Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat has told critics to “shut the hell up” and stop claiming there is a backlash from fans against the casting of the first female Time Lord.
He also revealed to thousands of fans at Comic-Con San Diego on Sunday the details of a Christmas special which will be the last episode for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts.
Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, whose name received mass applause from fans at the annual convention, will become the 13th Time Lord.
Moffat, the outgoing writer and executive producer, blasted journalists who claim fans are revolting against the casting.
“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,” he said.
“I wish every single journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”
He claimed there is an 80 per cent approval rating for Whittaker on social media.
“Not that I check these things obsessively,” he joked.
Former Doctor Peter Davison said he prefers a male in the role and said he was saddened at the “loss of a role model for boys”.
Sixth Time Lord Colin Baker promptly accused him of talking “absolute rubbish” and pointed out Whittaker could be a role model for all
The Christmas special will see Capaldi’s Time Lord battle against the regeneration process as he exits the series, Moffat announced.
World War One soldier The Captain, played by Sherlock co-producer Mark Gatiss, and David Bradley, playing the first Doctor, then go on a “crazy adventure”.
But that will be the last adventure for Potts as Mackie revealed she is also leaving the BBC series.
“That’s it after that. Christmas special, last chance to see Bill but, I mean, hey, it’s Doctor Who so never say never,” she said to the audience’s disappointment.
Matt Lucas, who plays Nardole, spoke about the unique challenges of making a Christmas special.
“The Christmas specials have a slightly different identity to the regular series in that they are a bit lighter and bolder because people in Britain on Christmas Day eat turkey and there’s an enzyme in turkey that makes people fall asleep,” he said.
“So the Christmas special has to keep you awake.”
Capaldi, who bashfully accepted a standing ovation, praised previous Doctors who did not have modern special effects to work with.
“All the previous Doctors have worked really with a lot of unconvincing latex, rubber, cardboard and rice and porridge and stuff and never for a second have they ever shown you anything other than utter commitment to that truth,” he said.