Around the world in twelve days – an impressive feat for any space-time traveller, let alone the very human Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat. The recent Doctor Who World Tour was truly unprecedented, and such a surprising way to promote the start of a new BBC series. Heck, could you imagine if Jonathan Creek got such exposure? That would be awesome!
Anyway, I’m not complaining – I’m chuffed that the BBC is proving its dedication to my favourite show, even if I do feel a little sorry for the globe-trotting cast and crew, who must have been exhausted by the time they landed back on British soil! One such person was BBC Worldwide’s Reetu Kabra, who has shared some thoughts about her round-the-world trip with the Time Lord from Gallifrey.
Following a high-profile screening in Cardiff, England, the TARDIS team jetted off to the South Korean capital of Seoul, where they were afforded almost “rock star status” as they stepped off the plane, mobbed by various cosplaying Whovians! Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman then attended the screening of Deep Breath, where the fans were only too happy to lavish them with free gifts of “ornamental silk fans, luxury boxes of ginseng” and “heaps of fan-made art.”
Peter was also given the “rather surreal” opportunity to meet the actors that dub the show into Korean, namely Youngbun Seol, who plays the Doctor, and Chani Ahn, who plays Clara. If that’s not enough to make a crack in the skin of the universe, then I don’t know what is!
The next stop for the Doctor Who team was Sydney, where Kabra admits that they were starting to feel a little jet-lagged. However, it didn’t prevent them from attending a photo shoot in front of Sydney Opera House, or the special screening at the Sydney State Theatre. Apparently, Peter emerged “from a spectacular Kabuki drop, complete with smoke.” Now, I’ve no idea what a Kabuki drop is, but it sounds amazing.
Next up was New York, where they were joined by Steven Moffat himself. As Kabra points out: “We’ve always known how passionate the US fan base has been – now we got to see it. The American screening took place at the iconic Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown Manhattan. A vintage yellow taxi brought the cast to the venue where photographers snapped them on a TARDIS-blue carpet. As the event began, the crowd raised their sonic screwdrivers and cheered.” The Doctor and Clara also managed to pose for a photo at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. (We hope someone was keeping their eyes on the Statue of Liberty…)
Their fifth destination was Mexico City in, you guessed it, Mexico, and for Reetu Kabra, these fans were by far the most receptive and by far the loudest! This is perhaps unsurprising, given that it was the biggest event of the tour, with over 3,000 Doctor Who enthusiasts in attendance. The team was overwhelmed with free sombreros and bespoke Doctor Who songs delivered in Spanish, and to round things off, Steven Moffat rather cannily suggested that they all go out for a Chinese. In Mexico City. Why not…!
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro was the final stop in the crew’s round-the-world adventure, and as Kabra points out, by that time they’d “already travelled 35,000 miles, flown for a total of 55 hours, met more than 150 members of the international press and done four photo calls.” That’s enough to make anyone regenerate! Still, it was a success by all accounts, with over 2,000 Brazilian fans watching the Deep Breath screening. The tour ended with Reetu taking a snap of herself and the famous Time Lord at the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Quite a moment!
Now, this whole tour might sound bonkers (and in many ways, it was), but to put in context, the show is one of the BBC’s most popular exports, seen in more than 200 territories. The 50th anniversary special, for example, was simulcast in 98 countries and 15 languages, and Deep Breath was simulcast in Australia, Germany and the US, as well as in cinemas all around the world. The programme is a huge deal at the moment, and the BBC is throwing everything at it, and then some.
In short, the new Doctor is in very safe hands. Long may his success continue!