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Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary comes to theaters

The traditional 50th anniversary present is gold.

But when has Doctor Who ever done anything the traditional way?


The most successful sci-fi series of all time is giving fans something much more unique: the chance to see their favorite show come to the big screen in theaters all across America.

The special will be shown Saturday on BBC America, but on Monday, November 25th, the 50th Anniversary will hit U.S. theaters for one simultaneous broadcast.

According to a press release from BBC America and NCM Fathom Events, the companies are teaming up to “Give fans across the U.S. a chance to experience Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor in RealD™3D on Monday, November 25 for only one night in more than 300 select cinemas.”

The idea of bringing The Day of the Doctor to the big screen was first brought up last year, according to Dan Diamond, senior Vice President of Fathom Events.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the BBC as Fathom is always looking for new content and we both agreed that the Doctor Who anniversary event was the best way to introduce BBC to the Fathom platform,” Diamond said in an email to the Collegian. “This event is just the first of many more to come – we’re in ongoing discussions with the BBC on future events.”

Fathom was able to bring Doctor Who to theaters through the close connection they have with theater companies AMC, Cinemark, and Regal Theaters. The Fort Collins Cinemark will be participating in the 50th anniversary celebration.

The showings will also include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage with the writers and actors.

“The Day of The Doctor is upon us and fans have the opportunity to see the time-travelling adventures like never before in 3D from their local movie theater,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events, in a press release. “There’s never been a better time to be a Whovian during the 50th Anniversary celebration of this huge BBC hit that’s invaded America .”

Many CSU students bought their tickets in advance in order to not miss the chance to see one of their favorite shows on the big screen. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Whovians.


“It’s going to be fantastic,” said sophomore chemical engineering major and fan Andrew Lee.

The first episode of Doctor Who premiered on November 23, 1963. There were 26 seasons leading up to a TV movie in 1996, followed by the new series that began in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the ninth doctor.

The anniversary special will continue the storyline of current 11th doctor, Matt Smith, and will likely feature flashbacks to the events of the Time War, a series of battles between his home planet and that of his arch enemies, the Daleks. One of the most anticipated aspects of the special is the return of doctor number 10, David Tennant.

“It’s going to be so fun to see how those two doctors interact because they’re so different,” said junior history education major and fan Yani Ortega.

A contributing factor to the success of Doctor Who is its unpredictability. Give writers a show with a mad man and a police box that can travel through all of space and time, and they can write about anywhere they want and any adventure they please.

“This show is infinite,” Ortega said. “You have all of time and space to go with so every episode is unique and totally different from the last.”

Sophomore psychology and English double major and self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd Kenady Chrisholm says she is “excruciatingly excited” for the 50th, and to see how her favorite Time Lord will save the world this time.

“This show is about the relationships between the Doctor and his companions and how they fight peacefully to save worlds with just a sonic screwdriver and a lot of wit,” she said.

While watching the Day of the Doctor on BBC America will be fun, the opportunity to see it on a massive screen in a theater is just too good for some fans to pass up.

Allons-y, Whovians.

Collegian Entertainment writer and obsessive Whovian McKenna Ferguson can be reached at

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