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Doctor Who – A Global Phenomenon: Part 5: An Unexpected Journey

As the the Doctor Who World Tour sets off DWTV contributors return to the series looking at the show around the globe.

global-bunch

Introduction to the Second Series

By Connor Johnston

It was during the week of the 50th Anniversary last year that we, four humble Whovians, embarked on a journey to discover how Doctor Who is received all around the world – and to prove that through its history and its future Doctor Who is a Global Phenomenon. One of the best things that stood out when the articles were being published were heaps of suggestions to tackle even more countries and find out how diverse the fandom really is… and so that’s exactly what we plan to do! It has never been more obvious that Doctor Who is most definitely a global phenomenon, and to celebrate the Doctor kicking off his own world tour throughout August, we’ve pulled together yet another group Whovians from different corners of the globe to show how Doctor Who is received in their own home country. However before the new countries take centre stage we’ve called back the original team to see how the 50th anniversary celebrations went in Australia, Canada, South Africa and the UK. Part 5 is: An Unexpected Journey!

To go back to where it all began and read the first four articles, simply click on the links below!

AUSTRALIA – Connor Johnston

tardis-ausG’day Blokes and Sheila’s! As an Aussie Whovian, the biggest problems I face has to be the dreaded time difference between us and the rest of the world… although there was one day – one marvellous day, where the time difference benefited us Aussie’s greatly. That day of course was “The Day of The Doctor”… or should I say in our case “The Weekend of the Doctor!”

The weekend kicked off on the morning of Saturday 23rd of November with celebrations and special events planned all around the country! Doctor Who Pop Up shops appeared in all the major cities, ABC Shops were decked in TARDIS blue tinsel, Dalek cut outs invaded shopping centre front windows, and finally, for those of us who like to indulge in a little shopping spree every now and then, 2 day sales appeared everywhere online and in store! 20% off DVD’s, 50% of Tom Baker scarves, 75% off New Adventure Novels… It was a dream come true! Doctor Who even earned a mention in Australian Parliament during the week of the 50th as a plea supported by many politicians to invite the BBC to film down under was officially registered. The evening took form with a special screening of “Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide” – the same documentary that aired in the UK a few days earlier. And as if that wasn’t enough, pay TV channel UKTV kicked off their Doctor Who marathon, screening stories from all 11 (at the time) Doctors from 6AM – 10PM on both Saturday and Sunday… and so ended the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who – the 23rd of November 2013 – and boy what a day it was!!

But then hold the phone… This all happened on Britain’s “Friday the 22nd” (Thank you time difference!!!!!) which means we still had another stunning 24 hours of Doctor Who Worldwide celebrations!!!!!!

6:00AM, Sunday the 24th of November and after setting 31 alarms and ignoring absolutely all of them I finally sat ready for “The Day of the Doctor” (Watch Number One) Live simulcast to begin! Following an incredible 80 Minutes of pure joy, I hopped on the bus almost immediately to attend the first cinema screening of Day (10AM – Watch Number 2). I can say without a doubt that I had never seen so many people in a shopping centre that early. Cosplay and TARDIS T-shirts flooded the theatres and the pure multitude of people attending was truly overwhelming! And so after another day full of celebrations, Whovians sat down that evening for a more suitably timed screening of Day (WATCH 3) followed by the Australian premiere of ‘An Adventure in Time and Space’.

Already this year Australians have been treated to many Who-vents including both “The Science of Doctor Who” and “The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular” live shows that toured the country earlier in 2014 and special visits from Who guests including Arthur Darvill, Freema Agyeman and John Barrowman. But keep an eye open Aussies, it doesn’t end there! Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman touch down on our Sydney shores (Like the first settlers from England way back in the 1700’s) for the “Doctor Who World Tour” and Australasian premiere of “Deep Breath” on the 12th of August, ABC1 is airing an exclusive half an hour one on one interview with Peter Capaldi entitled “When Julia met the Doctor” hosted by Julia Zemiro on the 20th of August and in the early hours of the morning on the 24th ABC1 will simulcast the series premiere “Deep Breath” alongside its UK transmission before it hits cinemas around the country later that day. (Yes everybody… we beat the USA!). In the next few months we can also look forward to the return of the “Doctor Who Pop Up Shops”, the third nationwide tour of “The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular” hosted once again by Peter Davison and an abundance of Who visitors such as Jenna Coleman and Sarah Louise Madison, who will be attending Melbourne Armageddon Expo, Neve McIntosh, who will be attending both the Adelaide and Brisbane Supanova Expo, Mark Sheppard who will be attending Sydney OZ Comic Con,  and Richard Franklin, John Levene, Katy Manning and Matthew Waterhouse who will be touring the country as part of Lords of Time 3.

All in all, the 50th weekend completely exceeded my expectations, opened my eyes, and quite frankly overwhelmed me – to how much Australians really do value Doctor Who. One last thing: Film here… now.

AUSTRALIA
Prominence – Previous Rating: 8, New Rating 8
Reputation – Previous Rating 8, New Rating 8.5

CANADA – By Laurinda Hartt

canada-doctor-whoIt’s been one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent memory here in southern Ontario (Canada, although it feels more like Christmas—the town on Trenzalore, not the holiday) and it is snowing as I type, almost four months after the first heavy snowfall that took place on Saturday November 23rd, 2013. Sound familiar? Yes, on the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, while other Canadians were lining up to watch The Day of the Doctor in 3D in theatres in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal and Halifax, I was just trying to find a way to get crosstown in Barrie so I could watch the excruciatingly long-awaited episode on a large 2D TV set with stereo sound. BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL!!

And it was one of the happiest days of my life not only because I was watching Doctor Who at the same time as millions of people were watching in 94 countries around the world, but also because I was watching it in the home of my super-Whovian friend, the now legendary Helena, who managed to keep herself from knowing who the New Doctor was until she first saw him in the Christmas special. I am sure you are thinking, “Wait. If she was watching The Day of the Doctor, she SAW the new Doctor!” Yes, but only for a flash of eyes and eyebrows, accompanied by a sharp intake of breath from me as I realized her plan was about to be blown. I asked her whether she had seen him and she said, “Yes, of course I did, but I couldn’t make out who he was…Is he someone from Harry Potter?” Breath exhaled. Secret kept!

I have found that as a result of the 50th and the Christmas special and the departure of Smith and the arrival of Capaldi, Canadians are emerging out of the shadows and revealing their Whovian reality. Or maybe it’s because I am not keeping it quiet anymore, myself? When I mentioned the word to my dentist recently, he didn’t recognize the term Whovian but revealed that his teenage daughter and son loved the show and each have their own sonic screwdriver and built a detailed walk-in model of the TARDIS (outside only) out of cardboard boxes and that his entire family visited the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff in April! Who knew? I’ve been going to this same dentist for years and never said anything to him about the show and when I did… WOW!

My most recent experience of the on-going vitality of the show’s popularity in Canada was last week when I pulled out a hard cover Doctor Who novel (with a picture the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory highly visible on the cover). I had my head down and heard excited gasping and a gentle giggle and an OH, LOOK! A lovely young woman of 15 excitedly realized she was sitting across from a kindred spirit, a true Whovian and could not hold back! We chatted and bubbled breathlessly for almost two hours, sharing our love of the 11th Doctor and our curiosity about the new Doctor, as her very patient mother smiled. All three of us (spanning three generations) talked about other things as well, and got to know each other a little bit, but without the book and Doctor Who to break the ice, we might never have met.

So now, with Doctor Who moving into its 51st year and not far from the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the New Who series, a love of the show continues to thrive in Canada, bringing extra joy with the realization that Canadian Whovians are everywhere!! Hiding in plain sight. All we have to do is speak up!

CANADA
Prominence – Previous Rating: 8, New Rating 8.5
Reputation – Previous Rating 8, New Rating 8

SOUTH AFRICA– By Gustaff Behr

tardis-safricaThe Day of the Doctor – the actually day, not the title of the story – was simulcast in South Africa just like it was all around the world, but not much else was going on. Nothing that caught my vision anyway. Doctor Who is not as big a wave as it is in other places – not yet mind you! With all the events going on everywhere else, I decided to prepare for The Day of the Doctor – the actual story this time – the only way I knew how: by re-listening to The Light at the End and honoring the first eight Doctors before moving on to The Night of the Doctor again.

Due to the airing schedule being synced, I was one of the fortunate ones to catch the 50th special at a convenient time without having to digest a dozen cups of coffee. How do I know some fans used this stay-awake drug? There was this digital climate all over the internet as thousands of fans (myself included) communicated their wait and rituals – some more hyper than others. All this seemed to pretty normal stuff for Who fans and I logged off as the time drew close, but it wasn’t until the opening scene hit that I realized just how much I’d been anticipating this event. You know the feeling, you build something up so much that when it eventually comes along, you realize it was just a thing. This wasn’t just a thing! Not for me. I knew it was honoring something fifty years old in that first ten seconds, harkening back to the very first episode of Doctor Who. It was the perfect – no – the only way to start the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. While the following in South Africa still isn’t a substantial one in the slightest, I can only appreciate how much of a global phenomenon it is by admiring in awe the many connections I share with people worldwide thanks to the internet and specifically DWTV. It truly is the show to unite us all.

SOUTH AFRICA
Prominence – Previous Rating: 2, New Rating 2
Reputation – Previous Rating 1, New Rating 1

BRITAIN – By Francis Milan

tardis-tour-londonLast November, I wrote an article for this series deliberating over whether Doctor Who was a national treasure. I was fairly doubtful; it’s a TV programme, not strawberries and cream. Then, as we reached the middle of the month, the big week rolled around – and the country went Who-mad! The TV and radio schedules alike were inundated with documentaries, tributes and stories, as for a short period of time, people across the nation unearthed memories of those wintery Saturday evenings and everyone realized the respect they held for the ultimate childhood hero. (Well, apart from those of us who grew up in the nineties, who were probably wondering what the heck was going on. Poor nineties kids.)

There was something for everyone, from Brian Cox’s feature on the science of Doctor Who, to the finest Who audio dramas on Radio 4. Not to mention, of course, the ratings smash hit that was The Day of the Doctor. While the children revelled in the finest performances of the current Doctor and companion and the return of David Tennant, the adults delighted in the return of Gallifrey, Zygons, and Tom Baker. I realised the extent to which these images are embedded into the face of pop culture, which came as a little bit of a shock to me. We exited the week jaded – it was an indulgent time for Whovians and non-fans alike. And I reached my conclusion – Doctor Who most certainly is a national treasure. Catch the Doctor Who World Tour in Cardiff and London this August.

UK
Prominence – Previous Rating: 9, New Rating 9
Reputation – Previous Rating 10, New Rating 10

Join us next time as we begin a new chapter in the series, and dive into the first of our four brand new countries! The Global Bunch is growing!

Step back in time...

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49 comments
jackiesmith224
jackiesmith224

Mmm blokes and sheilas...really? I would seriously question if an Australian wrote that...because we Aussies just don't use those words...

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

I always forget how Doctor Who can be so big in other countries because I live in the founding country of the UK where I always expect the biggest celebrations and events to occur, but I'm not always right. It's brilliant to see how everyone gathered for the 50th anniversary and I am proud to say that I was one of those people. Hopefully we can do this for others events in the future including the incoming series 8 which looks like its already forecast to be a big hit.

Andrew_Swallow
Andrew_Swallow

IMHO If countries want a Doctor Who episode filmed in there they will have to get their scriptwriters to come up with a story that cannot be filmed in the UK.  A new monster possibly based on local legend may be nice.


Note:  The UK has lots of rain but no rainforest or desert.  Land marks can be natural or man made.

MarianoPiara
MarianoPiara

In Argentina are trying to bring the episode here, but is not confirmed yet, is going to be sad to watch it only by tv, but well that's what we have.

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

JUST HEARD TODAY THAT DEEP BREATH WILL BE AIRING IN BELGIAN CINEMAS AS WELL! HURRAY! Soon I can wear my 5th Doctor costume again. (no celery attached, and if they ask for it, I said I was hungry.)

Zavidog
Zavidog

Well I Am South African and while the community here is not that big sadly i personally have engulfed around 10 or so people so far and they have continued to pass it on to others so maybe , just maybe i'll be the one to start it all :p

DasManiac
DasManiac

You guys are going to feature America this time right?

Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh
Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh

I was very surprised the United States wasn't focused on. It's extremely popular here as well. But the articles were very well-written, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all! :)


Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

It's been awesome to see Australia getting more recognition amongst the Who fandom recently. Australia's always been a big Who nation, fans are everywhere, but it's only in the last two years or so that the BBC seem to have actually noticed how big of a deal it is over here and we've been getting all this cool stuff like guest visits and the Symphony Spectacular as a result. It's only a shame I moved into a big city after the 50th so I missed all the celebrations. Hopefully something (or someone) will pop its head up soon.

supermoff of Sherwood
supermoff of Sherwood

Wonderful article :) Nice to see the impact of this show all over the world and hear individual anecdotes of experiences. It's wonderful that the show truly has become a global phenomenon and that in every corner of the globe you could find a Whovian somewhere :D

 Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

Another great article guys. What a great way to start off my day :-)

sontaran17
sontaran17

And the secret is out! "Doctor Who: A Global Phenomenon" Series 2 is a go! There are some great articles ahead this week:



-- A Great New Country with a Great New Contributor to site that we in WD know and love, trust me I doubt it will be HIS last.

--  We visit a country that was under a bit of doubt from the Whoniverse after the producer of their DW Broadcasting Channel released a public statement saying "We bought the whole series and really pushed it but no, no reaction. There are a couple of fans and they really love it. But if you have 10 of those fans it’s not enough.” earlier this year.

-- We unite a great land with 2 contributors from 2 different corners of the island - usually at conflict in every way, but will come together to share their experiences with Doctor Who.

-- We conclude with a big one: Not 1 but 4 contributors from this country's official Doctor Who Fanclub! 

jamesanash101
jamesanash101

It's great to hear from people across the globe about their experiences! I had a great one, we decided to go to the cinema, and low and behold, hundreds of Whovians in costume all crazily excited, with the doors to the cinema screen made to look like the TARDIS and 'bad wolf' sprayed across the wall.  I remember feeling very special as I heard sharp intakes of breath when Billie Piper first appeared, with murmurings of 'oh, it's Rose!', and gasps and tears when Tom Baker's booming voice was first heard. We all laughed at the same jokes and references, we were all upset just like Clara and the Moment when they decided to destroy Gallifrey, and we all cheered when the 13 doctors ended up saving it. It was a perfect evening, that us fans could share together. I wish they did it every year! (Sorry it wouldn't allow me to break it into paragraphs).








DrOswald
DrOswald

Brilliant start to the second series! Great to hear how other countries celebrated the 50th.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

Great article, the depth of interest in the show in Australia and Canada is astonishing! A half hour interview with Peter on ABC1? I bet even Peter didn't realised how big this thing was!

And Laurinda's dentist :-)

The Finn
The Finn

 Excuse me, "poor nineties kids"? I'll have you know I'm a nineties kid myself! :P

Great article, guys and gals! Can’t wait to find out what the next four countries are!




NumberNine
NumberNine

Very excited for the continuation!

Gustaff
Gustaff

Connor! Did you do the thumbnail/header picture? It is awesome! 

Oh and Francis...I am a poor child of the 90s. Don't bag on the 90s. It was called the golden age of animation for a reason lol.

Liana21
Liana21

In Spain the Whovians are still being underdogs, but we're growing quickly. We're trying to get Deep Breath to the cinemas, we're starting to be a big voice in the conventions, even I know someone writing a book about the series. We're still having a problem getting dvds or merchandising, in the Anniversary I had to send like half dozen Doctor Who Magazine to Spain, and tthere's a movement trying to get the books, but we're starting to be strong fandom inside the Spanish fandoms kingddom

Polyphase
Polyphase

@Andrew_Swallow  Australia has a lot of both :) What annoys me is whenever a show is made in Australia the makers always recycle the same clichéd land marks. Like the Opera house, Sydney harbour bridge, Uluru etc.

Would love to see an historical set in Australia

sontaran17
sontaran17

@DasManiac We put out request after request on the Feature Articles Chat (Free Access to All) and there was not one response --- The same reception as last time we searched for an American contributor Unfortunetley, but rest assured there are some cracking countries in this new line up :)

Clara Laurinda
Clara Laurinda

@ Notsosmartguy Thank you and glad you enjoyed the return of the Global Who Team! It was a pleasure to experience and to write (amd yes, Laurinda Hartt and Clara Laurinda are one and the same). I am looking forward to the "newbies" who are up next in the series! Yaay!



Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

And a fantastic way to end mine. Hooray for time differences!

Gustaff
Gustaff

@The Finn Children of the 90s really need to stick together. Maybe start a club. get some t-shirts

Americanwhovian
Americanwhovian

@sontaran17 @DasManiac Well if I wrote an article about it, it would't be a good representation of DW in America as a whole. Me writing about my experience in suburban Florida would be completely different from someone living in NYC, or in rural Alaska, or Honolulu, or in the cornfields of Iowa. that's why I didn't do one last time. 

jamesanash101
jamesanash101

@sontaran17 Haha don't thank me thank the Moff, who made me realise how great he actually is all due to 'Day'!

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

@Gustaff @The Finn Well you poor downtrodden 90s kids include Billie, Freema, Matt, Karen, Arthur and Jenna and it didn't work out to badly for them!

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

And oddly relevant to the international theme of the article in question.