A look back at the Doctor Who USA Tour
In the late eighties and early 1990s, there were plenty of small conventions throughout America, and lots of opportunities to meet the star of my favorite shows. As cool as the conventions were, they featured mainly Star Trek actors and SF and comic authors. Seeing the actors who starred in my (then-favorite) show Doctor Who was rare.
That is, it was until PBS and the BBC came up with the Doctor Who USA Tour.
Based out of a semi-tractor trailer, the Doctor Who USA Tour drove all around the country, with many of the actors who were on the show in tow. Janet Fielding, Colin Baker, Jon Pertwee… At least one of these actors would appear with the exhibit wherever they set up.
When I saw it in the early 90s Jon Pertwee was in attendance. I, of course, was hoping for my favorite Doctor Tom Baker, but no such luck. Pertwee would have to do. He was wonderful, playful and charming and made me and many others who had never seen his episodes fast fans.
The tour ended shortly before the show itself went on hiatus, and last I heard the trailer was decaying in a field somewhere in England. Nowadays, of course, we have lots of options when it comes to seeing actors, props and costumes from Doctor Who (there’s a full-scale museum in England, the Experience Music Project in Seattle has some pieces, and the Who actors are traveling across the country a lot more than they did thirty years ago). But I still have some fond memories of the USA Tour. It was rare, it was special, and all that Who stuff came to MY HOME TOWN.
Here’s some videos that will give you a glimpse of how the experience worked…