For the first time ever, the BBC will be the streaming home of as much of Doctor Who history as it possibly can be next month in celebration of the show’s 60th anniversary, as over 800 episodes from across 60 years of adventures in time and space head to its streaming platform, iPlayer.
Announced today, the BBC will launch the streaming archive—which will includes all of the contemporary revived era of the show, stories from its classic era, spinoff series such as Class, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as ancillary programs like Doctor Who Confidential—on November 1 in the UK. Alongside the release, the corporation will also launch a new archive project at the official Doctor Who website that collects rare audio, cast interviews, and high-resolution scans of thousands of samples of written archival documents, behind-the-scenes imagery and more to chart 60 years of television history behind the making of the series.
“I’d like to thank the BBC for all the hard work, to get this massive back catalogue under one roof, at long last,” returning showrunner Russell T. Davies said in a statement. “I’m so excited for new viewers—imagine being 8 years old, spending winter afternoons exploring the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond. And we’re determined this won’t be a dusty museum—we have exciting plans to bring the back catalogue to life, with much more to be revealed!”
The initiative marks the very first time classic episodes of Doctor Who will be available to stream directly from the BBC in the UK, from the earliest episodes of the show that are still available, all the way through to the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. These episodes, as well as the already-available episodes from 2005 and onwards, will also arrive with an expanded suite of accessibility options, including subtitles, audio description, and sign language, some of which are available for these stories for the very first time.
There’s no word on international availability for these episodes yet, but the move comes ahead of the start of the BBC’s broadcasting agreement with Disney+ to become the international streaming platform of Doctor Who outside of the UK and Ireland in 2024, beginning with Ncuti Gatwa’s debut season as the 15th Doctor.
Doctor Who returns to TV for new episodes some time in November, with a trio of special episodes starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the 14th Doctor and Donna Noble, set to air to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary on November 23.
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