Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Doctor Why?

While we were lying in bed last night, Karli looked up from her iPhone and said, "Oh look, Doctor Who is going to be filming in Vancouver!"

I glanced at her suspiciously over my glasses and said, "Well now you're just toying with me..."

After recovering from my fanboy reaction to confirmation of this exciting bit of news, my first thought was, "But why?"  The new Doctor Who - okay, it's been eleven years, perhaps we can stop calling it "new" - has a fairly impressive record in terms of location shooting for a TV series:  Arizona, Venice, New York, Croatia, Istanbul and so on.  However, those locations were selected due to their unique nature - there aren't many spots near Cardiff that you can make look like the Sonoran Desert or Venetian canals.

Vancouver is normally used as a stand-in for American locations by production companies looking to take advantage of tax breaks and an advantageous exchange rate. If you're starting in Los Angeles, you can actually drive here in 20 hours if you have a lot of props that you need to bring along.  In the case of Doctor Who and the BBC, what does Vancouver bring to the table that couldn't be matched with a short European flight that didn't involve a seven hour jet lag debt?

Perhaps this will be another one of the rare cases where Vancouver plays itself.  I don't think that the Doctor has ever addressed the mystery of Bigfoot, which would very much require a Pacific Northwest location.  Let's hope it's something like that, and we'll have the opportunity to see the Doctor and his new companion Bill doing the Grouse Grind, running across Lions Gate Bridge, or enjoying the night life in Whistler. (I think it less likely that he'll show up at Number Five Orange, although that would certainly bring a whole new direction to the character.)

The bad news?  I'm going to be out of town for a week at the start of just wait, they'll arrive the day after I leave, have some kind of huge fan event while they're here, and be gone before we're back.  Sigh...and I made all those reservations...
- Sid

P.S.  Astute fans of the Doctor's production history will be aware that this is not the first time that the last Time Lord has visited Vancouver, at least as a shooting location. Vancouver stood in for San Francisco in the 1996 made-for-TV movie that featured Paul McGann as the Doctor, and Eric Roberts as the Master - the second-to-last Time Lord.

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