It’s been a few years since The Doctor remembered that big red white and blue country from across the pond (but to be fair, how often to American shows remember the United Kingdom?). But the Tardis is coming back to America for a two-part episode in the sixth season that lands The Doctor and his companions at the White House.
BBC has not released a lot of details about the upcoming episode of “Doctor Who,” but they did share that The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and husband Rory (Arthur Darvill) end up in a Utah desert in the late 1960s in an episode penned by showrunner Steven Moffat.
BBC News reports that shooting will start in Cardiff later this month, most likely soundstage scenes with more location shooting taking place overseas soon after.
“The Doctor has visited every weird and wonderful planet you can imagine, so he was bound get round to America eventually,” Moffatt told BBC News. “And, of course, every ‘Doctor Who’ fan will be jumping up and down and saying he’s been in America before. But not for real, not on location — and not with a story like this one.”
It’s not the first time “Doctor Who” has made it to America, even to film. The infamous “Doctor Who” movie in 1996 with Paul McGann was set in San Francisco, since it was being co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television as a backdoor pilot for an American run. Scenes for that film were done both in San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Most recently, the Tardis visited 1930s New York City in the third season two-parter “Daleks in Manhattan” and “Evolution of the Daleks,” although those scenes were shot in Cardiff. Both episodes were written by Helen Raynor, and were not well received by critics. Those episodes did feature a guest appearance by Ryan Carnes, who would later go on to star in a “The Phantom” remake for Syfy last winter.
The Doctor’s group ends up in Utah after getting a summons from the White House. It’s not clear if we’ll get an actual American leader (which could be either Lyndon B. Johnson or Richard Nixon) or a fictional president, or if we’ll hear from him at all. But the episodes will be co-produced by BBC America, the cable channel in the United States that is trying to strengthen its foothold here, and feel that bringing an American setting to its iconic show could help.
Filming has begun for the sixth season of “Doctor Who,” which will premiere on BBC in the spring, and will be split into two parts, similar to what Syfy does with its 20-episode series like “Stargate: Universe” and “Caprica.” It’s expected to have episodes air on BBC America soon after the original British broadcast.
BBC America has a bit of a funny preview of “Doctor Who” coming to America, something you can find by clicking here.
And just one note to add: Alex Kingston will be back in her role as River Song. And we remember from the fifth season finale: The next time we see her, that’s when “everything changes.”