Doctor Who World Tour: A Disappointment, but not a Tragedy

As I’ve written somewhere before, thanks to the celebrated Doctor Who World Tour, my favorite TV show is coming to New York this month…

I am in New York this month!

And yet, I won’t have anything to do with the event, sadly.

It’s not because of any conflict with the date – I was able to keep the 14th of August clear…

It’s not because the price is exorbitant.  In fact, it’s quite cheap – only $12.00 plus whatever ticketing fees there might be.

Instead, it’s because the event sold out, pretty much before it even went on sale.

There’s a bit of a furor being raised by New York Doctor Who fans over the whole thing, but basically it went down something like this:

Even though we’ve known for quite a while that the Doctor Who World Tour was coming to New York on August 14, there’s been no information at all as to the venue, the time, the costs, how to get tickets, and so on.  Many, including myself, had “signed up” for a newsletter about the event, but for New York fans at least, nothing ever came.

Then, just a few days ago, most of those things were announced.  We could get tickets as of midday on August 11th through a ticketing site that many have not heard of before.  We found out the time (7:30) and the price (the inexpensive $12.00).  But still no venue.

No matter, we assume it’s in New York somewhere, and if you can get to New York, than you can pretty much get anywhere in New York.

Preliminary searches on the obscure ticketing site reveals no signs of any Doctor Who World Tour.  It’s a strange and confusing site, but still it seems that I’ve searched it as deeply as possible, and there’s nothing.  Still, we’re all hoping and assuming that it will be there by 12:00 noon on Monday, and even though we know it’s going to sell out quickly, we assume we’ll at least have an opportunity to try to buy tickets.

I am not nearly as mercenary about the whole thing as some, who I’ve since heard were poised to refresh their battalion of computers and devices the moment the clock struck noon.  At the critical instant on Monday, I was in my car driving to a friend’s house in Pennsylvania.  But by 12:15, I was on my computer and searching the ticketing site, with still no results.  Hmm, I think, maybe they didn’t mean midday precisely. 

I check again half an hour later and still no signs.  An hour after that, I start searching elsewhere on the internet and, I see indication that the event has sold out.  Sold out!  Without tickets ever going up to be bought?  Maybe, I think, maybe it went up at 12:00, and then it sold out in the next ten minutes, and then the event went down again, before I even checked the first time.  Well, that’s what I get for not pulling over to the side of the road at 12:00 and making my family wait in the car while I look for tickets to a special screening of my favorite TV show.  Disappointed, I resign myself to my fate, accepting my own lack of die-hard fannishness as one of the culprits.

Later that night, I do a bit more online investigating, and I discover several things. 1) The venue details were announced in advance – on a post on the Doctor Who tumblr site (!!??!).  It turns out to be a theatre with the moderately large (but not huge) seating capacity of 1131.  2) The event did go live on the ticketing site – at 12:06, and it immediately told everyone who was trying to buy them that there were “No Tickets Available”.  Within a few minutes, that listing is gone (although still findable, if you are clever enough).  3) Over at the comments section of BBCAmerica’s site (the current go-to place for angry fans to voice their complaints), I saw a post from one guy who did get a ticket, which he was able to do because he spotted a certain twitter post that directed him to a BBC site that directed him somewhere on the ticketing website that allowed him to buy one ticket, at 12:07, before they were all gone.

Incidentally, last night I saw that someone was selling a ticket to the event on ebay.  It had one bid, for $250!  Is it even legal to do that?  That listing is gone this morning, even though it was an auction and was not due to end for another day or so.

The end result of all of this is that I actually felt a bit better.  Considering the efforts that these gung-ho fans went to, which still didn’t pay off for them, I can see that the situation being what it is, there was no way I was going to be able to navigate the internet-based labyrinth necessary to win a ticket.  I don’t even use twitter!  And the site where I was foolishly looking for information still says “Details to be confirmed soon” under the Fan Event listing.

Still, it doesn’t speak highly of BBC America to have made the experience so frustrating for so many people.  And it is too bad to not have the opportunity to not just watch the premier episode a week early in a big cinema, but to see and hear the stars live in and in person.  I was especially looking forward to the chance to listen to Steven Moffat, the current producer and lead writer of the series.  He seems to be a bit of a divisive figure in Doctor Who fandom, but he’s one of my current favorite writers and I really enjoy what he’s done with the show overall.  It would have been a fun part of my vacation in the States.

But I take comfort in the fact that I am getting to go the Bridgeport (of all places) ComiCONN (because it’s in Connecticut, right?) this weekend, where maybe I’ll get Neal Adams to autograph my copy of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, so I’ll still have a fun geeky-experience on my vacation.

I take even more comfort in the fact that I am living a pretty good life under the grace of God with a wonderful family and a fulfilled sense of purpose.  In the face of all of that, I guess missing out on attending the Doctor Who World Tour is not too big of a deal.



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