50 Glorious Years: Episode 49 - 2011
If it is possible to pinpoint a year where Doctor Who became mainstream in the United States, then it would have to be 2011. With the programme having moved from the Syfy (or however it is now strangely spelt) Network to BBC America, and with the series being filmed with principal photography in the US for the first time, it seemed like Doctor Who finally pushed into the US mainstream. It had been threatening to do so back in the mid-1980’s, but ultimately did not thanks to the sabotage of the programme by BBC management at the time. With Michael Grade and Jonathan Powell safely out of the way, and with a seemingly more deliberate attempt to court the US market within the content of the programme itself than had ever been the case before (barring the 1996 TV Movie, that is), the path was clear to make the show much more of a household name in the United States. Doctor Who would soon be featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (in 2012 - the first UK show to do so, but as a result of the breakthrough which had occured in the previous year or two) and it several of its regulars (Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston) would feature on US network television talkshows.Heady days indeed!
Ironically the 2011 season - Matt Smith’s second - featured the most complex and arguably mainstream-unfriendly content to date, but it worked with audiences nevertheless and maintained Doctor Who ‘s strong ratings run and popularity on either side of the Atlantic (and for that matter, the Pacific).
Posted by Luca on Monday, February 17 at 4:04 pm