It’s gonna be Who-this!, Who-that!, and Who-there! all week long on the American home of the British Broadcasting Company. Doctor Who is BBC America’s most popular show that doesn’t feature an army of clones (hmm, wait a minute…) and the channel is going for the ratings gold with a major Who marathon and several new-to-broadcast specials. Of course, this all leads up to the night of 23 August, when we can all stop holding our collective breaths for Deep Breath!
Speaking of that first episode of Series 8, BBC America will be showing it on the 23rd in the 8 o’clock hour (Eastern Time), when it will be preceded and also followed by 15-minute live presentations by The Nerdist and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. His guests even include Mark Gatiss! The same night, the channel will debut the dramatic series Intruders, starring John Simm (the Master/Mr. Saxon) and executive-produced by former Who-gurus Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner!
Leading up to the night of the 23rd, there’s lots of good stuff as well. Two new specials help kick off The Doctor Who Takeover Week on Saturday, 16 August. The Ultimate Companion is hosted by Fifth Doctor actor Peter Davison and has interviews with Steven Moffat, John Barrowman, David Tennant, and others. That program will be followed by The Real History of Science Fiction: Time, which includes chats with David Tennant. Both specials run about one hour each.
On Monday the 18th, a special called Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord will debut at 10pm. This hour-long program will also be hosted by Peter Davison and will at least partially focus on Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor. Expect contributions once again from Tennant and, sigh, Barrowman. The Ultimate Time Lord will signal the start of the Doctor Who Marathon, which takes over the channel until Deep Breath is broadcast on the 23rd. The Doctor Who Takeover Week Marathon includes everything from a complete run of the Doctors Revisited specials to An Adventure in Space and Time to full runs of episodes for both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. Geronimo!
And finally, a terrific-sounding documentary called Doctor Who: Earth Conquest will make its debut on Friday the 22nd at 9pm. The 60-minute program will feature footage, interviews, and behind-the-scenes material from the recent (and ongoing!) Doctor Who World Tour! Definitely expect to see exclusive talks and footage of Steven Moffat, Jenna Coleman, and Peter Capaldi as they make their way around the globe, from Cardiff, to London, to Seoul, to Sydney, and beyond! It’s like being able to see the World Tour without actually having to buy the tickets or stand in line!
BBC America has really brought a prominence to Doctor Who that it never before had in the USA. PBS never had the budget to promote the show in a proper way and the Syfy Channel… well, the less said about them the better. Let’s hope that Deep Breath brings big ratings and allows BBC America to keep promoting Doctor Who as one of their flagship shows, if not their premiere flagship show!
Kasterborites in the USA, will you be tuning in to BBC America for the week-long Takeover… and just how many hours in a row can you watch before your eyesight totally gives out?!