Plenty of fans are still coasting on their Comic-Con high, while sites such as ours continue sifting through the tons of new announcements and revelations unleashed by the annual pop culture singularity that recently wrapped up in San Diego. It’s always a little sad for those of us who didn’t get to make the pilgrimage out there in any given year, but it seems that Doctor Who fans in the United Kingdom are particularly irritated by one specific element of of this year’s Con programming: the premiere of the trailer for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary episode. It’s not that they objected to it being shown, of course; they’re just not happy that it premiered here in the States first, rather than in its native country.
As we reported earlier, the trailer was premiered for the Comic-Con crowd during the Sunday Doctor Who panel in the San Diego convention center’s massive Hall H. Once word got out, the nerd rage began simmering across social media, after beaming Comic-Con attendees began gushing about the awesomeness of the Who panel and the new trailer online. Soon enough, the backlash from U.K. fans began. Angry Tweets and Facebook postings all struck the same chord, as reported by the Radio Times:
’I don’t understand!,’ yelled one fan at Radio Times’ Twitter account. ‘This is a UK show and we don’t get to look first? How is that right or justifiable?’
‘They don’t care about their UK fans any more,’ another laments, ‘it’s all about making it big in the US.’ While over on Facebook, talk turned to the popular argument of who pays for what: ‘No offence to American fans, but this is a British show… The least we can get is a trailer when we are the ones who pay the license fee!’
Sure, we live in a fancy-schmancy digital age where content is no longer limited to the location of its origin. Hell, the U.K. and America have been engaged in a back-and-forth match of adapting/ripping off each other’s shows for decades, and that sometimes even results in TV magic. But even though the Doctor Who franchise has become even more internationally popular than ever before in recent years, it’s still a quintessentially British series. The mere thought of what an American-ized, de-Britishized remake of Doctor Who is enough to send many a devoted Whovian, including yours truly, into a frothing rage. So, as a writer about pop culture, I totally understand why the Who folks wanted to premiere the trailer with as much visibility as possible, and Comic-Con is pretty much the pinnacle of visibility when it comes to nerd-friendly properties. But as an American fan of the show, I can also totally understand why the U.K. fans might be miffed that we got to see the goodies first.
Naturally, the BBC pretty much had to comment, and they did their best to spin things in a positive direction, telling Radio Times: “This was an exclusive Comic Con trailer made especially for the Doctor Who 50th panel… UK fans can look forward to exclusive content over the next few months.”
I doubt that will cool the temper of angry British fans, and I can’t really blame them. What do you think? Did our neighbors across the Pond deserve first dibs on seeing the 50th anniversary Who trailer? Vote below!