DAYS TO DOCTOR WHO IN THE US: 3
I can now proudly say that I was there the moment Matt Smith first understood the very New York City art of shouting “Woo!”
BBC America and the trio of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and showrunner, Steven Moffat are making sweet, sweet love to NYC this week in order to promote the Stateside premiere of Doctor Who. There was a sold-out event at the Paley Center for Media that I, sadly, could not attend. However, they usually post video from their events after the fact, so check them out!
The Apple Store was packed last night, and when the stars and writer entered the room they were greeted by raucous cheers and fans wearing everything from “The Angels Have the Phone Box” t-shirts to one guy in full-on Tenth Doctor garb! They showed two clips from the first episode of the new series, but the important part of the evening was the moderated discussion with the trio. For us here in the States, this was a rare opportunity to see those involved with Doctor Who up close and personal, and all three were lovely, insightful, and hilarious, even when the most hilarious on-set anecdote they could come up with was The Tale of the Barely Audible Barn Owl, (um, there was this owl…and you could hear it all through this one shot…and Karen was bemused by there being a live owl…and you really had to be there…) which Moffat advised us to “cherish forever.”
TIDBITS AND OBSERVATIONS:
- Matt Smith is charming as hell. Seriously. I’ve always thought he was hot in an adorkable way, but I wasn’t prepared for this level of charm. Take everything you thought you knew about charming, multiply it by the distance in inches between New York and London, add the cutest animal video you’ve ever seen on YouTube, stick it under a really snazzy cross between a fedora and a boater hat, and that’s how charming Matt Smith is. He’s also really funny and talkative. I don’t think I can ever speak to him one-on-one. It’d start out all professional and cool and “Whatever. I’m talking to Matt Smith. So?” and then he’d make me laugh or spill coffee on me (he’s notoriously clumsy), and I’d be all girlish giggles and squee and “Oh don’t worry, Matt! I love coffee! And I didn’t like this shirt anyway. Want me to take it off?” Um, yeah. Charming.
- Karen Gillan really is that pretty in person. No, really. Like, Matt Smith Charming pretty. I’d hate her for making the rest of us look bad, but she’s so sweet and smart that I can’t bring myself to hate her at all. Dammit. I actually really like her. Double dammit. She needs to learn how to not let Matt Smith bogart the mike, though. Smith is definitely a Chatty Cathy, and there were times when I really wanted to hear Karen’s answer to a question, but she’d get talked over. But lastly, to the guy who had the audacity to ask for Gillan’s phone number during the Q&A? First of all, rude. Secondly? Dude, she is so out of your league.
- Steven Moffat is a badass. Seriously. I wish I had half his wit and confidence as a writer. I suppose winning a Hugo has its privileges! He was not only really funny, but he seemed both kind to and protective of his stars, which I thought was sweet. For example, when Mr. Not In Her League asked for Gillan’s number, and she got flustered, Moffat jumped to her aid, shutting the guy down with the perfect amount of good-natured sarcasm.
- However, Mr. Not In Her League wasn’t the only audacious one at the event. I was shocked by the people who asked Moffat questions about episodes that aren’t released in this country yet! Look, everyone knows that people download episodes. It’s not a big secret. But for goodness’ sake! The head writer of the show has come all the way across the ocean to promote the premiere of a show here. Do you really want to rub it in his face that you will have your Doctor Who with or without his help? Not only that, but it’s very inconsiderate to those in the audience at the event who haven’t seen the episodes you’re talking about! Very glad you’re “in the know,” but keep it to yourself. Kthxbye.
- Moffat mentioned Doctor Who “monsters” that are coming back this series, including the Silurians and the Weeping Angels. He brought up an interesting fact about his development of the Weeping Angels, saying that he thought that Grandma’s Footsteps (Red Light, Green Light 1-2-3 to us Americans) was a really scary game, and that he pretty much just took that idea, made it a monster, and that’s it! “Done! Copyright Doctor Who!” I’d never thought about that game as frightening, but when I think about how it’s played—every time you turn around, the players are closer and have changed position—I can see how it could be. Eek!
- Speaking of the differences between the British and New Yorkers, the trio seemed really amused by the way we always cheer things by shouting “Woo!” Anytime they gave the fans a crumb of interesting information, the crowd went “Woo!” Then Gillan and/or Smith would go “Woo!” in response, finally prompting Smith to exclaim “I think I’m finally getting this New York thing! And I really want to! Woo!” Heh. But seriously, I didn’t realize we shouted “Woo!” that much. Like, for everything. Is it just a New York thing? Do people in Kansas say “Woo?”
- Gillan mentioned that Amy Pond is NOT a Damsel In Distress. That she wouldn’t have wanted to play her if she was, which made this writer of a certain Moffat’s Women series of articles very happy! She also describes Amy as “just as mad as The Doctor,” which I’m very much looking forward to seeing. And when asked if Amy has romantic feelings for The Doctor, she said that while Amy loves The Doctor, she doesn’t think that she is “in love” with him. Smith seemed to agree, though he too classified their relationship as “very deep.” Moffat described this new series as more of “her story.” After all, The Doctor comes into the lives of a lot of people. The real story is that of the person who is changed by him. I like that idea.
The Apple Store always has such great, non-computer related events, and this was no exception! Special thanks to BBC America for allowing Smith, Gillan, and Moffat to make sweet, sweet love to our fair city. We greatly appreciate it!
Doctor Who premieres this SATURDAY, APRIL 17TH at 9PM ET on BBC America!
**NOTE: Part 1 of the Paul Cornell interview that was scheduled for today is going to post tomorrow, and it will just be one long interview. It's worth the wait, I promise!**
Teresa Jusino was born on the same day that Skylab fell. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. She is a contributor to PinkRaygun.com, a webzine examining geekery from a feminine perspective. Her work has also been seen on PopMatters.com, on the sadly-defunct literary site CentralBooking.com, edited by Kevin Smokler, and in the Elmont Life community newspaper. She is currently writing a web series for Pareidolia Films called The Pack, which is set to debut Fall 2010! Get Twitterpated with Teresa, Follow The Pack or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.