As San Diego Comic-Con wound down on Sunday, fans of BBC America's Doctor Who gathered in Hall H for an emotional panel that said goodbye to 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi, as well as outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat, Pearl Mackie, Michelle Gomez and Matt Lucas. And still up in the air Mark Gatiss was there as well.
The panel covered heartfelt goodbyes for the 12th Doctor, and both hope and praise for the incoming 13th Doctor, Jodie Whittaker.
Peter Capaldi is all for the idea: "I think Jodie's gonna be amazing. I just spoke to her the other day, and she's so full of excitement and she's so full of passion, and she really loves the show. It's really exciting to know it will be in great hands, so I'm really looking forward to it."
Moffat also added his thoughts about the perceived backlash to Whittaker's casting: "There have been so many press articles about this backlash about a female Doctor among the Doctor Who fandom. There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the Doctor Who fandom has embraced that change ... Doctor Who fans are more excited about the idea of a brilliant actress than upset about a woman playing the Doctor."
He then added: "I wish every journalist who was writing the alternative would shut the hell up."
Capaldi capped the discussion with a reminder that Moffat had something to do with the change: "The message of kindness comes from his heart, and the creation of a female Doctor really comes from the creation of a female Master."
However, as positive as the talk was about Whittaker, the real emotion came when Capaldi took the time to say a word about everyone on the panel.
He described Mackie's Bill as having "her feet on the ground and her heart in the stars. And who wouldn't want to be that?" And he thanked Lucas for stepping into his role of Nardol "with humility and grace." Moffat also made a point to say something about Gomez and Gatiss, and then joked that he didn't realize he was going to make a speech.
The most heartfelt goodbye, however, was for Capaldi from Hall H itself.
(Special thanks to Alisha Grouso of Movie Pilot for catching quotes I missed over the sound of my sobs.)