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Day of the Doctor dawns for millions

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IT WAS watched by millions of fans around the globe, dubbed and subtitled into 15 different languages, simulcast in 1,500 cinemas and aired on television stations from Britain to Brazil.

The Day of the Doctor, a 75-minute special edition to mark the culmination of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, was shown at 7.50pm on BBC One last night - and simultaneously in more than 90 countries, including Russia, Mexico and Iceland.

The episode, featuring three previous incarnations of the Time Lord, was also shown at 1,500 cinemas worldwide, including at 400 3D screens in the UK.

Vue cinemas said it was the largest ever one-off UK screening, while in the United States, 10,000 tickets for cinema screenings sold out in 28 minutes, without any advertising or marketing, the BBC said. More than 35,000 people also signed an - ultimately unsuccessful - petition to have the Empire State Building turned blue to mark the anniversary.

The BBC said cinema chains across the world had described the event as the "screening of the year", and reported seeing the kind of response usually reserved for Hollywood blockbusters such as The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.

In Argentina, fans started a campaign via social media to persuade their local cinema to air the episode, which starred former Doctors David Tennant, 42, John Hurt, 73, and the most recent, Matt Smith, 31, alongside Jenna Coleman, 27, the Doctor's current assistant, and Billie Piper, 31, a former one.

The episode also featured Daleks and Zygons, the shapeshifting aliens who first appeared in 1975, and was shown in 15 languages, among them Hebrew, Finnish, Dutch, Korean and Japanese.

Tim Davie, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said: "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 simulcast should put that argument to rest."

Fans of the programme, which was first broadcast on Nov 23 1963, have also been attending anniversary events across the country. The British Film Institute has been holding monthly events, celebrating all the different Doctor's in the show's history.

In London, more than 24,000 people attended a sold-out three-day celebration convention at the ExCeL Centre. Doctor Who was created as an educational family show, designed to fill the gap between the football results and evening entertainment programmes, but has gone on to become one of the BBC's most successful exports watched by an estimated 80million people worldwide.

It has been honoured by Guinness World Records as the longest-running science-fiction series and BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, has sold it to 206 territories, including South Korea and New Zealand.

It has also sold more than 10million DVDs, 8million action figures and a million sonic screwdrivers, the tool used by the Doctor to unlock doors across the universe.

In addition, BBC Worldwide has sold 500,000 tickets to Doctor Who events since 2010, including The Doctor Who Experience and the Doctor Who Live arena tour.

One fan spent 3,000 hours preparing for last night's 50th anniversary special. Tom Jessop, 29, of Yeovil, has watched all 798 episodes in chronological order over the last 10 months in time for the milestone episode.

Mr Jessop said: "This weekend has been etched in my mind for years. I have watched every episode in the transmission order ahead of the anniversary. Doctor Who is a British institution." Read a Doctor Who location hunter's site guide on Page 14 of this week's Seven magazine

GRAPHIC: Doctors Matt Smith, left, and David Tennant. Fans Klara Holmgren, top right, and Tim Quinton at the Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration event in London

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  • APA 6th ed.: Duffin, Claire (2013-11-24). Day of the Doctor dawns for millions. The Sunday Telegraph (England) p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Duffin, Claire. "Day of the Doctor dawns for millions." The Sunday Telegraph (England) [add city] 2013-11-24, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Duffin, Claire. "Day of the Doctor dawns for millions." The Sunday Telegraph (England), edition, sec., 2013-11-24
  • Turabian: Duffin, Claire. "Day of the Doctor dawns for millions." The Sunday Telegraph (England), 2013-11-24, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Day of the Doctor dawns for millions | url= | work=The Sunday Telegraph (England) | pages=9 | date=2013-11-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Day of the Doctor dawns for millions | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>