Doctor Who's Showrunner Announced A Huge Change For Disney+, And I'm Pumped

Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor in Doctor Who
(Image credit: The BBC)

Doctor Who is moving to Disney+ for its 60th-anniversary specials and Season 14, and there’s a lot of change that's accompanying the arrival of Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor.  It was recently rumored that there will be a sizable budget increase for Who and, while that still hasn’t been confirmed, fans learned a lot about other things that are changing this season, thanks to an interview featuring returning showrunner Russell T. Davies. The EP revealed a huge change for the series regarding episode count and gaps in production, and I’m pumped about this new era of the show. 

Russell T. Davies spoke to Doctor Who Magazine about the new era of the BBC series and revealed the new way that the series will try to be more consistent with its scheduling. Davies explained that Season 14 will only have eight episodes but also laid out the long-term plan for what to expect from it going forward. The potential trade-off for fewer episodes may be that fans are going to see much more consistency when it comes to the release schedule. Check out what Davies said below (via Bad Wolf Archives): 

It takes a while to get the empire in shape, but that's a serious plan: annual Doctor Who, no gap years, lots of content, on and on.

It really shouldn't be understated just how significant it is for the series to eliminate gap years, especially when you think about fans who haven't watched the series in recent years. There have been a couple of instances in past years in which the series took a decent break between seasons, with maybe a handful of specials that bridged the gap between the end and the start of a new Who season

Even if Russell T. Davies is lessening the episode count, it'll be difficult to be too upset about that if there are new episodes popping up every year. Of course, Doctor Who hasn’t gotten that plan off the ground yet and, with filming on Season 14 only having started recently, we’ll see if the creative team will able to make that plan work successfully. 

So far, it doesn’t seem like that will be a hard plan to execute. Russell T. Davies even teased that he’s currently working on a Christmas special for 2024, so one would speculate that the process is moving right along, at least on the writing end of things. It looks like fans will have good reason to keep their Disney+ subscription active for the foreseeable future, especially if they’ll be getting content as frequently as Davies teased. 

Before we get to this new era of the franchise, however, the series will need to get through its 60th-anniversary special. Undoubtedly, there are many just as excited for that, as David Tennant, Catherine Tate and many other Doctor Who alums will lend their talents to celebrate another milestone for the long-running series. 

It’s also possible this that special will lay the groundwork for Ncuti Gatwa’s inaugural season as The Doctor, which remains shrouded in mystery. We should have more answers by this time next year and, hopefully, there won't be as much waiting involved with this franchise moving forward.

Anyone looking to watch Doctor Who via streaming can still do so using an HBO Max subscription for the time being. There’s no telling when that may change, though, so anyone with access to it now shouldn’t waste any time in watching their favorite episodes!

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.