Doctor Who is taking all of North America by storm this weekend, with its launch in Canada as well as in the United States.
It launches on SPACE in Canada, tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern Zone Time – the same time as it launches in the USA, as we’ve reported elsewhere.
Preceding the first episode, The Eleventh Hour, SPACE will be broadcasting the documentary Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide at 8 p.m. The documentary – described as an original, all-access look inside the world’s biggest, most successful sci-fi television programme – is also being shown on BBC America.
The network have uploaded the recent Skype conversation with head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, which took place at the recent screening party in Toronto, has also been uploaded by the network. The Doctor himself, in the guise of 27-year-old Matt Smith, also gave an interview to Q, CBC Radio’s mid-morning broadcast. The interview begins about 22 minutes into the podcast.
SPACE also has a new Who-related podcast interview. Natasha Eloi talks about her trip to New York to interview Steven Moffat, and its stars Matt Smith (the eleventh Doctor) and Karen Gillan (his companion, Amy Pond) about the new season of Doctor Who.
Canadian newspapers are full of it this weekend. The Montreal Gazetteis just one of them: “The new Doctor Who (Space, 9 p.m.) is gentle in spirit, gorgeous to look at and almost childlike in its innocence. It’s also sad, deeply moving and really, really clever. Doctor Who was always a remarkable phenomenon – it’s been on the air in one incarnation or another for 47 years now – but as tonight’s season opener proves, Doctor Who has transcended its tacky, low-budget roots to become a fairy tale for the modern age. Yes, it’s that good.”
And the Windsor Star has been equally praising: “[. . .] based on the evidence of tonight’s enthralling opener, it’s not just good. It’s special [. . .] tonight’s heart-stopping first episode is so rich and colourful and dense in emotional detail that we have to buy the Doctor immediately, or else the illusion is broken.”
Then there’s this from the Vancouver Sun under the headline “New Doctor Who is sensational”: “[T]he new Doctor is played with a brisk, high-octane energy by 27-year-old Matt Smith, the youngest Doctor in the series so far. David Tennant was marvellous in the part [of the previous Doctor], but Smith picks it up without missing a beat.”
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Free Press has this to say under the headline “The (new) Doctor is in; the diagnosis is good”: “I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit apprehensive when I’m about to see a new doctor.
“This sentiment mostly applies to first encounters with MDs of the old-magazines-in-the-waiting-room, bend-over-and-cough, don’t-worry-this-won’t-hurt-a-bit variety, but I must admit there’s also a certain trepidation that creeps in when it’s an imported TV-serial Doctor variety of doctor that’s about to enter the picture.
“As is usually the case with these Who-vian switcheroos, the new guy takes a bit of getting used to (the transformation isn’t as jarring as, say, the shift from bombastic, scarf-sporting fourth Doctor Tom Baker to reserved, bookish and nattily attired fifth, but it’s still a jolt).
“There’s no question that newcomer Smith has his work cut out establishing himself as a worthy replacement for Tennant, whose half-decade run as the Doctor is largely responsible for the resurgence in the revived BBC series’ popularity (Tennant, by the way, will resurface on TV on April 28, starring in a new PBS/Great Performances production of Hamlet).
“Smith brings a mix of youthful enthusiasm and brash confidence to the role, and his opening episode wisely pays sidelong homage to his predecessor and all the Doctors who went before. By the instalment’s end, the new Doctor has made a quick evolution from clumsy and confused in his new identity to fully in charge and ready to take on all otherworldly villains.”
Who fans wishing to share their thoughts about the new Doctor can log in to a live forum on SPACE’s website, where a four-member panel of Who aficionados will be live-blogging throughout the episode.
We also reported elsewhere how Who has launched this weekend in Australia, a fortnight after the big launch in the UK.