One of the side benefits of being a site dedicated to Doctor Who history is that, given 56+ years of runway to work with, you average Tour Honcho could keep quite happily busy just denoting various ABCs (Anniversaries, Birthdays, and Celebrations), and of course we have a calendar function for some of that. But some anniversaries (any November 23rd for example) are more important than others.
Although we didn’t write about it, the 15th Anniversary of Rose and hence the launch of nu-Who on March 26th certainly qualifies on this score. So does April 3rd (today as of this writing) when the Matt Smith era arrived in style with The Eleventh Hour. While the debut adventure for any Doctor (with the possible exception of The Twin Dilemma which began the week following The Caves of Androzani back in 1984) is highly anticipated and an obvious inflection point for change in the program going forward, The Eleventh Hour had an extra frisson attached to it.
Publicity. Specifically in the US.
Although it wasn’t (for all sorts of reasons) an immediate hit in the US as it was in Great Britain, the series had been known in the Sates right away despite the large transmission gaps between the UK and US, and the audience was continually growing, even through the gap year in 2009. In fact the relative production drought, the knowledge that Matt Smith was incoming (along with Steven Moffat), and the advent of BBC America and Doctor Who’s role in being a channel differentiator combined to give an unparalleled opportunity to really ramp up Doctor Who’s presence in the US public consciousness.
And we lapped it up.
In Tour terms The Eleventh Hour has the second most images (to The Angels Take Manhattan) for any story within our Friendly Confines. You could get lost in there for hours. Possibly even 11. Just sayin.’