Monday 5 August 2013

Doctor Who Live: the press coverage

Now the dust has settled after yesterday’s announcement of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, the press have started to pick up on the news.

While exiting the studios, members of the audience were accosted by a number of tv film crews for interviews and comments. being in full costume I was a prime target and give a positive reaction to Peter’s appointment. This I gather was part of Sky News coverage the following morning.

Here’s a selection of other stories from the national press.

DailyMail online: BBC's Doctor Who unveiled
Sky News: Peter Capaldi To Be New Timelord
Mirror online: Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who
The Guardian: Peter Capaldi: from spin doctor to the new Doctor Who
Telegrah: Peter Capaldi named as the new Doctor Who 

Even my local newspaper covered the story - or should I say the queue!
Borehamwood Times: Doctor Who fans descend on Elstree Studios

Doctor Who Live: in we go!

Up til this point I had queued for almost eight hours to ensure I was first-in-the-queue for Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor.
It’s a momentous day for the series, and with the proceedings happening in my own backyard, there was no way I was gonna miss out on this.

The show goes out live to the nation at 7pm. We are due to be let into the studio for seating at 6pm, so as we approached 5pm when the gates were due to open, the mood of the crowd behind us started to change.

Eventually the security guys come forward and things were looking promising.

We had all printed out our e-tickets which were barcode scanned as we went through the gates and a red numbered sticker slapped on them. This sticker was now our guarantee to get into the studio.

Since I was first in the queue I had the 001 sticker!

We were directed towards a holding area where we all had to go through a full blown airport-style security check. Mobile phones, iPad and any form of camera were confiscated and the metal detectors were used to pick up anything else that had been undeclared.

Watching the rest of the audience coming in behind me, I saw a lot of forlorn faces. Im sure people were hoping to tweet their success of getting in, now found themselves unceremoniously cut off from the outside world. It was quite funny to watch. You could understand why it had been done, so if you wanted to get in you had to accept it.

It took quite a while to get everyone through, so the hour before being seated was definitely needed. I chatted to some friends while we waited, which passed the time.

As 6pm approached we became aware a lot of people were congregating at the far corner of the room, where a corridor leads to the studios.
A member of staff called for our attention and said we were to be taken through to the studio in batches of 50, in order of our sticker numbers. I moved forward as they called 1 to 50.
I piped up that I had ticket number 001, and found myself ushered to the front by several fans! It wasn’t my intention to jump this queue, but as we found out later it wasn’t really first-come-first-seated as you may think.

Our walk to the studios took us past a view back to the gates, where I could see a large number of people still waiting to get in. I never did know if they did in the end.

In the studio block we walked down a long central corridor, adorned with old black and white photos from films made at Elstree. Some of these were not made at the studios we were in - in fact I soon realised a lot weren’t even made in Borehamwood itself.

In the studio we saw the set, which was quite impressive. There were two distinct seating areas: chairs had been laid out in half a dozen rows close to the set, with a gap behind them allowing the cameras to move freely to get their shots; behind this was a fixed audience seating for several hundred.

I was initially directed to go to the end of a row in the chair seating, but was soon pulled back by a guy in charge of the audience. He wanted the costumed audience in the seating behind where they could be caught on camera. I was redirected to the front row of the fixed seating, surrounded on both sides by guys in fezzes and t-shirts, which frankly were not really the costume type that should have been there.
Above the audience was a model of the TARDIS, which on the finished programme looked a lot larger than it was in reality.

Photo by James Amey
As usual there was a warm-up comic to get the audience in the mood (not that we needed much encouragement) and to outline some points for the recording.
We were told to cheer loudly when mention was made of the flying TARDIS.

Photo by James Amey
As 7pm approached you could feel the anticipation mounting in the audience. We were all here for ONE reason and after waiting ten hours, I just wanted them to get on with it!

Photo by James Amey
There’s not much to report once the red light was on - everything was live and no chances for retakes, something I’m sure Rufus Hound would have quite liked.

Personally I found the show that packaged the news to be lightweight and vacuous. Aside from Peter Davison the studio guests were of very little interest and their contributions near pointless.

Photo by James Amey
The filmed inserts were only a little more engaging. I felt that if the BBC had given the programme the attention it deserved, maybe the roll call of past companions and Doctors could have been in the studio and surrounded Peter Capoldi at the end, warmly welcoming him to the Who family.

Sadly this was not to be and we had him shaking the hand of one of the child stars of Outnumbered, a couple of celebrity-fan comedians and Peter Davison with Bernard Cribbins bringing up the rear.

To me it felt hurried and thrown together, which given its global audience, was a crying shame.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Doctor Who Live: The wait begins

Today’s the big day of the reveal of the Twelfth Doctor - and it’s all happening at a studios barely a mile from my house!

First thing this morning we took a quick look at the studio entrance where the queue will form, and found the crash barriers already set out - but no-one around.
Being first-in-the-queue is too much for me to resist, so after going out to breakfast we dropped home to collect a few things before heading back down to the queue for around 9.15am.

Thankfully nothing had changed, so I was now officially FIRST-IN-THE-QUEUE!

Just got eight hours to wait...

I wasn’t alone for too long before a handful of other keen enthusiasts turned up.

It was around this time that we had another surprise visitor - an urban fox casually wandered past, paused to look at us, then headed on his way.
I hate seeing foxes around, especially since I keep six chickens in my back garden.

Anyway, slowly the queue started to form behind us, with maybe 20 or 30 people by noon.

A few were in costume, with fezzes and bow ties being the most common accessories on show.

One family arrived, relieved to have found the queue (I think they may have gone to Elstree Film Studios on the other side of the high street in error). Asking of this was for the Entertainment Pilot Show, we sorta said yes. We explained it was really for Doctor Who Live, including the twelfth Doctor reveal to which they said ‘No! Never!’ They honestly thought it was as originally advertised!

It wasn’t until around 2 or 3pm that fans began steadily arriving, filling the crash barriers and continuing around the corner at the end of the road. I spotted a number of familiar faces along the line, wearing costumes I had seen on Facebook or at other conventions or events.

The queue itself even made the local press, with the Borehamwood & Elstree Times giving some coverage to the day’s proceedings.
Whovians descend on Borehamwood (From Borehamwood Times)
There was even live updates on the BBC News channel with Lizo Mzimba surrounded by fans!

Friday 2 August 2013

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor

Since early June when Matt Smith revealed he was leaving Doctor Who, there has been endless rumour and counter-rumour as to who will be taking over in the role.

Personally I find all this idle speculation pointless and frankly distracting so I have chosen not to mention any of this ‘news’ as I see it transient and facile.
My blogs are by their very nature costume focused, but I allow myself to digress and cover events I have attended dressed in the costumes I have made.

Well, a news story broke last night which from what I gather first appeared on the Metro website (see right). It caused a storm of internet gossip and the posting was soon strangely missing.

It appears a supposed pilot for an ‘Entertainment’ show being recorded this coming Sunday at BBC Elstree (which is barely a mile from where I live) is a thinly veiled cover for a studio-based reveal of the actor taking over the role from the Christmas episode.

The information about the show encouraged people to come in costume, and since I have swung myself a ticket, I can hardly fail to oblige!

The Radio Times for 4th August lists a repeat of an edition of Celebrity Mastermind, which has been described as a disposable repeat, merely a placeholder for the screening.

It’s being broadcast live, as well as seen simultaneously on BBC America so we’ll all get to see what transpires as it happens.

Check back soon though as I’ll give you the inside story on the recording of the show.

BBC News -
New Doctor Who star to be unveiled

The new Doctor reveal is top story on the BBC news website.

BBC News - New Doctor Who star to be unveiled