Difference between revisions of "The Day of the Doctor"

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Latest revision as of 21:10, 15 August 2020

THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR was the 50th anniversary edition of Doctor Who; the 77-minute special was broadcast by the BBC at 7.50pm on Saturday, 23 November 2013, as well as being shown in cinemas up and down the country, as a 2D or 3D presentation.

Although most cinema screenings were scheduled to begin at the same time as the TV transmission at 7.50pm, the cinematic presentation had additional introductory material, which meant the main feature itself did not start until after 8pm.


Global Simulcast

Poster for Russian cinema screenings

The special was also simulcast around the globe, with the majority of foreign stations screening the episode all at the exact same time.

For most of the countries in Latin America, South East Asia, and continental Africa, the broadcast was via the local BBC Entertainment satellite channel (which had previously been a home to Classic Doctor Who when it was called BBC Prime).

By late 2013, the New Series of Doctor Who had been available on those BBC Entertainment channels for several years: in Asia since October 2006; South Africa since September 2008; and Europe and the Middle East from November 2009.

For all other countries, the special was shown on a local station. The simulcast was offered to the primary broadcaster who had the option of whether or not to take the simulcast.

In the case of New Zealand, however, although Prime was originally to show the episode starting at 8.50am (which, due to the country's relative position over the international date line, was on Sunday, 24 November), it later decided to air the story at 9am, meaning a delay of 10 minutes. Some reports state this was because Prime couldn't air a PGR-rated programme prior to 9am, but the true reason for the time-shift was the broadcaster preferred to have its programmes start on the hour.

It's unknown how many viewers in each country tuned in to watch the special broadcast - especially for those in the Asia / Pacific region, where it was in the very early hours of the morning (of Sunday, 24 November), while in a number of non-English speaking parts of Europe, Africa and Asia it was the half-century celebration of a programme that had only been showing for a couple of years.

Some BBC reports stated that the special was broadcast in "15 languages", but it's unknown what those languages were, or whether it was dubbed or just subtitled.

The special was also shown in select cinemas across the globe (some reports cited as many as 1,500 theatres in 25 countries), some of which also showed the 3D version.


Guinness World Record

Guinness Certificate presented at the ExCel event

On the morning of Sunday, 24 November 2013, at the 50th Anniversary event held at the ExCel convention centre in London, exec-producer / showrunner Steven Moffat was presented with a certificate from Guinness Book of World Records declaring that:


"The record for the largest worldwide TV drama simulcast was achieved by the special 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, which was broadcast in 94 countries across 6 continents at 19:50 (GMT) on 23 November 2013"


A slightly different version of the Guinness certificate was revealed by the press in the days that followed; this one upped the number of countries to 98:


"The largest TV drama simulcast was achieved by the special 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, which was broadcast in 98 countries across six continents at 19:50 (GMT) on 23 November 2013"


Guinness certificate with 94 countries, as presented at the ExCel event
Later amended Guinness certificate with 98 countries


And the print edition of Guinness World Records dated 2015 on the cover but published in 2014 says:

"Largest TV drama simulcast At 7:50 p.m. (GMT) on 23 Nov 2013, the 50th-anniversary episode of Doctor Who (BBC, UK) was broadcast in 98 countries across six continents..."


Footage of the presentation at the ExCel can be seen on Youtube:




98 Countries?

This pre-broadcast chart from the BBC lists only 82 countries and the original timeslot for New Zealand

We have not been able to find one official list that names all 98 countries, but combining data from all the various published lists we believe have identifed them - plus a few more!

In all likelihood, any "official" figure given would only ever be a rough estimate, one that has taken into account the geographical catchment area of each of the BBC Entertainment signals, irrespective of whether or not anyone was watching.

Indeed, several of the countries named by the BBC are island groups, plus there are 14 eastern European nations that could receive the Russian channel NKS, which does indeed give the total closer to (or over) 98.

Some of the foreign news reports at the time also named other countries in their lists, such as Denmark and Norway - which as far as we can tell, did not take up the simulcast. And like New Zealand, there would be several other countries that did not join the simulcast but who also did screen The Day of the Doctor at a later time or date -- see our New Series page.

Our Table below lists the countries that took part in the simulcast, and is presented via time zone (using a 24 hour clock), with the countries that took part in the simulcast arranged in rough geographical order moving from west to east. The countries can also be sorted alphabetically, by Region, or by station. (Although the simulcast took place on Saturday evening in the UK, due to the international time zones, countries in the west saw it in the late morning or during the afternoon, while countries in the east saw it on Sunday morning.)

No Time Country Station Continent Notes
1 11:50 Canada Space North America earliest start time of multiple time zones: 11:50 Pacific, 14:50 East
2 11:50 United States BBC America North America earliest start time of multiple time zones: 11:50 Pacific, 12:50 Mountain, 13:50 Central, 14:50 East
3 13:50 Mexico BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
4 13:50 Guatemala BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
5 13:50 Honduras BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
6 13:50 El Salvador BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
7 13:50 Nicaragua BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
8 13:50 Costa Rica BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
9 14:50 Panama BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
10 14:50 Colombia BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
11 14:50 Ecuador BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
12 14:50 Peru BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
13 15:20 Venezuela BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
14 15:50 Bolivia BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
15 15:50 Dominican Republic BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America / Caribbean
16 16:50 Chile BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
17 16:50 Argentina BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
18 16:50 Paraguay BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
19 17:50 Brazil BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
20 17:50 Uruguay BBC Ent / BBC HD Latin America
21 18:50 Cape Verde Islands BBC Ent Africa
22 19:50 **United Kingdom** BBC One Europe
23 19:50 Senegal BBC Ent Africa
24 19:50 Mauritania BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
25 19:50 Gambia BBC Ent Africa
26 19:50 Guinea Bissau BBC Ent Africa
27 19:50 Guinea BBC Ent Africa
28 19:50 Sierra Leone BBC Ent Africa
29 19:50 Liberia BBC Ent Africa
30 19:50 Mali BBC Ent Africa
31 19:50 Cote d'Ivoire BBC Ent Africa
32 19:50 Burkina Faso BBC Ent Africa
33 19:50 Ghana BBC Ent Africa
34 19:50 Togo BBC Ent Africa
35 19:50 Sao Tome & Principe BBC Ent Africa
36 20:50 France France4 Europe
37 20:50 Germany FOX Europe
38 20:50 Italy RAI Europe
39 20:50 Poland BBC Ent Europe
40 20:50 Benin BBC Ent Africa
41 20:50 Niger BBC Ent Africa
42 20:50 Nigeria BBC Ent Africa
43 20:50 Cameroon BBC Ent Africa
44 20:50 Equatorial Guinea BBC Ent Africa
45 20:50 Gabon BBC Ent Africa
46 20:50 Congo BBC Ent Africa
47 20:50 DR of the Congo BBC Ent Africa
48 20:50 Chad BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
49 20:50 Central African Republic BBC Ent Africa
50 20:50 Angola BBC Ent Africa
51 21:50 Finland YLE Europe
52 21:50 Israel YES Europe
53 21:50 Namibia BBC Ent Africa
54 21:50 Botswana BBC Ent Africa
55 21:50 South Africa BBC Ent Africa
56 21:50 Swaziland BBC Ent Africa
57 21:50 Zambia BBC Ent Africa
58 21:50 Zimbabwe BBC Ent Africa
59 21:50 Mozambique BBC Ent Africa
60 21:50 Burundi BBC Ent Africa
61 21:50 Rwanda BBC Ent Africa
62 21:50 Malawi BBC Ent Africa
63 22:50 Sudan BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
64 22:50 South Sudan BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
65 22:50 Turkey NTV Europe
66 22:50 Tanzania & Zanzibar BBC Ent Africa
67 22:50 Uganda BBC Ent Africa
68 22:50 Kenya BBC Ent Africa
69 22:50 Ethiopia BBC Ent Africa
70 22:50 Eritrea BBC Ent Africa
71 22:50 Djibouti BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
72 22:50 Somalia BBC Ent Africa / Middle East
73 22:50 Madagascar BBC Ent Africa
74 23:50 Mauritius BBC Ent Africa
75 23:50 Seychelles BBC Ent Africa
76-90 23:50 Russia Karousel / NKS (NST) Europe Episode was called День Доктора - NKS coverage also includes Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
91 2:20 Myanmar BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
92 2:50 Thailand BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
93 2:50 Indonesia BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
94 3:50 Malaysia BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
95 3:50 Singapore BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
96 3:50 Hong Kong BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
97 3:50 Taiwan BBC Ent Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
98 4:50 Korea (South) BBC Ent / KBS2 Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013
99 6:50 Australia ABC Australasia / Asia on 24/11/2013; earliest start time for multiple time zones: 6:50 East


Simulcast 2020

On Saturday, 21 March 2020 at 7pm in the UK, another form of simulcast was held online, with fans around the world taking part in a communal rewatch of the episode via whatever method they could - pop in the DVD, watch via an Online service (BBC iPlayer, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play) - and participate in the "live chat" on Twitter, using the 2013 hashtag #SaveTheDay.

The idea for the live rewatch came from Doctor Who Magazine's Emily Cook as a means of beating the self-isolation blues by bringing together fans (especially those stuck inside while exercising social distancing) during the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Fully supporting the initiative, Steven Moffat wrote a special introduction video featuring a puppet of Strax the Sontaran (voiced by Dan Starkey); this was released online at 6.30pm. Moffat also contributed to the rewatch by Tweeting a live commentary.


Links