I’ve always said Doctor Who is television’s rock star, and I’m not the only one. It’s lasted longer than any other sci-fi series, its last episode was watched by eleven million viewers, and waiting for a new season is like waiting for a new album, with episode shoots being music videos and the ever-changing line-up being easily comparable with a certain other band.
The world tour is the final confirmation, and the only one we need. For it to be loved in so many areas of the world (The Day Of The Doctor was transmitted in 98 countries), it makes a lot of marketing sense. And it seems like the natural development of Steven Moffat’s showrunner-ship. Before Series 5 began, The Eleventh Hour toured Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s old schools. Before Series 6, The Impossible Astronaut was marketed in the United States and publicity was heavy on the newly-created BBC America (who’ll now transmit episode one on the same day as its UK premiere). So Series 8 being advertised around the world is completely expected. For someone who started Internet blogging at the birth of the Eleventh, I feel like the fan of an underground band suddenly getting a lot of attention from a lot of places.
They’re striking while the iron’s hot. With the last episodes getting unusually high ratings, and the world’s last exposure to the show being anticipated worldwide, this is the perfect time to promote a new season. There’s a pre-established actor for a start, and the show’s now been around long enough for potential audiences to take it seriously.
Which makes the guest list of particular note. Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Moffat. The two regulars, and the showrunner. Where’s the new producer? Where’s the new actors? While Moffat and Coleman have been present in the show already, for a tour advertising the newest season, we’re only really getting one example of a new “feature”, and that’s Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. What about Samuel Anderson? He won’t be able to answer any questions about his character, Danny Pink,’s role in the season – that goes without saying – but there’ll be an increased awareness for him if he were to attend.
I can only assume it’s a scheduling thing. Or that there’s a specific plan for what’s being promoted. Or that the organisers intend for the attention to be specifically focused on those three elements for a different reason. Given that there’s to be reports and updates regularly published, I assume we’ll find-out in time.
But I still want to go. I’ve never made it to Comic Con, and didn’t get to the Doctor Who Celebration. I’ve been to the Exhibition and Experience, but that’s it. I don’t want to miss out where I could hit in, and the show touring doesn’t really give me an excuse not to go, especially as it’s coming to London, and I’ve already been there. It’s not as if it’s a place I’ve never been before.
From the 7th to the 12th, the world tour will take the show to Cardiff, London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Mexico City and Rio de Janerio. In an event spanning such a wide area over an almost two-week period, I’ll need a pretty good reason not to go to the one nearest to me at a time I know I’ll be available.
For once, this time, I’m actually going to make the effort to attend an event. This is, after all, the promotional tour to the season I’m anticipating the most, after Series 6 and Series 5. What I’m being offered is the chance to at least see Peter Capaldi, and I do not intend to let that pass. I’m told Steven Moffat won’t be there for every day due to production commitments, but if anybody has a problem with that, I say: he can either be on yet another tour, or he can spend time working on the show you’re here to celebrate. With that thought, I almost hope he won’t be there so I can be sure he’ll be working on the show.
The tour’s been described as a fan/press event – an event for fans to engage with the trio, and for press to ask questions. Which I’m going to interpret as meaning it’s a mix of the professional and the casual; interviews with cast and crew from qualified media journalists, as well as the opportunity to observe how beloved Doctor Who truly is as fans show that devotion through whatever means the tour will give. I imagine we’ll also be able to ask questions of our own (e.g.: “We all know Danny Pink’s The Master, right?” “Is Charles Dance The Master?” “Is the finale’s villain The Master?”).
Personally, I can’t wait. Since this is both a follow-up tour to the biggest year for the best show on television, and its biggest publicity tour anyway, we’ll be able to prove just how much we appreciate it, and why it would be a mistake not to take it into your own heart. It’s coming to one our your continents – so fly, my pretties! Show your local conglomerates how much you love this show! Prove it to them! Make us all proud! Find your way to the nearest venue and join in the sum total of the growing fan-base. Make this the best tour the show’s even had, and give them a reason to keep making it. Don’t miss-out on this opportunity to become one with the fans. All of us have a responsibility to attend our nearest destination. If you’re a fan, you have no reason not to go.
I’m starting to get all preachy, but you get the picture.