Everyone’s screaming about Who, now?


Doctor Who, specifically.

Monday evening in Gotham, BBC America held a screening of the first two episodes of the new season of “Doctor Who” at what a network rep had described a few days earlier as “a low-key gathering.” Chalk it up to British understatement, or maybe underestimation of the show’s rabid stateside fan base, but when the event’s emcee asked the aud, “Who lined up yesterday?”, cheers shook the old-fashioned rafters of the Village East Cinemas. The 850-person crowd (out of more than 1000 in line) was chanting “DOCTOR WHO! DOCTOR WHO!” by the time the lights dimmed.

Showrunner Steven Moffat, his producers, and thesps including Matt Smith (the Doctor himself) and former Royal Shakespeare Company performer Alex Kingston (River Song) fielded questions from the rowdy aud after the show, including one aspiring actress who wanted to know how to get cast on the Beeb’s venerable sci-fi series.

Fans arrived wearing gear from all of the show’s incarnations, from Tom Baker’s colorful scarf to Smith’s own fez (yes, fez), many of them brandishing toy replicas of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, a regular feature on the program. Miraculously, the net had enough branded baseball caps for everyone (bloodshed would likely have ensued without). The screening featured several of Moffat’s signature plot twists, and during the Q&A he begged the aud not to give anything away. “Please, please don’t tell anyone!” he said.

“You guys are so much more fun than a U.K. audience,” said producer Beth Willis. “They quietly clap.” The crowd went wild.

– Sam Thielman

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