News article

Peruvian ‘Whovians’ take part in the 50th Anniversary celebration of beloved TV series ‘Doctor Who’

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

On Sunday 23 November, Peru will join in the worldwide screening of special episode of the cult British series. “The Day of the Doctor” will be transmitted at Cinemark Perú Jockey Plaza at 2:50pm

While the name “Doctor Who” may be unfamiliar to many Peruvian audiences, it is in fact one of the most influential shows in the UK, with a worldwide audience and now entering its fifth decade of continuing broadcast.

The pilot episode for Doctor Who was broadcasted in the UK for the first time in 1963 on BBC, with William Hartnell playing ‘The Doctor,’ a humanoid alien who travels through space and time in an 60’s police blue callbox called TARDIS in order to fight several threats –these include a villain who shares The Doctor’s origins (a.k.a. ‘The Master’) and evil machines called Dalex, famed for their battle cry “Exterminate!.”

Of course, since its debut, the series has gone through several changes in cast, directors, producers and writers. The storyline might sound simple; some may think it’s a children’s show, but the brilliant scripts, adventure-driven situations and endearing yet complex characters have created a devote following by the millions around the globe.

In Peru, a small group of fans created a Facebook community to share their love with the series. To the administrator’s surprise, over 700 Doctor Who Peruvian fans (globally known as ‘Whovians’) joined in, exceeding the staff’s expectations.

On 23 November, the franchise is celebrating its golden anniversary with an 80-minute episode which will be screened simultaneously on television and cinemas around the world. Hermer Yarlequé is the president of the Doctor Who Peru Fan Club and says they were at first saddened when they found out Peru was not included in the list of countries where the special would be broadcasted. However, with lots of effort and patience they managed to bring “The Day of the Doctor” to Lima cinemas. Once again, to their surprise, two entire screening rooms have been completely booked.

The British Embassy in Lima spoke with Doctor Who’s local fan club members; , they said that “Doctor Who is more than just a TV programme but a whole cultural revolution.” They explained that “because the show deals mainly with British politics, history and literature, they have immersed themselves in all-things-British, from Dickens to Churchill.” The fans speak about the former and current Doctor Who writers –Rusell T. Davies and Steve Moffat– with great respect and familiarity, as if they were real-life acquaintances. Likewise, they engage in lively debates on whether Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant or Matt Smith was the best actor who portrayed The Doctor.

“British TV programmes are so different and unique,” Docto Who’s Peru Fan Club president Hermer Yarleque said. “They do not only entertain the audience but they also invite them to be part of them and to come up with your own views and conclusions. That’s what Doctor Who is all about.”

The special 50 Anniversary Episode, “The Day of the Doctor,” will be screened at Cinemark Perú Jockey Plaza movie theatres on 23 November, 2:50pm.

You can follow the celebrations on Twitter under the hashtags #DoctorWho, #DayOfTheDoctor, #SaveTheDay.