Last week’s Doctor Who episode ‘Kerblam!‘ was a dark satire on a certain massive delivery corporation and though – in the end – the real cosmic threat didn’t come directly from the business model, there were those who wondered if Amazon was even slightly perturbed by the comparisons.
On Wednesday, one might suggest – though perhaps not too seriously – that we got our answer… when those attempting to watch the episode in the US through Amazon Prime – a totally legal way to stream the episode, forked out their $5 (or similar) to do so and found they weren’t watching ‘Kerblam!‘ (which was episode 7 of the current run) but actually episode 8, entitled ‘The Witchfinders‘ and which won’t be shown by the BBC until next Sunday. Though it appears the subtitles still related to Kerblam!‘ if used, everything else was a crystal-clear rendered outing for an episode the rest of the world is still awaiting. Amazon Prime apologised to customers (even offering some their money back!) and said it wasn’t their fault but pointed to the BBC for someone incorrectly uploading the wrong episode – though some customers have pointed out that hours earlier the correct ‘Kerblam!‘ was available.
There is some irony given that it’s almost a series tradition that some element of the show gets inappropriately leaked ahead of plans. Unfinished episodes made their way to the internet as Peter Capaldi took over and the Crackle platform erroneously made Jodie Whittaker’s debut available a few hours ahead of time. The other irony is that reviewers who have always abided by the etiquette rules of receiving legitimate advance previews of the episodes from the BBC so they can provide timely reviews immediately after broadcast have largely been cut out of the process this year… so we won’t see it until transmission… but thousands already have.