Doctor Who News Doctor Who in global simulcast on November 23rd for 50th anniversary

Published on October 28th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

The Day of the Doctor Ticket Buying Madness!

Phone jams! Site crashes! Sold out screenings! Last Friday was a fraught experience for an unprecedented number of Doctor Who fans clamouring to get tickets for one of the 216 cinemas screening the anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor in the glorious third dimension.

As tickets went on sale at 9am fans were soon tweeting their joy and despair in equal measure as websites crashed, phones jammed, local cinemas sold out; and, in the case of the BFI in London, sales were postponed all together.

The Radio Times reports fans faced a ‘right palava’ trying to get tickets for their chosen cinemas, with those attempting to book for the BFI screening facing cataclysmic ‘technical difficulties’ with the site eventually being closed altogether.

Thankfully the technical gremlins were soon thwarted and, in the name of fairness, tickets were placed back on sale the following day to give everybody an equal chance of attending on 23rd November.

However, there were more concerns for those attending the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration at the Excel exhibition centre on the day itself; with fans confused as to whether or not a celebration set up for the 50th anniversary would actually be showing the 50th anniversary special.

The BBC have now confirmed that:

We are developing options for fans attending the celebration who will want to watch the episode live.  We will have further information in due course and fans should continue to check for any further information.

However ‘a very good source’ has informed Den of Geek that the capacity for the Saturday evening screening that is being planned will not accommodate everybody attending the Celebration in the daytime:

We are chasing for more solid numbers, but it is looking there will be capacity for HALF the attendees at the evening screening events being planned for the Celebration. As we said, we are expecting a full announcement early next week [week commencing 28th October].

Also confirmed by the Beeb: Sky 3D customers should be able to watch the episode in 3D at home.

Did you have any Friday booking blues? Did you get the cinema you wanted? Are you attending the Celebration event? Let us know below!


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

22 Responses to The Day of the Doctor Ticket Buying Madness!

  1. I managed and booked for myself and my brother at the cineworld cinema in Boldon Tyne and Wear looking forward to it.

  2. avatar Francis Cave says:

    I arranged with a friend to book at a Cineworld local to both us. “Of course there’s no rush” I said “after all how much demand will there be for something that is being broadcast on TV at the exact same time?”. Therefore I left it till just before midnight on the Friday to book.

    Of course it was completely sold out.

    Fortunately I was able to find another Cineworld not too far away that still had tickets but boy did I look a right twit….

  3. avatar Ian says:

    I booked my tickets online today for the Odeon. Collected my tickets but noticed before I left to get them I noticed I was overcharged by £5.
    The staff were very helpful but could not work out why I had been overcharged. It wasn’t the booking fees. Its all sorted now but I think people should double check their tickets in case they may have been overcharged.

  4. avatar Ian says:

    PS. Odeon Printworks Manchester told me they had sold out within the hour.

    • avatar Richard Parkin says:

      I was speaking to someone at the Printworks yesterday and they said management were considering the possibility of opening up another screen on the day given the high and unexpected demand. Not a certainty but if people weren’t lucky ticket-wise, it could be worth keeping an eye out for extra tickets if they go ahead!

  5. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Am going to watch this with my Doctor Who fan daughter at home. Don’t need to be ripped off for a few 3D effects in a cinema. I grew up watching Doctor Who in my dad’s lap, hiding in him when necessary, I want my daughter to experience as close as possible the same kind of thrill and excitement that I did. Love the fact the episode is going to be so huge and global, but me and my family will quite happily watch from the comfort of our home.

  6. avatar Michael says:

    Glad it’s sold out. I assumed that cinemas would struggle to sell tickets. I decided not to attend the convention because I wanted to watch ‘Day of the Doctor’ live at home. Just me and my 8 year old son. Roll on 23rd Nov.

  7. avatar Niiige says:

    I’m taking my daughter and her friend, brining them down from Warwickshire on the train to enjoy the celebration. I’ve paid my money and so far nothing. I sent an email to complain at the difficulty if the booking process – which so far hasn’t been replied to.

    No emails. No tickets and now a distinct possibility I’ll have desperately unhappy children on my hands because we can’t watch it that evening.

    Excel is huge – but they’ve planned a screening for only half if the attendees. How is that a good idea?

    How can it be so badly organised. The 50th anniversary can’t have been a shock last minute thing to organise.

    I worried that a special family day out could be a disaster.

    • avatar Ian says:

      I hope you do get to see it at the celebration event and its a good time for you all. I went to the 40th Anniversary convention in London organised by the BBC and Dwas. It was rubbish.

  8. avatar wiredwizard says:

    I thought about it & decided to stay home. No matter how much I love DW, it just isn’t worth it to me to *walk 30km in the dead of winter to catch a bus to get to the theatre, see the show, take the bus back & the walk the 30 km back in the dark. I’d rather stay home, thanks.

  9. avatar Rebecca Crockett says:

    There were issues in the US too. They are showing it as a “Fathom Event” – Fathom hosts screenings across the country of things like special concerts and performances from the Metropolitan Opera Company – on November 25th. There are some 300 theaters as part of that event, so tickets are a bit more widely available. But there are only 11 theaters in the US that will also be screening The Day of The Doctor simulcast in 3D, and some of them are tiny, like the one I tried to get tickets to here in Philadelphia. The theater only has 6 screens and each screen only seats around 100 people. That equals a disaster for loads of people – the screening was sold out in the first 5 minutes. Thankfully, as of yesterday, they have seen the wisdom in adding another screen but I’m sure that one will sell out as well.
    (I actually now hold tix to both the 23rd and the 25th screenings :) )

    • avatar Shawn F says:

      I have tickets for Somerdale NJ. I didn’t even try for 40th and Walnut. It was sold out in 5 minutes

  10. avatar apcanario says:

    i managed to book tickets for Odeon in london on sunday, which now sounds like a miracle, after reading this post! but then again, it would suck big time flying from portugal and not get a ticket!!!

  11. We called our nearest Picturehouse in South London dead on 9.30 when their lines opened. We got through after half an hour and the agent was very obviously relieved when we only wanted two tickets. Interesting.

  12. avatar lozzer says:

    I don’t understand… surely it’s much better to watch it at home with a glass of Shiraz, no bombardment of adverts for twenty minutes before the show, and better still, no one rustling popcorn all the way through it. But then, I suppose | am a grumpy middle aged man…

    • avatar Ian says:

      A chance to see Dr Who at the Cinema, see the Daleks on the big screen. To share the fun with others and the sound will be amazing. Can’t have the TV that loud at home lol

      • avatar lozzer says:

        I hope you have a fab time – not long now…

  13. avatar Elizabeth says:

    There are only a few places in Perth (Western Australia) that is showing at the cinima. I was able to book into the second one I tried. Very disappointed that it won’t be live but at 4pm in the afternoon. Guess we will be getting up to watch it early morning first.

  14. Just a quick note to say that Canada was the same. I have tickets for a Monday 3D viewing, but Saturday was sold out pretty quickly — and there were many problems with the site used to book tickets..

    As frustrating as this may seem to some, I think it is a wonderful sign that the interest in Doctor Who is so high that globally ticket systems were swamped! And this is for a showing of something that will be simulcast “free” to television viewers..

    In my case I’m going to a pub in Ottawa to view (Fox and Feather — Any Ottawa Whovians just ask for details) on Saturday via SPACE TV with a big crowd, and then again in 3D on Monday at the theater.

    • Thanks for sharing, Russell!

  15. avatar Johnny Rocket says:

    I’m seeing The Day of the Doctor Saturday with friends at a house party in London and have tickets to a MONDAY 3D theater screening when I get back to the States. As far as the BBC Excel event, I’m very skeptical. There have been NO updates since I purchased the ticket several months ago, and the event is in 3 weeks! WHO are the other guests? What dealers/fan groups are participating? What are the “evening activities?” What’s the word on the street?

  16. avatar Mike c says:

    Got ma tickets got the last 2 and I am in Australia just shows u the worlds mad for doctor who

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