back to article Doctor Who touches down in US of A

Doctor Who will touch down on US soil for the first time in the opener of Matt Smith's second outing as the Time Lord, the BBC reports. When Smith re-emerges from the Tardis in spring 2011, it will be in the Utah desert "for a story set in the late '60s in which the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a secret summons to …


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  1. James Le Cuirot

    Oh but he has!

    As I'm sure many others will point out, the 1996 film was shot on location in San Francisco. And if you think the earlier stuff doesn't count, well bollocks to that! =P

    1. Adrian Jones


      Beat me to it. :(

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It was set in San Francisco

      But filmed in Canada. Aside from that you point is still valid :)

      1. Steven Knox

        Well, if you're going to be that pedantic,

        America is a large land mass, with many countries on it, including Canada.

        1. Mark Aggleton

          Well if YOU are going to be that pedantic

          The article says the US - and as far as I'm aware Canada isn't in the US.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Not only is Canada not in the US...

            So it wasn't filmed on location in the US, so Moffat was right and the pedant is wrong.*

            ...BUT it wasn't really a Doctor Who story was it? It was pretty standard Hollywood "action" crap with the Doctor and Master characters shoehorned in, very badly.

            * Why do pendants never bother to check their facts?

  2. Adrian Jones

    Rewriting history?

    I know it's Doctor Who and that's normal, but the eight Doctor's film was partly shot in San Francisco.

    1. MinionZero

      @"Rewriting history"

      Technically the Doctor rewrites history all the time, being a Time Lord etc... ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not it wasn't. It was shot in Canada for some strange (and no doubt tax deductable) reason.

  3. Anon the mouse

    Daleks in new york??

    I'm sure the dr who confidential showed them on location in new york. Although David Tennant had to stay behind in the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CGI trickery

      Only the camera crew went to New York for Daleks in Manhatten; the cast were shot in Wales against lookalike walls etc then superimposed on the New York footage.

  4. Murray-Mint

    He's been to Utah before...

    The ninth doctor went to a bunker underneath Utah in the new series episode 'Dalek'. Arguably not on US soil, but under it.

  5. Paul Hates Handles


    Will it be actually in the desert in the US, or just in a back room of Wickes in Cardiff with 25 bags of sand? :D

  6. John70


    This trip to the US of A must have blown the entire season's budget.

    Guess they will make up for it by shooting all the other episodes on the strrets of Cardiff instead in the studio on the sets of alien worlds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Budget? Schmudget?

      The thing about Doctor Who is that it's one of the rare BBC shows that makes it's money back almost before it's shot. What with sales to other countries, merchandising and DVD sales. So budget isn't much of an issue. Indeed, if they played their cards right they will have got a hefty advance from the US partners for shooting an episode over there.

      On a similar subject apparently the Beeb's revenue from Top Gear has gone up recently thanks to that third rater Collins. Apparently I Am The Stig merchandise sales went through the roof.

  7. Elmer Phud

    Erm - rtf text?

    "The Doctor has visited every weird and wonderful planet you can imagine, so he was bound get round to America eventually" tee hee

    Did we miss something before posting my little Tardis 'tards?

    "And of course every Doctor Who fan will be jumping up and down and saying he's been in America before. But not for real, not on location - and not with a story like this one."

  8. John I'm only dancing

    Morons from Outer Space

    Steven Moffat, who penned the two-parter, said: "The Doctor has visited every weird and wonderful planet you can imagine, so he was bound get round to America eventually."

    As we all know, people from Utah are very weird and not so wonderful....I was thinking along the lines of the Mormons from Outer Space, you know, the cult that inflicted the Osmonds on the rest of the world.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    More on the 'secret summons' bit please?

    Why do I get that this has something to do with Disclosure and a similar story or plot line('s)??

  10. Bugs R Us

    Giving money away!

    Why not do it in green screen and put the money back into the UK economy by utilizing a special effects studio here in the UK!

    1. Elmer Phud


      most likely cheaper to do it all in the US than all the faffing around with chromakey

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Because BBC America are paying


  11. Jacqui

    BBC != BBC worldwide

    FWIU (someone correct me) BBC is licence funded but BBC worldwide is effectively a private company using assets such as DrWho to make mega bucks which ends up in the pockets of those running said private company. Ok when I say in thier pockets, I mean in thier massive pension funds and used to fund 5K a night expenses bills when out there in the US or on a jolly.

    The UK is having to leave schools with holes in the roof but the BBC can still spend a couple of mill a year just for artwork to decorate thier london offices and at the same time plead poverty.

    Cut the licence fee in half - Cut all senior management pensions in half and have the NAO investigate the funny money flows through the private parts of the BBC!

    1. CADmonkey

      (someone correct me)


    2. CmdrX3
      Thumb Up

      WTF does FWIU mean??

      BBC Worldwide is owned by the BBC and any profits made by them is channelled back into BBC. There is no funny money or private parts. BBC Worldwide Limited is simply the commercial arm of the BBC, no more no less. Those running it are nothing more than employees (albeit very well paid ones) of the BBC. It's just a vehicle for keeping the commercial and the public broadcasting entities separate.

      But I agree with your assessment, and there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed from the meat so to speak. Not just in senior management, but in many of the pay packets going into "celebrity" pockets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, but no.

        Yes the BBC is not licence fee funded, but no it is not privately owned. It is wholely owned by the BBC.

    3. Mark Aggleton

      (someone correct me)


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Still on Earth then?

    Is it me or are most Dr Who episodes set on earth these days. I don't care if he's in the US I want to see some Alien planets, space ships and stations and stuff like the good old days.

  13. ShaggyDoggy

    Have they run out of

    Welsh quarries ?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Should shoot the whole thing in the UK

    In retaliation for those terrible "Murder she wrote", "Columbo" and "Mission Impossible" etc episodes supposedly set in the UK.

    Reminds me of the Austin Powers line in "Spy who Shagged me" :

    "Isn't it funny that England looks exactly like Southern California?"

  15. Mark York 3 Silver badge

    William Hartnell Got There First.

    The Doctors first visit to the USA (on-screen) was of course landing on the observation floor of the Empire State Building during "The Chase", the least said about his second trip to the OK Corral during "The Gunfighters" the better.

    Utah - A mere 835 miles south from my current location, shame I can't afford to go & sus out some location shoots.

    "The Doctor has visited every weird and wonderful planet you can imagine, so he was bound get round to America eventually."

    Since when has America been a planet, granted that the folk due south might act like thats the case.

    "it will be in the Utah desert for a story set in the late '60s in which the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a secret summons to the Oval Office".

    The last time I looked the oval office was in Washington not Utah.

    I'll get my 9th Doctors leather coat........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "The Doctors first visit to the USA (on-screen) was of course landing on the observation floor of the Empire State Building during "The Chase", the least said about his second trip to the OK Corral during "The Gunfighters" the better."

      Please learn to read the whole story before posting. Like Mr Moffatt said, Dr Who has not been shot on location in the US before.

  16. gimbal

    From what I understand....

    ...the Dr's cast and crew have as many reasons as any other professional entertainers to enjoy their layover here in the states.

    My recommendation: Just look out for the funny ones reading the Constitution backwards - separation of state by church and all that.

    Cheers, y'all.

  17. Tony Paulazzo

    Reminds me...

    of the awful special with that bus in the desert and the cast of Eastenders on it. I assumed they'd green screened some quarry with imported sand, but no, the bus, cast and crew were all taken to some real desert at, I'm guessing, hideous license payer cost and very little plot development (they might as well have been trapped on a quarry planet or a crystal planet for how little the sand impacted their adventure).

    With BBC America getting in on the act I foresee even more blanding and dumbing down, he's a British institution, why dissolute that eccentricity simply to sell to the American market - fsck 'em if they don't like British talent on British soil - the BBC was created to offer British made TV to British license payers not try and sell it to the rest of the world - and I'd love to see a breakdown of all their worldwide sales to other broadcasters and DVD sales added to their license fees.

    And one last mini rant, sorry, but the electricity between that girl and Rory is non existent, not sure why they brought him back.

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Utah eh?

    So, I'm curious, are they using Utah as a set for some desert planet, or is it supposed to be set in Utah? I've been to Utah..

    1) The scenery is lovely. I mean, it is a desert, but there's areas with nice cliffs and beautiful bands of sandstone. Really, it'll be quite photogenic.

    2) The people are pretty odd. I was planning to drive through Utah non-stop (on the way to Las Vegas) but ran low on gas and had to stop. When I went in to pay, one lady actually had a full-sized beehive haircut... I looked around and the gas station was like half-empty! It was some corporate standard layout, but wit no beer, no liquor, no soda, and no cigarettes, just all this empty shelving and fridges where it would have been. It was much weirder than just having a smaller building without the empty shelving, that's for sure.

    Oh, they also drive on the left. Well, they drive on the right side of the center divider, but in a multi-lane setup always in the left lane. Every single Utahian I saw on the road would just coast along at like 2/3rds the speed limit in the passing lane; even if there was no other traffic in miles (except me trying to get by!), they would never move over. On my trip through the state I must have passed at least 75 cars on the right.

    1. Tom 13

      Never been to Utah so I can't speak to that,

      but there is a logical* reason for choosing the second lane from the right on multi-lane divided highways: You have less chance of getting creamed in an accident there. People in the second lane are usually camped for the long haul. People in the right lane are merging and exiting. And people in the third through sixth lanes are prone to making sudden and completely unexpected movements across the second lane, through the first lane, and off the exit ramp. Second laners have a chance at seeing this, first laners have none.

      Yes, technically it is against state laws to "travel" in the second and other lanes, but Americans being practical people tend to ignore mere legislative law when the laws of physics override them.

      *Okay, maybe not "logical" in the Platonic sense of being able to use pure thought to arrive there, but "logical" on the basis of observed experimentation and future extension.

  19. Michael Kilner

    For the older readers ..........

    More's the pity there's no reference made to "shooting the episodes in the hills of America".

    It would have been the perfect cue to several jokes involving the 5th assistant, Peri.

    1. chr0m4t1c


      Which counting system makes Peri the 5th assistant?

      Did you mean the 5th Doctor's assistant?

      I wonder what Tegan's leather mini-skirt is doing these days?

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