I was, frankly, shocked, but pleasantly so, to see this billboard advertising the new series of Doctor Who outside my office building on Wilshire in West LA. I haven’t seen any US-side non-TV advertising for Doctor Who before, not even for Tennant’s final specials. To see such prominent outdoor placement—along with online & cable support, such as during on FX’s Damages this week—is nice to see from BBC America. They are obviously pushing hard to make a splash for Matt Smith‘s debut as the Eleventh Doctor & the launch of the Steven Moffat era of the long-running show.
In addition to advertising support, BBC America flew new series stars Matt Smith & Karen Gillan (who plays new companion Amy Pond) to New York to promote the series premiere for the US this week. While Doctor Who has long been a ratings juggernaut in the UK (the series 5 premiere scored 7.66 million for the UK, or almost 37% share…a completely unheard-of percentage for US television), in the US, it remains a cult genre favorite.
I’ve seen the first two episodes for series 5, “The Eleventh Hour” & “The Beast Below,” & thought they were both excellent. Moffat’s Who feels like a new start for the series & both Matt Smith & Karen Gillan enjoy remarkably effortless introductions into their roles. With a Lost-less TV world looming, it’s great to have Doctor Who back in such great form.
Doctor Who series 5 premieres on BBC America this Saturday, April 17 at 9pm ET. Be sure to check out my review for the premiere episode, “The Eleventh Hour” also (spoiler warning remains in effect until the premiere though!).
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