The BBC and Disney have teamed up for a new era of Doctor Who which will see streaming platform Disney+ become the exclusive home for the BBC science fiction series outside of the UK and Ireland from next year. Doctor Who will however continue to broadcast first in the UK on the BBC.
In a joint statement, the BBC and Disney claim that this will help to turn “Doctor Who into a global franchise for UK audiences and the rest of the world.”
The announcement came today on Live with Kelly and Ryan in the US with an appearance from the Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa who will be joining the series full-time next year as showrunner Russell T Davies returns to the show.
There has long been talk of how Doctor Who might try to expand its influence as a global property, particularly in light of the success of comic book giants like Marvel going from strength to strength. As owners of both Star Wars and Marvel, two of the biggest properties in global science fiction, a partnership between the `BBC and Disney certainly shows intent to grow further and faster than ever before.
The BBC and Disney talk of “a shared creative vision” which will allow them to “deliver this quintessentially British show to future generations on an unprecedented scale”
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The joint statement continues: “Both partners have aligned under returning showrunner Russell T Davies’ bold vision, who takes control of the TARDIS in 2023.”
In short, these are exciting times for Doctor Who with the 2023 60th anniversary specials just a year away, and the prospect of fan favourite David Tennant returning to the TARDIS, it will be fascinating to see what more is to come.
Under Russell T Davies there have been several spin-offs of Doctor Who in the past; Torchwood (which recently has seen speculation around a return) and the Sarah Jane Adventures, so could the new deal mean there could be a return of these shows, and perhaps new Doctor Who universe products coming soon?
To celebrate the deal, a new Doctor Who logo has been released (see above).
Speaking of the deal, Russell T Davies said: “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.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer said: “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. 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.”
Alisa Bowen, President, Disney+ said: “We’re excited by the opportunity to bring new seasons of this beloved franchise exclusively to Disney+ and introduce the show to the next generation of audiences in more than 150 markets around the world. The series is a perfect addition to our ever-growing catalog of global content that continues to make Disney+ the home for exceptional storytelling.”