What a day! What a crowd! What an experience! Doctor Who Series 8 World Premiere in Cardiff has been a huge success! We have just returned from the capitol of Wales and we have to update you straight away. Please excuse this short review but we are barely alive. It’s been 12 hour marathon for us, but we will remember this day for many years to come.
This was our first ever red carpet event. We set up very early, at 7:30 in the morning and we arrived at Saint David’s Car park around 9:30. Saint David is not only a cinema/theatre – it is a huge shopping centre with multiple shops, restaurants and a car park that looks like a futuristic abandoned industrial complex. Going to level four on foot in a spiral staircase is enough to give you a major vertigo. Now try that in a car – Rita felt like on a roller-coaster. A great idea is to dedicate a whole level to blue badge holders – somebody who thought about that should receive a pay raise. The car park was perfect for such a big event. There was nearly 1000 free spaces available when we arrived and you didn’t have to fight for a spot to park your vehicle. The spots are also bigger than normal and we could fit our large car without any issues. The only downside is the price. 6 hours will cost you 18 pounds. Ouch!
St David’s Hall was located only 5 minutes away so we had a leisurely walk into town. We were very lucky with the weather. Previous days have been cold and rainy but we had a true summer sunshine and clear, TARDIS blue skies. The whole street leading to the theatre has been barricaded off as announced the day before on the organizer’s website. People were already taking places along the red carpet and a large crowd was packed near the entrance to the building. The TARDIS was parked in the middle of the street, but sadly it has been placed behind barriers and fans had to stay at least 2 meters away from it. We had no problems with the security measures but kids were devastated. It would have been better if there was a staff member near the blue box keeping an eye on it instead of a 3 feet metal barricade. One teary 4 year old was asking why somebody has put the TARDIS in jail and his poor mom had no answers to offer. Talking about security, the even has been protected by regular police officers, private security companies (we have seen at least three different uniforms and badges), BBC security staff and St David’s Hall guards. There were no incidents or any aggressive behaviour – Whovians showed up in peace and everybody had fun. Whole families arrived to celebrates. We have seen hordes of teenagers, young adults, newly born babies dressed as the 10th Doctor, two year old girl wearing Cyberman mask (she didn’t want to be photographed) and fans well into their 70’s eating ice-creams and waving American flags. The love for Doctor Who has no boundaries. Your age, nationality, country of origin, religion – nothing matters. Fans came from Jamaica, Canada, USA, Iraq, Maldives, Japan, China and all over Europe (Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Holland and Norway). We are sure even more countries were represented in Cardiff, but we only had the pleasure to speak to fans from the mentioned places. Can you imagine a conversation regarding Doctor Who Experience between Iraqi couple, two German tourists, yours truly, an American, a Canadian mother and a Chinese student? We have used several kinds of English (American English, British English and Engrish), a mix of our native languages, gestures, body and sign language and we all understood what the other person meant. Fantastic!
To fully cover the event, Mal and Rita decided to split up and each of us covered the other end of the show. Mal was located by the main entrance and kept an eye on everything/everybody going into and out of the building. Rita moved about a lot – she first walked up and down the street talking to people and taking pictures of cosplayers. Later, she found a comfortable spot by the journalists stand and witnessed the arrival of Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and Jenna Coleman at 11:15. To learn more about what has been happening on the red carpet before and after the stars arrival, you will have to wait till tomorrow. Right now, we would like to show you some of the best Whovian costumes. Forget the haute couture fantasy fashion shows at Comicon last month. Doctor Who addicts rule and we have lots of pictures to prove it. Take a look at some of the best costumes in time and space!
1. Monica and Bill
Monica and Bill came all the way from the lovely state of Iowa. They haven’t slept much. They flew from Iowa to Chicago, then to Ireland and finally to Cardiff. We have spoken to them around 10:00 am and they were on their last legs but excited and happy! This American couple is married and had Doctor Who inspired reception. Monica has two rings in TARDIS blue: her engagement ring and her wedding band.
They will spend their honeymoon in Cardiff and they started off with Doctor Who premiere! Monica is also a big Sherlokian fan. Her mobile phone is SHERLOCKED (fans of the TV series will understand). Congratulations to the happy couple and may your journey together be a good one!
Nadine is probably the most professional cosplayer we have ever seen. Not only she was dressed in the exact replica of Amy Pond’s policewoman kissogram costume from “The eleventh hour”, but she gave us her business card where her profession is stated simply as “Whovian”. Pretty neat! We cannot give out her email address but it contains references to both 10th and 11th Doctor and simply rocks. If you’d like to send some fan mail to this red haired Irish beauty, please direct them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass them on!
Nadine was picked from the audience and had a chance to ask the cast a question after the premiere of “Deep breath” episode. She also encouraged Peter Capaldi to say “Judoon Platoon on the Moon” (David Tennant’s favorite quote from “Smith and Jones” episode). the audience gave both a standing ovation!
You can follow Nadine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SheldineCooper
3. UNIT officer
We don’t know the name of the UNIT officer pictured below but his costume is probably far better than the original UNIT uniforms used in the show. The soldier was accompanying Nadine and together they created a lot of buzz! Thank you kindly for allowing us to take the picture, sir!
4. Fan in a red shirt
Not many people feel comfortable giving out their names to a stranger with a camera phone in hand. We can understand this but it’s a bit of a shame not being able to tell you who those fans are and what they do. An old red t-shirt that says “Trust me I’m a Doctor” was truly unique among hundreds of other Doctor Who related shirts. (Luckily, it was a Doctor Who premiere and not a Star Trek one. Otherwise the red shirt would be somewhat unlucky – Mal)
5. The 11th doctor
We have met this 11th Doctor twice. First time he was on his own, posing for pictures and pointing his sonic screwdriver at other fans. The second time we saw him, he was with a group of friends that included Amy Pond and Clara. Unknowingly, we asked him to pose for us at both occasions. You deserve a cookie for your patience!
6. Boys in fezzes
No, this is not a name for a Whovian boy band (although it is an cool idea) but a nick name we have given to two teenage fans that arrived to the premiere with their fathers. They introduce themselves to us, but we have lost a piece of paper with their names written down. Sorry about that guys. Please look at their arms – those brave boys have faced a whole army of Silence on their own!
7. The 5th Doctor
Dressing up is not only for the kids. Anybody can look good in Doctor’s clothes, especially if the costume is adorned with a fresh celery stalk from nearby grocery store! The Doctor can regenerate into any age: from incredibly young 11th Doctor, middle to late 30’s (9th Doctor, 10th Doctor) to an older incarnation (the present 12th Doctor). Age is just a number and the gentleman on our picture had been working on the costume himself and greatly enjoyed the experience.
8. Lake Silencio Amy Pond
This version of Amy Pond has been a companion to 11th Doctor from picture number 5. She is dressed in a costume from Lake Silencio saga as shown in two first episodes of the 6th season – “The Impossible Astronaut” and “The Day of the Moon”. Amy’s arms are covered with pen marks (number of Silence she encountered) and she has been frantically looking for her daughter. We wish we could tell you her real name as the lady was very kind and even re-created Karen Gillian’s famous “running” pose for us.
Anna came to Cardiff with her mom who was kind to allow us to take a picture of her daughter. Looking like small version of River Song (or rather Melody Pond before she regenerated for the first time), Anna was wearing Doctor Who cardigan, Cyberman t-shirt and held a big TARDIS notebook in her hands. She also helped us look for interesting costumes by pointing out two Doctors standing at the other side of the street. Thank you Anna!
10. The Two Doctors
Spotted by Anna, The 9th Doctor and 11th Doctor were very happy to pose for a picture. They arrived to the premiere in hopes of seeing Peter Capaldi and wanted to wish him good luck in the role of beloved time traveling Time Lord. Their wish soon became a reality as Peter stopped next to them and even complimented the leather jacket!
11. The New Doctor
After arriving in Cardiff, we quickly noticed that nobody has been dressed as the 12th Doctor! We have seen at least dozen of 11th Doctors, several 10th and 9th Doctors. Many girls were dressed as companions (the beloved ginger Amelia Pond was a fans favorite) or TARDIS in Idris form (from “The Doctor’s Wife” episode). However, nobody seemed to dress as Peter Capaldi! We were really thrilled when this young man passed us by wearing a 100% Rebel Time Lord T-shirt. We still cannot believe he was the only one! Come on people, we want to see more suits and Dr Marten’s next time!
12. TARDIS is a lady
The 11th Doctor used to called his precious time machine sexy when they were all alone. Many female cosplayers chose to dress as the blue box in her female form, but this young lady was very original. Her TARDIS dress was in fact three piece costume that consisted of white undershirt with a collar, blue dress with a belt and Time co-ordinates pattern and matching cardigan. We have met her in a queue for an autograph from Jenna Coleman.
13. The fabulous 10th Doctor
The last but not least! Our lucky number 13 belongs to 10th Doctor. We have met this gentleman inside St David’s Hall right after the premiere. He gladly posed for a picture, regretting that he left his long coat and his sonic screw driver in the cloakroom. Oh well, you cannot have everything, but we have to tell you that he looked really well. And his hairdo was exactly like David Tennant’s. This is something that cannot be easily copied. Much respect to you Doctor!
All right Whovians, the bed is calling us! It’s been a manic day and we barely can look at the computer screen.
Please be back quickly as we have some fantastic news for you!
Hang in there and have sweet dreams!
Tired but very happy
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz