The world tunes in as Doctor Who celebrates 50th anniversary

Louise Duffy | 24-11-2013

Doctor Who fans around the world tuned in for the 50th anniversary episode, the Day of the Doctor, which was broadcast simultaneously in more than 90 countries as it aired on BBC One on Saturday night.

The episode was also screened in 3D in more than 1,500 cinemas around the world including Australia, Russia, Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.

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.

Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt starred in the adventure as different incarnations of the Doctor. Jenna Coleman played the Doctor's companion Clara, and Billie Piper returned as Rose.

Guest stars included Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart and Joanna Page as Elizabeth I, plus a special appearance by one of the most popular Doctors, Tom Baker.

The story featured the return of the shape-shifting Zygons, who first appeared in 1975, and the Doctor's old enemies, the Daleks also made an appearance.

BBC Worldwide has sold Doctor Who to 206 territories worldwide including Russia, South Korea, Brazil and New Zealand. Special events associated with the programme have included The Doctor Who Experience interactive walk-through and exhibition, a Doctor Who Live arena tour and The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, which took place at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The anniversary story is Smith's penultimate outing, before he regenerates at Christmas into a new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi.