I love the Empire State Building. Everything about it is iconic, from the construction to its architecture and symbolism. One of the aspects I love most about it is how its floodlights change colors to commemorate events and seasons. After 9/11, it was red, white, and blue for a long time. In December, it’s green, red, and white. It’s green for St. Patty’s Day. It’s been lit up to commemorate the Knicks, Rangers, and even Queen Elizabeth. Now, a petition has been circulating to turn the Empire State Building blue—and not just any blue, TARDIS blue—on November 23rd in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who, the longest running science fiction show ever.
New York SciFi & Fantasy, an organization whose existence was sadly unknown to me when I lived in the Big Apple, started the petition on change.org in order to persuade the folks in charge of the Empire State Building to show a little love to the Doctor. Come on now, the Empire State Building has celebrated the Lion King and Wrestlemania (seriously?! That’s both ridiculous and awesome), so a little nod to the Doctor and the TARDIS doesn’t seem like a huge stretch.
The organization is serious about this plan, and has already submitted paperwork to the Empire State Building. I had no idea this was possible, but people and organizations can apply to become a lighting “partner.” The ESB has some rules about what will and won’t turn its lights on—no political or religious events (other than Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid-al-Fitr), and no personal requests (birthdays, weddings, etc). Thankfully, they also prohibit advertisements, company logos, or other corporate campaigns, which is nice. While they clearly say they don’t guarantee lighting approval to any organization under any circumstance, I can’t see why they’d say no—there’s nothing about NY SciFi & Fantasy’s request that violates any of the provisions, and the lighting schedule posted on their website shows no conflicts with previously scheduled events.
Plus, the Empire State Building has cameos in some Doctor Who episodes. She’s practically a costar. Remember when the Doctor stopped the Daleks from turning New Yorkers into pigs? (That’s supposed to be ironic, right?) What better time could there be to show thanks?
While the folks at EBS people mull over the proposal, NY SciFi & Fantasy wants to demonstrate just how much support the idea has. Their goal is to get at least 35,000 signatures, and they’re close—they only need 4,615 more (well, 4,614 now that I’ve signed). Doctor Who fans in 95 countries have already added their John Hancocks, and you should too.
They’ll find out no later than November 9th whether the plan will come to fruition. In the meantime, hold tight and pretend it’s a plan.