Got up entirely too early Sunday to make sure I got a seat for the Castle panel (missing last year's panel was the lowlight of last year's con). I dropped off my suitcase with the bell captain but carried my laptop and costume (didn't want to risk either laptop or Phantom helmet getting lost or damaged) and got in line. Many, many other Castle and Firefly fans were there, waiting. I felt kind of bad for the panel before Castle, which was Wild Cards (and therefore included George R. R. Martin), who knew perfectly well that 90 percent of the people there were just waiting for the Castle panel but seemed to find all that amusing.
The Castle panel itself was a hoot, with cast members Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones, Seamus Dever, Molly Quinn (who dressed as Capt. Mal Reynolds and won the adoration of the entire room) and of course Nathan Fillion. We got to see the first scene of the season 4 premier and watch the cast all joke around. Lots of fun.
I failed to luck out for winning a signing from the Castle panel, and I failed to score a signing Nathan Fillion was doing at the California Browncoats booth. But who did NOT fail was my friend Erik, who had teamed up with a bunch of other Doctor Who fans to dress in costume as the various doctors. After a signing with current Doctor Matt Smith and companion Karen Gillan, the various doctors sneaked into the room and asked Smith and Gillan to pose with them for a photo. Smith and Gillan were delighted, as you can see below, but Con management was less than delighted and the various doctors had to beat a hasty retreat. But it was a moment no one there will forget!
Many, many versions of Doctor Who (look for my friend Erik in the back, with the curly blond wig and umbrella)
By now I (and plenty of others) was getting into the "glassy-eyed with exhaustion" phase of the con, so I caught a bit of the Buffy musical episode and then headed back to the hotel to retrieve my bag. Then the three of us went to our traditional end-of-con dinner at the ever-fabulous Lou and Mickey's (the garlic broiled shrimp are to die for) and then caught the trolley to the train station.
I always feel like Comic-Con isn't over until the train ride is done, and that was actually true, because on the train I saw Castle cast member Molly Quinn - I said hello, told her how much I was looking forward to the new season and how awesome her costume at the panel was. She was traveling with her mom and they were both friendly and excited about the day and the show.
The Con isn't perfect. The organizers still haven't figured out how to match panel demand to appropriate room size, the triaging of seats between panels could be handled much better, and ticketing is still a fiasco. But I still had a really good time, and I'm looking forward to next year.