It’s a time of major change in the realm of Doctor Who, as not only has Jodie Whittaker recently departed from her role as the Doctor and David Tennant made a surprising comeback in her place, but the BBC has also announced that they have teamed up with Disney to bring new episodes of the British sci-fi series to non-UK and Irish fans exclusively through the latter’s signature streaming service.
This major change to Doctor Who‘s broadcasting strategy was first publicly announced on October 25th, courtesy of upcoming series lead Ncuti Gatwa during an appearance on that day’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Beginning with a brief overview of the “British institution” that is Doctor Who for the eponymous American hosts, Gatwa revealed to the crowd that his run on the series would be “around the world” thanks to “a very historic partnership between the BBC and Disney Plus.”
Asked by Seacrest if the series will “evolve because it’s in different places now?”, the upcoming Doctor asserted “hopefully, yes” before offering a caveat.
“It’s now accessible to the world, who can now access it through Disney Plus,” he added in follow-up, “but at home, back at home, nothing changes.”
“Still classic Doctor Who,” said Gatwa, “but now it’s just really accessible to the whole world.”
As per an official release issued to the press alongside Gatwa’s announcement, while new episodes of Doctor Who will air on Disney Plus outside of the UK and Ireland, the BBC will continue be the exclusive home for the series within its home countries.
Further, the series will continued to be produced in Wales by Bad Wolf, who as previously announced will help steer the Tardis’ future starting with Gatwa’s outing.
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The release noted that both BBC and Disney’s plans for the Time Lord will “align under returning showrunner Russell T Davies’ bold vision.”
Offering a brief comment, Davies himself declared, “I love this show, and this is the best of both worlds – with the vision and joy of the BBC and Disney+ together we can launch the TARDIS all around the planet, reaching a new generation of fans while keeping our traditional home firmly on the BBC in the UK.”
In her own statement, BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore similarly exclaimed, “We are thrilled to announce this exciting global partnership with Disney who are the perfect partners to bring this very British show to the rest of the world.”
“Russell T Davies’ vision for Doctor Who has always been out of this world and we are committed to ensuring that audiences across the globe get the opportunity to enjoy the Doctor’s epic adventures with the scale and ambition that they deserve,” she continued. “Joining forces with Disney will elevate the show to even greater heights and reach new audiences so it’s an extremely exciting time for fans in the UK and across the world.”
Doctor Who will officially make its international Disney Plus debut in November 2023 when the series returns with a new set of specials meant to both explore the mystery of the Fourteenth Doctor’s regenerated Tenth Doctor appearance as well as officially introduce Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor.