The BBC is going to pull off the broadcast Geronimo of a lifetime when it simulcasts the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode — “The Day of the Doctor” — globally on 23 November 2013.
BBC Worldwide has announced that, for the first time ever, millions of Whovians in more than 75 countries across six continents — from Canada to Colombia, Brazil to Botswana and Myanmar to Mexico — will be able to enjoy the world’s longest-running and most successful sci-fi series at the same time as fans in the UK. Fantastic!
“The Day of the Doctor” will be simulcast worldwide in 2D and 3D* in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and numerous other countries across Europe, Latin America, and Africa, with more countries expected to be confirmed within the next month.
In addition to the global television broadcast, hundreds of cinemas in the UK and across the world are planning to screen the highly-anticipated special episode simultaneously in full 3D, giving fans the opportunity to make an event of the occasion and be part of a truly global celebration for the iconic British drama series. Details about tickets for the anniversary screening will be announced in due course.
Said Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide:
“Few TV shows can still lay claim to being appointment viewing but Doctor Who takes this to another level. In its 50th Anniversary year we wanted to create a truly international event for Doctor Who fans in as many countries as possible and the simultaneous broadcast and cinema screening of the special across so many countries will make for a fitting birthday tribute to our Time Lord.”
Added Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, who is also Executive Producer of the 50th Anniversary episode:
“The Doctor has always been a time traveller – now he’s travelling time zones. On the 23rd of November, it won’t be the bad guys conquering the Earth – everywhere it will be The Day of the Doctor!”
The 75-minute “The Day of the Doctor” stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman as the current Time Lord and his companion, Clara, as well as Tenth Doctor David Tennant, Billie Piper as former companion Rose, and John Hurt.
But wait, there’s more! BBC channels across the globe are scheduling hours upon hours of Doctor Who programming leading up to the anniversary episode, including An Adventure in Space and Time, the drama about the beginnings of Doctor Who, starring David Bradley as William Hartnell, the First Doctor.
In the UK, BBC Two will air a special on the science of Doctor Who, and the “Me, You and Doctor Who” special on The Culture Show, which looks at the cultural significance of the iconic program. BBC Three will air Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide for both fans and newbies alike, as well as a Doctor Who: Monsters and Villains Weekend. And BBC Four will broadcast classic Doctor Who episodes, including the very first story, “An Unearthly Child,” which has been restored.
In the US, BBC America will be dedicating an entire week to Doctor Who, its highest-rated series, in November, including An Adventure in Space and Time, marathons, and new specials to be announced. BBC America will also announce details of select 3D screenings of the anniversary episode in US theatres in the coming weeks.
Beyond the telly and cinemas, more than 20,000 Whovians will be a part of the official 50th Anniversary weekend celebration event at the ExCel Centre in London, which will feature appearances from old and new cast members, including Matt Smith and former Doctors Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and Tom Baker.
Since 1963, Doctor Who has been one of the best-loved dramas and certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful sci-fi series ever. The show has received numerous awards across its 50 years and has seen huge commercial success with over 10 million DVDs and 8 million action figures sold globally. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK broadcaster distributes Doctor Who to over 200 territories across the world.
* 3D coverage will be available to those with access to a 3D TV set and to the BBC’s HD Red Button service.