The Night of the Day of the Doctor

Although the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special had its debut broadcast two days ago, theaters across the nation drew in enough Whovians to choke a dalek tonight for a special one-night-only airing of The Day of the Doctor. In addition to being able to watch the magic on the big screen, audiences would also be treated to some special behind-the-scenes footage not shown in the worldwide simulcast.

Luckily for me, I had tickets, and I’ve just arrived home from the show to tell you all about it~

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Since everyone and their human-time lord meta-crisis twin is already buzzing about the movie itself, I won’t be going into depth with the details of the film. In the mere two days since the premier event, there’s already been so much written that I hardly think I could offer anything new, so let’s focus on the events specific to tonight. It was an extraordinary evening for an extraordinary show — not all of which was on the screen.

Right off the bat, the audience is given a clear indicator that this night is not going to be the typical cinematic experience. After all, this is Doctor Who we’re talking about; it’d be foolish to expect anything less. As is customary, the theater ran a PSA requesting that audience members not talk, text, or otherwise disrupt the movie-going adventure, but not in the way we’re used to. In our case, we had the great honor of having this message delivered by one of the greatest military minds in the universe: Commander Strax.

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“Remember: Popcorn… feels… pain.”
He then demonstrated by eating a piece, zoomed in so close we could hear its tiny screams.

…At least, I think it was Strax. It’s hard to be sure when dealing with clones.

Strax took great pains to explain proper theater etiquette, along with highlighting the consequences of failing to abide by his guidelines. As he walked us through what appeared to be a combination movie theater and torture chamber, the audience met a guy that had been captured for sending a message to his girlfriend, a guy that suffered ocular damage for not wearing his 3D glasses properly, and a girl that was busted for trying to record the screen with her cell phone. Imagine my awkwardness in that moment as I sat there with my phone out, snapping a picture of Strax sternly ordering me not to snap his picture. Luckily for me, I was not captured for the glory of the Sontaran Empire.

After Strax’s lecture, The Day of the Doctor began. I must say that watching Doctor Who in a theater is an experience on its own, but watching it when the theater is full of other Whovians just made the night all the more magical. I found the crowd unusually quiet; I normally find fandom-specific showings (ex. midnight releases) to involve a lot of cheering and clapping throughout the movie. In tonight’s case, the audience response was more in the form of gasps, whispers, and laughter rather than collective feedback. Perhaps Whovians are a quieter breed overall, or maybe it was just the mix of that particular crowd. It’s hard to say for sure, but one thing that was definitely clear is that the excitement, love, and camaraderie was practically tangible, even when we were silent.

Upon the movie’s conclusion, the audience was treated to our exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary. It wasn’t terribly long, but those few minutes were well-used. It largely revolved around interviews with cast and crew and some looks at the sets, all narrated by Colin Baker (aka the 6th Doctor). At the end, the actors wished Doctor Who a happy 50th birthday, and everyone involved in the production crammed into the TARDIS to share a birthday cake.

At last, the lights brightened, and it was time to clear out; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we left. Like any fandom, the audience wanted to mingle for a while and enjoy meeting strangers with a common interest. It wasn’t difficult to tell who was there for The Day of the Doctor; almost everyone involved had some degree of Doctor Who paraphernalia about them. For some, it was as simple as wearing a bowtie or DW-related tee (I fell into this category, as I’d worn my Gallifreyan shirt), while others came in full costumes. I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the latter group, as there were some really amazing cosplayers of all ages present.

To any of the above cosplayers that manage to find this blog, thank you again so much for agreeing to have your pictures taken! You all looked amazing, and now even more people can enjoy your costumes! (I also apologize for a few of them looking grainy; the lighting in the theater was rubbish, and I fixed them in PhotoShop as much as I could.)

Overall, the night was a huge hit. It was definitely worth the trek to attend (the theater was about 30 minutes away), and if you missed it, at least this article can give you a teaspoon of what went on. No one ever thought that Doctor Who would make it 50 years, but I’m glad it did, because this has become a major part of my life when it could’ve just as easily died out before I was even born. This is one show that, very appropriately, manages to transcend time and space.

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Doctor Who and all related characters, at any and all points in time and space, belong to BBC. All photos taken tonight are technically mine, but given that I might die for the glory of the Sontaran Empire if I admit to that, I’m not sure if I should be too vocal about that.

The cosplayers whose pictures I took (which were posted on this blog with their consent, for the record) are more than welcome to use their photos in any way they’d like. If any of you are reading this and would like a higher-res version of the picture, feel free to e-mail me.

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About Leedzie

Leda "Leedzie" Clark is a writer and game designer with a sharp eye for detail and a kooky sense of humor. She's been a nerd as long as she can remember, and always seems to notice the wrong thing first in any given situation.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in Feature Articles, Humor, Journalism, Movies, News, TV and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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