LAST night’s episode of Doctor Who has received a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest ever simulcast of a TV drama.
The special 50th anniversary show set a new world record after being broadcast in 94 countries across six continents following a massive global campaign.
In addition to the TV broadcast, the episode was screened in more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide, including in the UK, US, Canada, Latin America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.
More than half a million tickets were sold for the theatrical screenings at which fans were able to watch the episode in spectacular 3D.
First broadcast on BBC One on November 23, 1963, Doctor Who is already in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful sci-fi series.
The award was presented today by Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, to the show’s executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Celebration at London’s ExCeL.
Mr Moffat said: “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, from 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 award should put that argument to rest - and how fitting for it to receive such an accolade in its 50th year.”
10 million watched
The Doctor Who episode had an average audience of 10.2 million, which was among the biggest overnight ratings since the programme was rebooted by the BBC in 2005.
It was the fifth highest figure since the show returned, beaten mainly by Christmas specials and the New Year’s Day 2010 programme which saw Matt Smith make his debut as the Doctor.
Doctor Who’s executive producer Steven Moffat said of the 10.2 million audience: “I’m astonished and moved - and that’s only the score so far, that’s just the overnights.
“I speak from personal experience when I say that there’s nothing better the morning after your 50th birthday than knowing you’ve still got it. Happy birthday, Doctor - go get ‘em you old devil.”
Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC1, said: “The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who was a spectacular event on BBC1 that really brought the nation together, cutting through time and space to simulcast in 94 countries, to celebrate this great British icon.”
Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama, added: “What a triumph! I couldn’t be prouder of Steven, Faith and the team for pulling together such a blinder of an episode. Not only a great celebration of a great show, it also perfectly showcased why the BBC remains such a great and important institution.”