Doctor Who News Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Published on November 24th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Doctor Who Sets Guinness World Record Global Simulcast!

BBC Worldwide today announced that the special 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor, has received the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama following a massive global campaign which saw the episode broadcast in 94 countries across 6 continents.

In addition to the TV broadcast, the episode was screened in over 1500 cinemas worldwide, including  in the UK, US, Canada, Latin America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.  Over half a million tickets were sold for the theatrical screenings at which fans were able to watch the episode in spectacular 3D.

The award was presented by Craig Glenday, Editor-inChief of Guinness World Records to the show’s Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Celebration, a special three-day event spanning the anniversary weekend at London’s ExCel.  Cast members Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman were also in attendance along with thousands of fans from across the world.

Upon receipt of the award, Steven Moffat comments:

For years the Doctor has been stopping everyone else from conquering the world. Now, just to show off, he’s gone and done it himself!

Tim Davie is CEO BBC Worldwide

We knew we were attempting something unprecedented in broadcast history, not only because Doctor Who is a drama, unlike a live feed event such as a World Cup football match or a Royal Wedding, but because we had to deliver the episode in advance to the four corners of the world so that it could be dubbed and subtitled into 15 different languages. If there was any doubt that Doctor Who is one of the world’s biggest TV shows, this award should put that argument to rest – and how fitting for it to receive such an accolade in its 50th year.

Craig Glenday from Guinness World Records added:

Who else but the time-twisting Doctor could appear in 94 countries at once?! This outstanding achievement is testament to the fact that the longest running sci-fi TV show in history is not just a well-loved UK institution but a truly global success adored by millions of people.

In the run up to the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, fans of the show across the world have been out in full force to be part of a global event.  In Sweden and Norway where the programme has no client broadcaster, fans successfully petitioned to get their local cinemas to screen the episode.  Similarly, fans in Argentina pushed a major cinema chain into showing the special simultaneously where previously there had been no plans to do so.

In the US, an initial 10,000 cinema tickets sold out in 28 minutes without any marketing or advertising and in Germany, Cinemaxx, one of the largest cinema chains reported that the special had been the fastest non-movie pre-sale in their history.

Pretty amazing news, we think you’ll agree, and a great cherry on the top of this birthday cake weekend feast of Doctor Who anniversary fun!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

7 Responses to Doctor Who Sets Guinness World Record Global Simulcast!

  1. avatar SMBComix says:

    Way to go, Doctor Who!!!!! Happy 50th Birthday! :D

  2. avatar DonnaM says:

    And some people genuinely seem to believe the regeneration limit will hold! We may sometimes question their handling of this treasure, but the Beeb have shown me over this last week they do “get it” with Doctor Who. Onwards and upwards, Doctor!

  3. Saw it at the cinema and got a real shock at all the surprise apperences

  4. avatar Al says:

    Great news about the world record. (I can’t imagine Star Trek being able to match this for its 50th in 2016!) This is completely anecdotal, but word is in some theatres DOTD outsold Hunger Games. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see it in the Top 10 box office? (I don’t think it had enough theatres to do that, unfortunately).

  5. Pingback: Doctor Who: Radio Free Skaro » Blog Archive » Radio Free Skaro #394 – One Day Like This

  6. “In the US, an initial 10,000 cinema tickets sold out in 28 minutes without any marketing or advertising and in Germany, Cinemaxx, one of the largest cinema chains reported that the special had been the fastest non-movie pre-sale in their history.”

    “WOW!” is both somehow appropriate and at the same time just not a big enough word!

  7. Don’t forget that in Brazil at first we would have only 4 theaters with The Day of The Doctor. At the end the fans united pushed the cinema chain to extend it to more and more cities. In the end we got 66 theaters.

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