Happy 52nd Anniversary Doctor Who

In 1963 an unassuming science-fiction/fantasy series made its debut on the BBC. Capturing the imagination of some 4.4 million children and adults in the United Kingdom on that dark, late afternoon Saturday, in 2013 the show was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records for the simultaneous broadcast in some 94 countries around the world of its fiftieth anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.

With a single episode broadcast in one country back in 1963, we take a look at what is being shown on 23rd November 2015 (GMT) some fifty-two years later …

It won’t have escaped fans’ notice, but we once again have a current series of Doctor Who airing over the anniversary, and whilst several countries broadcast the latest episode over the weekend, others are at different stages of the run: today it’s the turn of YLE2 in Finland, which will be showing Vaikea valinta (aka The Zygon Inversion) this evening. Other channels are repeating episodes, with ABC2 in Australia and BBC Entertainment in Asia showing an encore of Face the Raven, the latter channel and BBC First in the Benelux countries showing Sleep No More, and FX India having an afternoon of Who broadcasting The Magician’s Apprentice through to The Zygon Inversion.

In Europe, the Polish and Nordic variants of BBC Entertainment are currently stuck in a “chronic hysteresis”, showing Series 6 and 7 episodes for a number of months now. Each episode is shown several times a day, with today’s installments being The Almost People and A Good Man Goes to War. The main European channel (also broadcast in the Middle East) is currently showing series seven, with The Rings of Akhaten shown in the early hours of the morning. SyFy in Portugal are also in a “Series 7 loop”, beginning again today with O Asilo dos Daleks (aka Asylum of the Daleks).

In the United States, Doctor Who’s current “home”, BBC America, shows older episodes during the week, with today’s broadcasts from Matt Smith’s first series, The Vampires of Venice and Amy’s Choice. Meanwhile, PBS stations have been broadcasting the previous series over the last few months: for today, Louisiana Public Broadcasting reach the finale, Death in Heaven. Another PBS station, UNC (North Carolina) is currently working through Series 4, today reaching The Sontaran Stratagem and its associated Doctor Who Confidential, Send in the Clones.

TV Cultura in Brazil are also in Series 4, with their weekday broadcasts similarly at O Estratagema Sontaran (aka The Sontaran Stratagem), broadcast in Portuguese.

As well as ABC, Australia also has SyFy which shows a mix of classic and modern Who; today’s servings are Kinda part one and Blink respectively (plus The Hand of Fear part one early morning of Tuesday in local time).

BBC Entertainment in Asia also have a regular run of episodes as well as the latest, with today seeing The End of Time: Part One being shown; the channel is also showing Torchwood Declassified, today’s being the first episode, Jack’s Back.

Jeem in the Middle East is showing Doctor Who Series 8 at the weekends, with The Sarah Jane Adventures on weekday evenings – for today it’s the first episode of The Mark of the Berserker. Episodes are shown in Arabic.

Last but not least is the British stalwart of the classic series, Horror Channel, which today embarks upon either the Jon Pertwee swansong Planet of the Spiders or a ‘repeat’ of Planet of the Daleks from a couple of weeka ago depending on sources!
In summary, fifty-two years since a single episode was broadcast, there are 22 different episodes of Doctor Who on air today (including all ten of the current series starring Peter Capaldi), which are being shown in some 73 countries around the world (country count based on channels’ availability listings).

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