The BBC Just Made The Doctor Who Announcement Fans Have Been Waiting Years For

"Just trying to let it sink in."
Doctor Who
Doctor Who

Classic episodes of Doctor Who prior to the 2005 revival will soon be available on BBC iPlayer for the first time.

After years of demands from fans, the BBC has announced that the extensive back catalogue will join newer series of the sci-fi show on the streaming platform in celebration of its 60th anniversary.

Moments that Whovians will be able to enjoy for the first time on iPlayer include First Doctor William Hartnell’s original encounter with the Daleks and the 1996 TV movie with Paul McGann, featuring him taking over from Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.

Also joining the archive on iPlayer are every episode of spin-off shows Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and Class, and behind-the-scenes show Doctor Who Confidential.

What’s more, every episode from the back catalogue will be available with multiple accessibility options, including subtitles, audio description, and sign language.

With over 800 episodes of Doctor Who programming set to become available from 1 November, the show’s incoming (and also former) showrunner Russell T Davies said teased that there’s even more to come, too.

He said: “I’d like to thank the BBC for all the hard work, to get this massive back catalogue under one roof, at long last. 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!”

Naturally, the news has been met with much excitement from fans online:

November will also see the return of Doctor Who to TV, as David Tennant reprises his role as The Doctor for show’s set of 60th anniversary specials, picking up where Jodie Whittaker’s last episode as the Time Lord left off.

In her final outing in the role, Jodie gave fans a shock as she regenerated into David, who previously played the Tenth Doctor.

David will also be joined by his former right-hand woman, Catherine Tate, in the specials, who will be reprising her role as Donna.

In addition to this, Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney has joined the cast as Rose, Donna’s daughter, while Miriam Margolyes will voice a character called Beep The Meep and Neil Patrick Harris will be playing a mysterious new arrival.

The episodes will be followed by a brand new series, starting over the festive period, which introduces Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa as the next Doctor.

BBC iPlayer’s back catalogue of Doctor Who episodes will launch on 1 November.


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