The BBC and Disney Branded Television announced Tuesday that Doctor Who will be moving to the Disney+ platform in all global territories available, with the exception of the UK and Ireland (where it remains a multi-generational flagship part of the BBC itself). The confirmation came after Ncuti Gatwa revealed the plan on US show Live with Kelly and Ryan.
In the US, the series has been shown – sometimes a simulcast – on BBC America but that will change when the three Doctor Who specials debut in November 2023 and Gatwa takes over the role from David Tennant (who made a ‘What?‘ return to the role at the end of The Power of the Doctor and will be front and centre for the specials. Australian TV
“It is the best of both worlds,” Russell T. Davies – also returning as showrunner going forward – said in a statement. “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.”
“Doctor Who has captivated the imaginations of families around the world for the past six decades,” added Ayo Davis, President, Disney Branded Television. “We are so excited about this collaboration with the BBC and the opportunity to bring this iconic franchise – and Russell T. Davies’ brilliant vision – to life for a huge new global audience.”
There had been rumours for a while that this kind of deal was likely in the offing, something that would benefit all parties given Doctor Who‘s modern footprint, but that the details of how and when any changes to distribution were going to be sorted remained unclear until now.
The show will be co-produced in Wales by Bad Wolf as a BBC Studios Production. “For Doctor Who to have the backing of two of the most innovative and respected media organizations in the world is a testament to the unique drive and vision at the heart of this show,” said Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, executive producers and co-founders at Bad Wolf, and who worked with Davies during his original run in the ‘Noughties’. “Bad Wolf are beyond delighted to be once again working with the genius that is Russell T Davies and, with the exciting new partnership between the BBC and Disney, we can together reach to even greater heights, producing from Wolf Studios Wales ambitious stories through time and space for audiences across the globe.”
While the Disney+ deal will see it expand its footprint, current reports mean that Disney is dealing solely with the wider distribution angle of the deal, not the creative one or having a say about storylines, casting etc.
The BBC also revealed the ‘new’ Doctor Who logo that will be used at least for the specials and possibly in the following full series run in 2024. Its shape reflects one of the classic , fondly-remembered logos used by the series in the 1970s…
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) October 25, 2022