The BBC and Disney have confirmed that future seasons of Doctor Who will be available on Disney+ outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland. It confirms long-running speculation that the UK’s public broadcaster was planning to relocate the programme away from its conventional distribution network.
Bloomberg reported in July that Disney was searching for “known” names to add to its streaming platform. The world’s longest-running science-fantasy series, with its own worldwide fandom, is unquestionably appealing to any global streamer.
Naturally, new seasons of Doctor Who will continue to broadcast in the UK and Ireland on the BBC’s own channels and online platform, iPlayer. The programme will return in November 2023 with a series of specials to commemorate its 60th anniversary, followed by a new season in 2024.
Simultaneously, the BBC has revealed a new logo and branding that will appear on the programme when it returns in 2023, as well as a large catalogue of items. The new logo is a 21st-century reworking of Bernard Lodge’s renowned “diamond” emblem from 1973.
While the diamond’s shelf-life in the series itself lasted from 1973 to 1980 (for all but one year of Tom Baker’s tenure), it was also plastered on goods from the early ’70s all the way through 1996.
The BBC hired branding consultancy LittleHawk in 2018 to refresh the show’s image with a style that included both the Classic and New Series periods. The show’s decision to revert to an older aesthetic so fast thereafter represents a rejection of LittleHawk’s effort. Not to mention the uproar it will create among purchasers of the show’s flagship Collection Blu-Ray box sets. Who, perhaps, are the true sufferers in all of this, will have to contend with an erratic line of spines running down their shelves once again.