Why Doctor Who loves America by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat

The showrunner and the stars explain why they like taking the BBC sci-fi show Stateside

It’s one of the most quintessentially British shows on TV, yet Doctor Who seems to spending an increasing amount of time Stateside. In recent years, we’ve had The Daleks in Manhattan, The Angels Take Manhattan and a Western episode, A Town Called Mercy, to name but a few.


So just what is it that keeps bringing the Time Lord and his companions back to America?

“The Doctor is such an iconic figure, which is one of the reasons we are sending him to America more often these days. He cuts such a different figure against that backdrop” explains Steven Moffat in the documentary Doctor Who in the US, which will be released in the UK as part of the series seven box set. 

“One of the things I really wanted to do this year is make sure there was a huge visual contrast between each show, and it suddenly occurred to me – we haven’t done a Western for years” he added, referring to A Town Called Mercy.  “It [filming in Utah] just gave it such scale, such size, such cinematic grandeur.”

But it’s not just the showrunner who has a soft spot for the States – the Doctor himself can’t help but praise the “great locations and great potential for great stories out there.”

“It’s just a beautiful country to film in and I think there’s so many stories to tell there,” says Matt Smith.

His predecessor, David Tennant, concurs: “The world looks to America for it’s cultural life these days so I guess it makes sense that you’d want to tell some Doctor Who stories there as well.” 

But is there perhaps one city in particular that key cast members favour above all others? 

“You can point a camera anywhere in New York and it looks sexy,” says Smith.

“It’s got a real epic feel to it which really matches the scale and ambition of the programme” adds Arthur Darvill, whose character Rory Pond exited the show alongside Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond in The Angels Take Manhattan. “Every time we go to America we are always surprised by the response from American fans and just surprised at how big it is getting over there.”

Smith agrees: “Filming in Central Park is something I don’t think any of us will ever forget, hundreds of fans following us around.”

“We did not expect this to happen in New York,” adds Gillan.

So with a rapidly increasing fan base in the US, and an obvious appetitie for returning there to film, it sems it won’t be long before the good ship DW sails back across the pond once more.

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman should make sure their passports are up to date.