Doctor Who's New Disney Deal Could Include Some Disney Dollars

The fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa
The fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa

When the BBC announced the deal to bring Doctor Who to Disney+ exclusively outside the UK yesterday, they strictly said that the deal was simply for distribution rights. But now it seems that that might not be the case... and Doctor Who might suddenly be getting co-produced by Disney.

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s chief content officer told the Telegraph, “We are thrilled to announce this exciting global partnership with Disney who are the perfect partners to bring this very British show to the rest of the world,” but the newspaper further added that the deal does in fact include both funding for the show from Disney, and that while returning showrunner Russell T. Davies will maintain an “overall creative vision” for Doctor Who, Disney will have some level of say in the creative decisions for the series.

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The BBC has partnered with studios before in order to allow their content to reach a wider audience—this new era of Doctor Who alone is also being made in part with the help of Sony—once again allowing the series access to more funds and tools that it likewise hasn’t had as a solely BBC endeavour. The goal of the co-production deal is to give Doctor Who a bigger budget, which will allow for more “cinematic production moments” and open up the door for more stars to to be a part of the series. But it kind of feels like an odd choice for a show that created its cult classic status on low budget solutions for special effects, and made a habit of picking up relative unknowns for major roles. I mean, whatever the BBC wants to do, I guess, but does Disney really need its Mickey-Mouse-gloved hand in another big franchise?

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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