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WonderCon 2013: BBC America’s ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Orphan Black’ Screening Coverage


bells-of-st-johns-doctor-who-poster-247x350The whirl of sonic screwdrivers filled the air as over 1,500 people eagerly waited in line to see an early look at the premiere episode of Doctor Who‘s second half of Series Seven, “The Bells of St. John,” on Friday night at WonderCon. The excitement of Whovians should be harnessed as an energy source it was so palpable and prevalent throughout all those gathered. Everyone from cosplayers dressing as a wide assortment of Doctors and companions from the series’ 50-year history to little kids who got their start during the Matt Smith era and are excited to see their Doctor return were present en mass.

But, as the line filed forward, it became clear that the theater wasn’t going to have room for all those who had gathered. Concern started to spread when the call came from someone at BBC America to show not one, but two more screenings of Doctor Who and Orphan Black to ensure everyone who wanted to could see the episodes. BBC America, you’re all right in this reviewer’s book. You’ve never seen a more grateful crowd as we filed into the second screening and some familiar music started playing.

Doctor Who

I’m not going to spoil anything for those loyal Whovians who are eagerly awaiting the evening, but I will say that it is fantastic. I was entirely pleased with the direction “The Bells of St. John” continues and am eagerly awaiting the remaining episodes of this second half of Series 7.

This episode sees the return of Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara Oswald. This character stands to be one of my favorites of the entire franchise. Her banter and interplay with the Doctor continue to be as fresh and original as the Christmas special “The Snowmen.” I love that she’s a character that can hold her own with the Doctor and put him in his place, which has been something sorely missed since Donna’s departure. I am sold on Clara and can’t wait to see more of her in the remaining seven episodes of this season.

I was frustrated by this episode’s habit of tooting its own horn with relation to the entire run of the Eleventh Doctor up to this point. What I like about this era of the Eleventh Doctor is that it is something new and fresh. I didn’t feel like I needed to be reminded of how great the time with the Ponds was when it was Clara’s time to shine.

And, if you’ve never seen an episode of Doctor Who with a crowd of fans, I highly recommend it. The humor, the action, every moment was simply made better by nearly a thousand people’s reactions. This is one television show that definitely works well in a theater setting.

Orphan Black

Orphan Black is the new original series created by BBC America which follows Sarah, a down-on-her-luck girl who witnesses a woman, who looks exactly like her, kill herself. In order to get out of her debts, Sarah pretends to be the dead woman, but finds that you don’t just inherit someone’s wealth with their life, you inherit all their problems.

The cast of Orphan Black is excellent. Tatiana Maslany plays the lead, Sarah, who has to behave as two different people at different points. Mastering a performance within a performance isn’t easy, but Maslany does it well, managing to have the believability but with the bit of doubt and discomfort needed for the character; however, it was Jordan Gavaris’ performance as Felix that stole the show. He plays that stereotypical gay man with supernatural charm, but he plays it well. All of Felix’s scenes had me laughing or smiling, and his relationship with Sarah is touching.

You’re probably wondering by now why Orphan Black is included in Supernatural Saturday. Just trust me when I say that it well earns its spot in this section. This first episode grabbed me, and I’m on board to see more of Felix’s antics and delve deeper into the mystery Sarah finds herself swept up in.



Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream


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