I bet there are BBC bosses wish they could time travel.
The decision to show the first trailer for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary film in San Diego at Comic Con has gone done very badly with UK Whovians.
They are furious Americans got the first look. And now fans are seemingly getting madder and madder by the hour as the BBC refuse to let us see it.
I’m sure some wish they could change things and the order of events. But Steven Moffat’s decision to show the new clip of Doctor Who has been made for a number of reasons.
The main one is Doctor Who and BBC’s current obsession with cracking America. They hope with a bit more effort, big ratings will be secured and millions of pounds in merchandise for BBC Worldwide will be sold as they travel into the future. In terms of profit, America is still a huge untapped universe for the Timelord. Matt Smith has been over to the States a number of times promoting Doctor Who and building the audience. They even filmed 2011 episode The Impossible Astronaut in Utah with Matt wearing a Stetson.
And whilst us Brits struggle to get interviews with the cast, Jenna Louise Coleman was chatting to small podcasts and fan sites on her trip to the US in February 2013 to help attract more Sci fi fans to the latest series.
Another way of securing more viewers, interest and headlines in the States is to create a frenzy at Comic Con. Showing an unseen clip of Doctor Who will do that. Especially when it is one of the most anticipated episodes EVER.
I do have some sympathy with UK fans wanting to now see it. I am one of them. Our licence fee makes the show. And what harm would it do putting it up on a BBC website now? Comic Con have had their exclusive.
From what I am told and have read it was a brief clip, not a proper trailer, and the BBC want their first trailer of the film to be a more polished and slick affair.
They are also promising that UK fans will get lots of treats about the anniversary in the coming weeks and months. One member of production told me I just “have to be patient”. So I expect them to rush something out soonish to calm the current fury.
Ultimately though, all those people most angry will still watch the feature-length episode when it comes out.
And if the Comic Con stunt attracts a few more Americans to get hooked on Who, they’ll probably think it was worth all the hassle.
Mark Jefferies is Deputy Showbiz and Tv Editor at the Daily Mirror.