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Doctor Who contest comes to Fort Worth

‘Don’t Blink: A Doctor Who Quiz’

7 p.m. Saturday

Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub

1001 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth


Posted 7:46am on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

It takes a long memory to master Doctor Who trivia.

For 50 years, this sci-fi cult favorite has lasted and thrived, in spite of the revolving-door Doctors occupying the lead role.

In fact, says Michelle Miller, a Fort Worth-based “Whovian,” maybe the show has such staying power because of the frequent cast changes.

Over the years, 11 actors have played the intrepid time lord -- and there’s a new one on the way.

“Everybody has their favorite Doctor,” Miller points out. “If one Doctor doesn’t work for you, all you have to do is give it a couple of seasons and you’ll have somebody new in there to watch.”

On Saturday , Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub in Fort Worth will be packed with die-hard fans who have strong opinions about their favorite Doctors and extensive knowledge about the show.

They’ll put their memories to the test in a one-night-only Doctor Who trivia event that’s also happening in 19 other cities across the country.

The one here begins at 7 p.m.

As the Doctor might advise you, don’t blink or you’ll miss out.

Miller -- whose area of expertise covers all of the versions from the “modern” Who era (2005 to the present) -- will host the Fort Worth competition.

Miller’s favorite Doctors are Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Christopher Eccleston (the ninth).

“I remember watching some of the older episodes on PBS when I was young,” she says. “I accidentally came across it while flipping the channels. I remember being terrified by the monsters when I was younger.

“I didn’t know that Doctor Who had started back up in 2005 until I started hosting these events for Geeks Who Drink. Some of the quizzers started talking about how great the new Doctor Who was. I said, ‘I don’t know. I remember it being kind of campy.’ And they said, ‘No, it’s worth a shot, give it a shot,’ and they finally convinced me.

“I caught it on Netflix and pretty soon I had watched everything available to me and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.”

‘Who’ history

The first episode, with William Hartnell in the title role, appeared on BBC television on Nov. 23, 1963.

The 50th anniversary special, An Adventure in Space and Time, which retells the genesis story of Doctor Who, will premiere at 8 p.m. Nov. 22, on BBC America.

The new Doctor, to be played by Peter Capaldi, will take over one of the biggest roles in British television once Smith leaves the show at Christmas.

“Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege,” Capaldi says. “Like the Doctor himself, I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.”

Adds Steven Moffat, the show’s executive producer and lead writer: “It’s an incendiary combination. One of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television.”

Miller is certainly excited.

“I couldn’t wait to watch the last episode to find out who would be the next Doctor,” she recalls. “It was a huge deal with all of my friends. I’m excited about an older Doctor for a change. We haven’t had an older Doctor in the new run at all. This should be entertaining for everybody.”

‘Who’ now

Quiz questions on Saturday will primarily cover the modern era that began with the Ninth Doctor.

“That’s the time period that most of our fan base is comfortable and familiar with,” Miller says. “But we will have a little ‘Classic Who’ for the people who watched the earlier episodes.”

Quiz teams are limited to a six-player maximum, with a $5 admission fee for each player. Admission is first-come, first-served, meaning many players are liable to show up, in costume, hours early.

Other trivia events like this one, hosted by Geeks Who Drink, a Denver-based company, have covered such topics as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Harry Potter and Seinfeld.

Miller says there very likely will be a TARDIS (time-travel device), like the one Doctor uses, in the room. But players aren’t allowed to use it to find out answers during play.

“We have a strict no-electronic-devices policy at our quizzes,” she says. “And that includes using a TARDIS.”

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