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Doctor Who has been an institution of British television for more than half a century now, but it’s only in the last decade or so that the show has hit the mainstream on the American side of the pond. While there are plenty of reasons why viewers might have started to tune in en masse, many of us have Netflix to thank for introducing us to the time travel show. Sadly for us and any who might have come after, Netflix will be pulling Doctor Who from its streaming service on February 1, 2016.
Netflix currently has two bundles of Doctor Who episodes available for streaming: the classic Doctor Who and the rebooted Doctor Who. Both will be unavailable in only a few days. The Science of Doctor Who documentary will still be available, which...is something, at least.
Official confirmation that both series collections of Doctor Who will be soon gone from Netflix is disappointing, considering that there have been false alarms in the past about the franchise being discontinued on the streaming service that were debunked. Netflix actually confirming that the TARDIS will soon be making its final streaming appearances is definitely a bummer.
The classic Doctor Who bundle is a collection of episodes drawn from Seasons 1 – 18 of the original series that follows the adventures of the first seven incarnations of the Doctor and the slew of companions over the years. The loss of this first batch of Doctor Who episodes is actually kind of a big deal, considering that earlier episodes are not nearly as easy to track down elsewhere as the more recent installments.
Netflix will be losing eight seasons of the 2005 continuation Doctor Who, and even the relative ease of tracking down the seasons in other ways doesn’t make the loss any easier. The first eight seasons of Doctor Who encompass the entirety of the runs of Nine, Ten, and Eleven as well as the beginning of the tenure of Twelve.
As it happens, Netflix losing all eight seasons of the new Doctor Who almost feels like a loss of two different shows. The runs of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors were handled by executive producer Russell T. Davies, who favored a more character-centric approach to the exploits of the Time Lord and his companions, whereas current showrunner Steven Moffat has brought a greater emphasis on timey-wimey shenanigans with the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors. Of course, with Moffat now stepping down as showrunner and handing the reins over to Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who may feel like yet another reboot in Season 10.
The Doctor Who series aren’t the only TV shows to be leaving Netflix in February of 2016. If you’re still dying to see seasons of shows like Chicagoland, Death Row Stories, and The Guild, the time is now to start binge-watching. Additionally, check out this list of great movies to watch before Netflix gets rid of them in February.