Whovians around the world will get the chance to meet and greet with new Doctor Peter Capaldi and companion Jenna Coleman when they take off on a promotional World Tour, kicking off on 7th August 2014 in Cardiff and London, ahead of the new series scheduled to air later that month – it’s an exciting global event… but does this mean that fans will not get the opportunity to see them personally at San Diego Comic-Con in July?
Filming on the new series of Doctor Who is still underway but, after eight months of principle photography, it’s time for the SFX wizards at Milk VFX to take over and the stars of the series to press some flesh. In the official BBC release on the Doctor Who website, Capaldi admits he is relishing the opportunity to meet introduce his Doctor to fans, face-to-face:
“It’s fantastic that so many people across the world love Doctor Who. After 8 months solid filming deep in the world of monsters, Jenna and I are thrilled to be heading for the Planet of Fans.”
Doctor Who is, of course, filmed in Cardiff and the Director of the Cymru Wales arm of the BBC, Rhodri Talfan Davies, is suitably proud of that fact: “Where better to start the World Tour than the Doctor’s home for the last decade? The sight of the TARDIS and marauding aliens is now a familiar part of Welsh life – though they still scare the life out of the traffic wardens. There is a real sense of excitement and anticipation about the new series – and I know Peter and Jenna are going to be a breath-taking new team. Roll on August!”
UPDATED (12/06/2014): The World Tour will kick off in Cardiff and London, before moving on to Seoul in South Korea, Sydney in Australia, New York in the States and Mexico City in Mexico before coming to a stop, twelve days later in Rio de Janerio in Brazil on August 19th. Hell of a trip! You can follow the whole adventure, and find out how you can take part, at the Official Website, here: www.doctorwho.tv/worldtour
Where fans may not be so happy at the news of a World Tour are those that have embraced the series at San Diego Comic-Con, where Doctor Who has been a stand-out panel for the last number of years. Held in Hall H on the Sunday of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Cons, fans have rabidly queued up overnight to see the panels – last years crowds were particularly enthusiastic for a panel featuring Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. It was an intense event, made all the more controversial by the almost bullying demands by showrunner Steven Moffat that fans not leak footage of the trailer for the 50th Anniversary special, ‘The Day Of The Doctor’. Indeed, the decision for Doctor Who to not appear at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 may have been made by Moffat quite some time ago…
Just a reminder that if ONE recording of the trailer goes online there will be no more #SDCC exclusives. -Moffat
— Doctor Who on BBCA (@DoctorWho_BBCA) July 21, 2013
…at which point, of course, it duly did. While the trailer was quickly polished for international release, the furore over this entire controversy may have soured Moffat’s interest in bringing The Doctor to Comic-Con ever again – his wording may have mentioned BBC America not bringing clips to SDCC again but Moffat may have decided to not focus on one event and instead spread the promotion net worldwide, skipping it all together.
That will not please U.S. fans (a dedicated bunch that even held off on revealing any spoilers online when Season 7 DVD’s, which included the Anniversary Special, were shipped out early to the States ahead of a worldwide broadcast) and it would certainly be a thorn in BBC America’s plans to introduce Capladi’s Doctor to an American audience: a Doctor that current American Nu-Who fans, introduced to the series via younger actors such as David Tennant and Matt Smith and unaccustomed to the Classic series older Doctors, may be initially weary of.
The Exhibitors list for the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con lists BBC America as confirmed and, while the broadcasters other output such as Top Gear and Orphan Black will certainly keep the crowds happy, they will hope that the Doctor will continue to be a big part of their display. All of the details of any presence of Doctor Who at San Diego Comic-Con is yet to be confirmed or denied – watch this (time and) space…