, Hewlett is naked in the mud with bubbles covering his naked bum. It’s raining and as they are waiting to get the shot, McGillion is standing over him, in a dress, in the mud, holding an umbrella over Hewlett. Hewlett looks up at McGillion, and when he does McGillion says to him, “This had better be really funny.” Hewlett responds, “It will be.” Upon which McGillion promptly sinks in to the mud.

Rothery wanted to know immediately where she could see McGillion in drag, and a fan sitting in the front row happened to have the movie on her phone (Hewlett thanked her for that). The fan showed it to Rothery, and she immediately said, “Oh, honey. You’re not pretty.” The audience enjoyed that comment immensely.

Hewlett also talked a little bit about directing Debug, which he said is a horror film. He loves the horror genre, though he noted that he doesn’t enjoy watching what he called “torture porn” where it’s just people getting hurt. He prefers the kind of suspense that he said was “mastered” by the Australian director of The Babadook. He concluded his answer by saying, “I want to do more horror. I am a horror.”

During the Q&A, one fan had a comment for each of the panelists. Her comment to McGillion was, “I love you.” Hewlett quickly became indignant. “Wait, Paul gets ‘I love you’ and I get ‘my sister is awesome’?” McGillion slipped into the Scottish accent he used for his character, Dr. Carson Beckett, to tell the fan that she is gorgeous and then called her up front for a hug. Giving out Carson Beckett hugs is a time-honored tradition of McGillion’s during a convention panel.

Another time-honored tradition is the Don S. Davis Charity Auction, which McGillion is emceeing this year. He is also bringing a few items of his own to donate. The auction takes place on Sunday in Hanover C–E in the Hyatt starting at 4PM.

Author of the article

Max sees to the needs of her kitty overlords; polices the grammar on all kinds of published material including signage, menus, and food packaging; and cuddles with her wife while watching her favorite shows (Our Flag Means Death, Killjoys, Sense8, and Doctor Who among them). She continues to be far too excited to be working for the Daily Dragon.