First published by The Edinburgh Reporter April 4 2010
Festival Square has been overrun by alien visitors over the past three days, as the BBC’s Doctor Who roadshow visited Edinburgh ahead of the new series premiere.
From April 1st to 3rd, 11am until 4pm, on the hour, every hour; dedicated BBC staff distributed 3D glasses to local families, David Tennant look-alikes and passers by. They were then encouraged to watch three trailers for the new series of the iconic sci-fi show on a giant HD screen.
The effect of the 3D glasses was underwhelming in comparison to what is available in the cinema. Even so, the infectious enthusiasm of the MC encouraged the crowd to join in with a Mexican wave along to the show’s theme tune, followed by a countdown to the trailer.
There was a pantomime quality to the event. After the trailers, a Cyberman and a Scarecrow (from the Family of Blood episode) appeared onstage and the MC had to fight them off with his sonic screwdriver. This looked to the untrained eye like an ordinary biro, but it did the job and he was then able to return to the important business of administering stickers, glasses and fake tattoos.
Soon after the monsters reappeared with the caveat that it was safe to have photos taken with them for a limited period. This was perfectly pitched at families with young children, who loved having their picture taken and were then encouraged to mimic the scarecrow’s walk, culminating in a conga round the square.
The same could not be said for a passing golden retriever, which barked its head off at the monster. So, if you want a pet that can tell when a traditionally inanimate object has been possessed by malevolent aliens, a dog is the way to go.