Skip to main content

Binge-watching Doctor Who just got a lot harder

Binge-watching Doctor Who just got a lot harder


New episodes have a home on Disney Plus — but older episodes seemingly won’t be coming to the platform

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The new logo for Doctor Who, with episodes coming to Disney Plus for global audiences outside of the UK and Ireland.

The BBC is partnering with Disney to bring upcoming episodes of Doctor Who to the Disney Plus streaming platform for global audiences, complete with a brand-new logo inspired by Tom Baker’s era as the galaxy-traveling timelord. But it’s also going to make it way harder to binge-watch the show.

New episodes of the timey-wimey TV show will air on the BBC for the UK and Ireland, with Disney Plus becoming the exclusive home for new seasons of Doctor Who for global audiences. Doctor Who will return to screens in November 2023 to coincide with the 60th anniversary, premiering exclusively on the BBC for the UK and Ireland.

In case you missed the recent finale that ended Jodie Whittaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor, David Tennant will be returning to play the Fourteenth Doctor for three specials (he also played the Tenth so expect fans to have debates over whether he’s technically a new Doctor) before Ncuti Gatwa takes up the TARDIS’s helm as the Fifteenth Doctor. A trailer is already available for those who want an early look at Gatwa’s version of the timelord, and Russell T. Davies will also be returning as a showrunner for season 14 after successfully rebooting the British sci-fi classic back in 2005.

But today's announcement of a partnership between BBC and Disney Plus only refers to episodes being aired from 2023 onward, which means you’ll still need a subscription to HBO Max to watch existing episodes in the US, while UK-based fans of the show can watch seasons 1–13 on BBC iPlayer. So, outside of the UK, you’ll need to maintain two streaming service subscriptions to have access to the series in its entirety. That’s going to make it harder for a rewatching — and absolutely obnoxious for new fans looking to catch up.