LONDON – TV’s most famous Time Lord popped up simultaneously in nearly 100 countries on Saturday — in a special 50th anniversary episode of the BBC’s cult sci-fi series “Doctor Who.”
Fittingly, for a two-hearted, time-traveling alien who reincarnates every time he suffers a fatal mishap, the Doctor appeared in the show as three versions of himself: the current one, played by Matt Smith, and previous ones embodied by David Tennant and John Hurt.
The episode was screened in more than 1,500 cinemas from Australia to Mexico in what the BBC said was probably the largest simulcast of a TV drama in history, exactly 50 years after the first episode was broadcast on Nov. 23, 1963.
The 75-minute special kicked off with Smith dangling from his Tardis spaceship — which has the form of a vintage British police telephone box — as it flew over London. Traditional Doctor Who villains such as the Daleks and the Zygons also made an appearance, as did England’s 16th-century queen, Elizabeth I.
The anniversary episode was broadcast in 3-D in cinemas from Russia to Brazil, as well as on British television.