Doctor Who Series 6 Premiere Rocks NYC
Doctor Who has been around for years, and it seems that its popularity is finally catching on here in the US. For the first time ever, BBC America is broadcasting the new series of Doctor Who at the same time in both the US and UK, and we’ve never been so lucky. The powers that be decided to host a premiere event in NYC this past Monday featuring the first 2 episodes of Series 6, followed by a Q&A with the writers and cast. I was fortunate enough to attend the event. What did I think?
I loved it. Every freaking second of it. Fans started lining up at 4pm Sunday night. By the time my wife and I got there at 7am Monday, there were already 250+ people in line. By the time the show started, there were well over 400 people behind us. What was originally supposed to be a 2 theater event turned into a 6 theater extravaganza, and they still had to turn people away.
Having spent several hours on the street with them, it must be said that Doctor Who fans are some of the nicest people around. As far as the eyes could see there were people wearing fez’s, red wigs, dressed in scarves and brown suits, proudly proclaiming that “bowties are cool.” We sat in line all day exchanging stories, reveling in our geekdom, and sharing my wife’s home made jammie dodgers (which were delicious, I might add).
When the cast and crew finally showed up, they did so in style. First they came by and gave us all donuts. Then, a few hours later, they rolled up in a light blue convertible looking like superstars. They took some pictures, signed some autographs, and headed inside. Once we all found our way into the theater, the lights dimmed and the moment we all had waited for was at hand. It was finally time to watch “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon.”
The episodes didn’t miss a beat, diving right in to plot threads started in seasons prior. They focused heavily on The Silence, a new race of villains that are just plain scary, and the enigmatic River Song, who we were introduced to back in series 4. I want to avoid any sort of spoilers here, so I’ll just say that These two episodes were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that I was viewing them on the big screen, but more likely it was because they were just that well done. The Silence are terrifying, River gets to kick some serious ass, Rory has some very cool moments, and seeing The Doctor and crew traveling through America and interacting with Nixon and the Moon landing was simply outstanding. Then there’s the ending, which sets the stage for what’s to come this season. Didn’t see that coming, and what it means is so very interesting/mysterious I can hardly wait to see what they have in store for us.
The following Q&A session was fun. Chris Hardwick played host and did a quick interview with everybody. Afterwards, the audience got their chance to ask a few questions. They were very careful not to give anything away, in fact, Steven Moffat seemed to take particular delight in not telling us anything of consequence, and pointing out that the mid-season cliffhanger was going to make us hate him. Still, it was fun to see everyone is such good spirits. They were all good sports about everything, and seemed genuinely happy to be there. Class acts, all the way.
If you or anyone you know have been put off by Doctor Who in the past, or just haven’t decided to pick it up for whatever reason, Series 6 is a fantastic jumping on point. It doesn’t rely too heavily on the tremendous backstory to make its points, and it’s such a well put together bit of sci-fi, it will be sure to hook you. Doctor Who was once described to me as “high budget writing with low budget visuals” and that’s simply not the case anymore. The writing is sharper than ever, and the special effects have finally caught up, providing a truly remarkable experience. Doctor Who Series 6 premieres April 23rd on BBC America.