Fans Welcome 'Doctor Who' Back To USA

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Hundreds of Doctor Who fans helped BBC America welcome the series back by attending free screenings in New York City Monday night, joined by cast and crew members.

More than 1,000 people lined up, starting the night before, outside the Village East cinema in the East Village, for the chance to see new episodes of the latest iteration of the venerable British sci-fi series.

Doctor Who launch NYC April 11 2011

Stars Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) brought donuts to the fans Monday morning, hours before the 7 p.m. screening.

In addition to those who made it into the theater, the network broadcast the first two episodes and a Q&A session with the cast and crew to two overflow theaters, and staged a second screening at 10 p.m. for those who didn't make the first one. In all, some 850 people attended and watched.

Also taking part in the Q&A were actor Alex Kingston (River Song); executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis; producer Steven Moffatt and episode director Toby Haynes.

A similar appearance at the same theater a year ago helped BBCA introduce the current cast, with similar fanfare. The new version of the series ended up being the network's highest rated, eclipsing episodes of Doctor Who that featured David Tennant.

An earlier screening of the upcoming episodes, at the WonderCon convention in San Francisco, filled a 3,500-seat theater, according to the network.

This season, for the first time, portions of Doctor Who episodes were filmed in the United States.

Doctor Who returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 23, at 9 p.m. ET.

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