<i>Doctor Who</i> fans tuned in globally for <i>The Doctor of the Doctor</i> simulcast.

Doctor Who fans tuned in globally for The Doctor of the Doctor simulcast.

He saved a planet, managed to jump through time to meet himself and on Sunday morning Doctor Who also proved a ratings success here and around the world.

Despite the 6.50am (AEST) start time, 424,000 people (five city metro audience, all people) tuned in to ABC1 to watch The Day Of The Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode of the BBC science fiction show.

Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and a couple of Daleks, circa 1979. Click for more photos

Dr Who 50th Anniversary

Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and a couple of Daleks, circa 1979.

When it was repeated at 7.30pm, another 922,000 tuned in for a total of 1.5 million viewers.

In addition 51,000 watched the episode on the ABC's iView online service.

“It's clear that The Doctor is adored by millions of people around the globe and we're thrilled that ABC TV was able be part of this phenomenal global broadcast, bringing the Time Lord's 50th anniversary adventure to fans in Australia,” said Brendan Dahill, controller ABC1.

In the UK, the episode was watched by 10.6 million viewers, leaving Doctor Who executive producer Stephen Moffat "astonished".

"I'm astonished and moved - and that's only the score so far, that's just the overnights," Moffat said.

"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."

Thank you! - I never expected such a response! Thank you all so much for your warmth and congratulations! -John http://t.co/19huMbToDd

— John Hurt (@WithJohnHurt) November 24, 2013

Away from television ratings, the episode also set records of a different kind, for the world's largest ever simulcast of a TV drama.

The broadcast received a Guinness 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 1500 cinemas worldwide, including in the UK, US, Canada, Latin America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia and Australia.

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 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.

"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!" Moffatt 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," said BBC Worldwide's Tim Davie.

"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."

 

 

- with PA