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Capaldi and Moffat joined stars Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Michelle Gomez (Missy) and the show’s writer Mark Gatiss in Hall H for a packed panel to say goodbye to their time on the BBC America series. Capaldi will exit the series in this year’s Christmas special, making way for the first female Doctor, 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker, to take over with new showrunner Chris Chibnall, whose hiring was announced just one week earlier.
Unfortunately, BBC America did not take the opportunity to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the historical casting and Whittaker was absent from the panel. Instead, the stars and showrunners used the hour to look back on Moffat’s time helming the show and Capaldi’s time as the Doctor (the audience even gave him a standing ovation), as well as share some harsh words for anyone, press and fans alike, complaining about the first female Doctor’s casting.
“There has been so many press articles about a backlash among the Doctor Who fandom about casting a female Doctor,” Moffat said. “There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change completely. Eighty-percent approval on social media, not that I check these things obsessively. So many people wanting to pretend there is a problem. There isn’t. It’s been incredibly progressive and enlightened and that’s what really happened. I wish every other journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”
Moderator Chris Hardwick called anyone complaining about Whittaker’s casting an “asshole” and “not a real fan of the show if you don’t accept this.” The thousands of fans gathered in Hall H erupted in cheers and applause.
“I think Jodie is going to be amazing,” Capaldi said. “I spoke to her the other day and she’s so full of excitement and passion about the show. It’s thrilling to know it’s in the hands of someone who cares for it deeply and is so excited about it. So she’s a great choice for it.”
Doctor Who finished shooting the Christmas special only three days prior to the panel, but fans were still treated to a short teaser video showcasing two Doctors, Capaldi and David Bradley’s 1st Doctor, along with companion Bill. Moffat revealed that the Christmas special would follow the 12th Doctor refusing to regenerate and meeting the 1st Doctor, who also is refusing to regenerate. They’ll go on a crazy adventure which will ultimately result in the 13th Doctor’s debut.
While fans cheered the loudest seeing Bill at the end of the teaser video for the special, they audibly groaned with disappointment when Hardwick confirmed that Mackie was also leaving the series with Capaldi and Moffat.
“No, that’s it after that,” Mackie said. “Christmas special, last chance to see Bill. But it is Doctor Who, so never say never.”
Watch the trailer for the Christmas special, below.
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