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Dr. Who' fans' global moment

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2013-11-24 Philadelphia Inquirer.jpg


He traveled 50 years to get here.

As the gold cardboard creature came into view, patrons in the British Chip Shop in Haddonfield on Saturday afternoon clapped and cheered. "Awesome," one said. They were particularly excited about the villain's authentic plunger and whisk-like ray gun.

Michele Hill, 14, had to take her handmade costume off to fit through the door to the event she and dozens of others were so excited about: a watch party for the 50th-anniversary episode of the British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who.

The series about a space and time-traveling humanoid alien started in 1963 and has since amassed a dedicated worldwide fan base of Whovians. The anniversary episode was telecast simultaneously across the globe Saturday.

Part of the show's longevity is due to the ability of its main character, the Doctor, to regenerate as a different person each time he is near death. The current season is his 11th incarnation, and fans all have their favorites. The changes keep the show fresh, they said.

BBC America counted down to the big event during a weeklong Doctor Who marathon that runs through Sunday. Google marked the occasion with its greatest honor: an interactive Doodle on its home page.

Two venues owned by the same family hosted viewing parties in the area Saturday. The Victoria Freehouse in Philadelphia drew close to 100 people, with some sitting on the floor, staff said. About 40 people watched in Haddonfield. "It just seemed like a no-brainer to take advantage of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who," said Gary Coleman, 60, owner of the British Chip Shop.

Hill's costume was a Dalek, one of the show's most famous recurring villains. Several fans took pictures of her outfit, which she made for Halloween using online blueprints. Hill just started watching the series in August.

She watches with her mother, Carol, and father, Paul, at home in Somerdale. Paul grew up in England watching Doctor Who in black and white with his father. Its appeal to Americans, an audience typically enamored of wild special effects, is "peculiar to the British," he said. He lovingly called the show "amateurish," but also "cutting-edge in some ways."

A hush came over the restaurant as the episode started. Fans, some of whom brought copies of props from the show, screamed, laughed, clapped, and cried over the next hour.

A group of friends in their 20s, most in character, had been at the Chip Shop since before it opened at 11 a.m. The six met at an anime convention a few years ago and bonded over their love of the show. They have been on several Doctor Who panels at conventions in the area.

After the episode, when the clapping had died down, Ben LeClair, 27, of Saylorsburg, Pa., turned to the person next to him.

"You OK?" he asked Micaela Joyce, 26, of Voorhees, who had tears in her eyes. "You almost fell out of your chair several times."

Caption: At the British Chip Shop in Haddonfield, Kayleigh Middleton of Blairstown, N.J., and Brandon Clauser of West Deptford watch "Doctor Who."

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  • APA 6th ed.: Bond, Michaelle (2013-11-24). Dr. Who' fans' global moment. The Philadelphia Inquirer p. B7.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Bond, Michaelle. "Dr. Who' fans' global moment." The Philadelphia Inquirer [add city] 2013-11-24, B7. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Bond, Michaelle. "Dr. Who' fans' global moment." The Philadelphia Inquirer, edition, sec., 2013-11-24
  • Turabian: Bond, Michaelle. "Dr. Who' fans' global moment." The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-11-24, section, B7 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr. Who' fans' global moment | url= | work=The Philadelphia Inquirer | pages=B7 | date=2013-11-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=10 December 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr. Who' fans' global moment | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=10 December 2022}}</ref>