Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Doctor Who in New York City

There are 11 days until the Eleventh Doctor makes his reappearance on TV with the premiere of Doctor Who slated to air both in Britain and in the United States on April 23rd. A few hundred fans though were treated to an advanced screening of the first two episodes of the new season and get to see the cast yesterday in New York City. I was one of those very lucky fans.

I heard about the screening a week before and I was determined to go. For a second, I thought I could leave work early and still have enough time, but I saw online that the demand was fierce and so I decided to take a personal day to get in line early. By the time I got there at 8am Monday morning, the line already contained 325+ people with some getting in line as early as 4pm the day before. This is even crazier when you think about how the screening wasn't set to begin until 7pm, 11 hours after I got there. Thankfully, my friends and I were prepared with food, drinks, books, chairs, and blankets to help us last through the wait. It was also great seeing like-minded geeks totally, well, geek out from drawing Daleks on the wall to dressing up as Amy or the Doctor. The weather also helped. It was cloudy/chilly in the morning, but by the time it was afternoon the clouds opened up and the temperatures reached summer-levels of awesomeness.

The only minor exciting thing that happened during the wait was the cast giving us donuts, but only the lucky few people in the front got to see them. The rest of us still got donuts. At 3pm, we were given wristbands to confirm we were most definitely going to be seeing the screening. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go to the main theater where the cast would be, but we were just happy to be able to watch at all. The demand was so great though that they had to provide two more overflow theater to handle it all and still had to turn people away. From unofficial reports, about 700-800 people were able to see the screening. By around 5pm, it was clear everyone was getting antsier as we were slowly told to gather up our things and get into a more condensed line. The cast (Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Alex Kingston) as well as writer Steven Moffat got there around 6pm dressed to the nines and riding in a blue convertible. By 6:30pm, we were all slowly herded in. They gave us complimentary Doctor Who hats as we entered our theater. My friends and I grabbed the front row with a great view of the screen. What then followed was two and a half hours of PURE AWESOMENESS.

I'll probably do another post with my NON-SPOILERY review of the first two episodes but suffice it to say, they promised epic and they delivered epic. The cliffhanger to end the first episode was brutal and I feel for everyone forced to wait a week to see the second episode.

The screening was then followed by a panel hosted by Chris Hardwick containing the producers, the director, Moffat, and the cast. Most of the questions were actually directed at Moffat who was the MVP of the panel as he showed off his brilliance and sense of humor with every answer and joke. The takeaway though was his absolute delight at the thought of how much pain and torment the fans will go through this season as well as his request to keep SPOILERS at bay. With both Karen and Matt a bit under the water, Arthur Darvill actually fielded a good chunk of the questions. In fact what I noticed last night was how everyone can't seem to get enough of him and his character, Rory. For example, his name on the credits prompted the biggest applause from the audience. Still, the whole thing was just pure excellence, give or take 1-2 awful fan questions that were probably inevitable. Then, we were told to leave.

Of course this meant all of us pretty much waiting outside the theater for one last glimpse of the cast. I was able to take a few snapshots of Matt, Alex, and Arthur. And then it was all over. My friends and I shared a few minutes together as we both went home and couldn't stop talking about the experience and the episodes. It was a great, great day and I really just can't wait to watch those episodes again and the new ones to come very soon.


  1. Wish I could've been there. That sounds like an awesome time. Great pics btw. Too bad you weren't in it. Probably if you look around the internet there's probably a pic with you just like that girl also taking a pic in your first pic.

    Good stuff. Can't wait for the new episodes.

  2. It was pure awesome. I got to the line at 5:45am, and the people behind me in line were the last ones into the "main" theatre. Sooo worth the tiredness and soreness today from that wait!


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