Doctor Who's Disney+ Deal Will Reportedly Spark A Major Change For The Show, And It's About Time

David Tennant as The Doctor in Doctor Who
(Image credit: The BBC)

Doctor Who is currently on hiatus following Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, and fans are eagerly awaiting the next chapter. 2023 will feature the 60th anniversary celebration with David Tennant and other familiar faces, and it'll mark the start of a new season starring the latest actor to play The Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa. Gatwa’s run will kick off in the United States, with Who streaming new episodes on Disney+. And as a result of that deal, there’s reportedly another major change headed to the franchise -- one that I think is long overdue. The series is apparently getting a budget increase and, if the rumors are true, it’s a significant one. 

Hot on the heels of the news that The BBC is partnering with Disney+ to bring new episodes of Doctor Who to audiences in the United States and elsewhere, Broadcast (via Gizmodo) reports that the show will see a major budget increase. The show's current episodic allowance is $1.1-3.4 million yet, according to this latest report, that sum may increase to $11.5 millon per episode, beginning with Season 14. The money, which reportedly comes from the deal with the House of Mouse, is said to be part of the show’s effort to better compete with other major titles in the streaming age and to pull in a more mainstream audience. 

The long-running series has done some phenomenal things with its current budget, so it’s exciting to imagine just how much better the production would look with more money at its disposal. It’ll certainly help the show stack up with Marvel and Star Wars shows that are available to stream with a Disney+ subscription and almost certainly make those CGI space sequences for the TARDIS all the more polished. Those bits have started to look dated, given the impressive effects we’re seeing on TV programs now, so believe me when I say this alleged extra money could be to good use.

Assuming that Disney is willing to throw this much cash into Doctor Who, one has to wonder if the studio will be allowed some creative control over Ncuti Gatwa’s run. I initially chuckled at the fan theories that suggested The Doctor could pop up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or appear as a character at Disney World. But in light of this report, one has to wonder if those things are truly in the cards. Fans will surely have their opinions about the mega company having a hand in the franchise, though whether that will be good or bad for this new era of Who remains to be seen at this point.

For now, fans can only wait and see if these financial-based rumors turn out to be true, as they also look ahead to the 60th anniversary special. Viewers certainly are very interested in the upcoming episodes after Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor reverted back to David Tennant’s past incarnation. Hopefully, the special paves the way for the introduction of Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor and sets up a massive story worthy of an elevated budget. 

Currently anyone looking to watch Doctor Who on streaming is going to need a HBO Max subscription, only for the time being of course. Now might be a great time to revisit some past episodes too, if only to imagine which elements of the franchise would look better with more cash pumped into it.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.