Streaming the newest season of Doctor Who has been tricky for years now. While Amazon and HBO Max have played host to past seasons of the NuWho, as the rebooted franchise’s current iteration is called, there was no way to stream the current season until it concluded in the US unless you paid for BBC America in a cable package or bought the individual seasons themselves digitally. However, that is changing as the BBC has announced a major partnership with Disney that will bring Doctor Who to Disney+, with new episodes premiering there outside of the UK and Ireland.
The partnership doesn’t stop at Disney+ playing host to the series either. Disney is working with the BBC under a “shared creative vision” in a bid to regain the global popularity of the brand that was seen during the earlier years of NuWho, which sounds like Disney is putting some money behind this to bring yet another icon under its umbrella. The ramifications should be massive for the series, which should get a budget injection from having Disney help usher it forward and could mean that the show begins to once again try to create its own universe with spinoffs and the like. Doctor Who has seen a ratings slump for years under showrunner Chris Chibnall and is poised to get a dramatic boost in the arm from this.
That’s all the more likely considering the return of Russell T. Davies to the showrunner chair. He oversaw multiple NuWho spinoff series during his tenure before the series contracted back down to just one show. The partnership also comes as David Tennant returns as the Fourteenth Doctor after the shocking regeneration of Jodie Whitaker in “The Power of the Doctor” this past weekend. Tennant will star in three specials on Disney+ before Ncuti Gatwa takes over the role. It’s a perfect way to try to bring the Doctor back to a global audience as people see a familiar face on Disney+ and, theoretically, carry on with Gatwa after being reengaged.
“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,” said Davies.
The BBC also released a “new” logo for the show, which you can see in the video above and the header. It’s a throwback to Doctor Who‘s logo from the series’s heyday in the 1970s when Tom Baker played the Fourth Doctor. It’s another hint that this next series of Doctor Who is going to be looking to pull people back in by leaning on the show’s most popular times.
There’s no word on where past seasons of the series will reside, but you have to believe that at some point they’ll make their way over to Disney+ as well.
Doctor Who will premiere on Disney+ and the BBC in November 2023.