From almost the moment he stepped onto the stage, Peter Capaldi was met with an outpouring of love and praise for his turn at the Doctor. And as the Doctor Who panel on Sunday at San Diego Comic Con went on, the fans and the other panelists didn’t let up. The culmination came when the below highlight reel was played.
Afterward, Michelle Gomez stood up and called for everyone else to do the same as they hollered and clapped for Capaldi. The standing ovation touched the actor, who teared up.
Then Capaldi gave the praise right back. He made an impromptu speech applauding each of his costars and giving Steven Moffat credit for getting the show to a place where a female Doctor could be cast. Capaldi also singled out Michelle Gomez for her outstanding performance as the female Master, Missy, who paved the way for the titular Time Lord to regenerate into a Time Lady, which he will do this Christmas when Jodie Whittaker takes over the role.
The departing showrunner also addressed the long-standing fandom sticking point about: Is the time traveling hero called the Doctor or Doctor Who? Fans of the classic show are quick to mention that the character was often called “Doctor Who” and Moffat built upon this reasoning. The Third Doctor even had a license plate that said, “Who.” But he also recognized that the character has also been called “Doctor” regularly. So which is correct? Whichever you want. It doesn’t matter in the end. In short, stop correcting people who say it one way or the other.
He also had some harsh words for anyone stirring up controversy that doesn’t exist about the casting of Whittaker. “Shut the hell up,” Moffat said.
On a more positive note, a teaser for the Christmas special was unveiled and showed Mark Gatiss returning to the show, this time as a German soldier. Pearl Mackie will also come back for the special but it will be the end of her time on the show.
As for Capaldi, he answered a few fan questions before the panel ended.
His defining moment as the Doctor? The very first time we ever saw him, or rather his eyes and impressive eyebrows, in the 50th anniversary special, “Day of the Doctor.”
The hardest part of the show? “Leaving it.” Cue me sobbing.
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