Doctor Who World Tour NYC
I had an amazing day today, hanging out on 54th st with about 1400(??) Whovians. (A Whovian is a special Breed of loyal fans of the BBC longtime hit, Doctor Who.) For ten hours, we were standing, sitting, shifting and dancing in line, climbing the barricades, banging out the time lord drum beat on anything we could hit, singing the theme song, laughing, playing, quoting, trivia’ing, screaming and crying.
Now, you may be asking “ten hours?? WHY?!” With all of the exclamation points and question marks and, probably, about fourteen emojis…. “Why ten hours? Why Doctor Who? Why why why singing-dancing-drumming-etc-etc-and so-on?!” Well – and i promise to keep this short – Doctor Who is an adventure that has been on the air since 1963 (yes, before Star Trek), and it is the story of an outsider who disagreed with the laws of his species, stole a spaceship that travels through time and space, and ran away to explore the universes. (Whew. Told you: short.) (oh, wait, there’s more)
“This is one corner of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy, that’s a corner of a universe, that is forever shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much–so much to see. Because it goes fast. I’m not running away. I’m running to them. Before they flare and fade forever” (The Doctor, s7e3 “The Power of Three”).
It just so happens that this man — this alien — this Time Lord is a quirky, goofy, maladjusted, socially inept, absolutely brilliant Leader-Genius-Hero who stumbles upon distress and imminent doom everywhere he goes, and, thus, despite his eternal vacation intentions, he ends up traveling around and saving worlds, which, frankly, is fitting because he is called The Doctor.
He, like so many of our favorite and most idolized heroes, is plagued with tragedy, steeped in regret and doubt, and trying his absolute damnedest to live up to the promise he made to himself, the promise that lies in his name, and he doesn’t always succeed.
“When you began all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you’d become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name. ‘Doctor’: the word for healer and wiseman throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word become? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word ‘Doctor’ means Mighty Warrior’. How far you’ve come. And now they’ve taken a child – the child of your best friends – and they’re going to turn her into a weapon just to bring you down. And all of this, my love, in fear of you” (Doctor Who, s6e7: “A Good Man Goes To War”).
Now, “why,” you ask? Because who wouldn’t find her personal hero in an adventurous, quirky genius who is resolute in his beliefs? He is a man who demands justice where it lacks, finds beauty where it may seem impossible, and stands tall and brave against adversity.
SO, after nearly twelve months of anticipation, the premiere episode of series 8 was screening at The Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan, hosted by Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), and attended by the actors who play The Doctor and his human companion, and the show runner and head writer, Steven Moffat, himself. The genius behind the laptop. So, Whovians united on 54th St. and waited ten hours, hoping to catch a glimpse, and watch the Series Eight premiere episode, “Deep Breath.”
So: we dance. We sing. We recite whole monologues and reenact episodes. We drum the beat of the Time Lord’s hearts (yes: plural).
Then, after what seems like a eternity, an old fashioned taxi rolled up and Mr Capaldi, Ms Coleman, and Mr Steven Moffat emerged, and the already-palpable crowd absolutely erupted.
Being at the apex of such passionate enthusiasm is a rush of energy that overwhelms you in a wave, enveloping you completely, the way a blanket hugs during a Christmas movie, or a pillow comforts during a horror flick. It’s, well….it’s home.
And then we watched the episode.