Forgot the presence of massive dramas like Downton Abbey or Broadchurch, comedies like Gavin and Stacey and Extras or every series of Love Island – for many people, a big draw of new BBC/ITV/Channel 4 streaming service BritBox will be the huge presence of classic Doctor Who serials.
Classic Doctor Who will be available on BritBox in the UK from Boxing Day, aka the 26th December 2019 – and it looks to be quite the collection of episodes.
For the first time, all 627 remaining serials (i.e. those that haven’t been lost or wiped by the BBC) broadcast between the series’ start in 1963 and its cancellation in 1989 will be available on one streaming service, making it a real treasure trove for both die-hard Whovians and newer fans who’d love to catch up on the series’ background.
This list will include Doctor Who's original unaired pilot episode from 1963, and the recent animated versions of “lost” episodes that were recreated using original soundtracks and whatever footage and images were available to fill in the gaps in Doctor Who history.
While unconfirmed which of the animated recreations would appear, episodes revamped in this way have included First Doctor stories like The Tenth Planet and the Reign of Terror, Second Doctor stories like The Power of the Daleks, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Ice Warriors, The Invasion and upcoming project Fury from the Deep, so expect to see at least some of these on BritBox.
It’s unclear whether Shada, an unfinished Fourth Doctor serial recently reconstructed using the previously-shot scenes combined with animation and new vocal performances from the cast (and a return for present-day Tom Baker in a live-action scene), will be a part of the collection, though it seems likely.
However, the collection will include an HD version of Jon Pertwee’s Spearhead from Space, allowing us to all enjoy the third Doctor in high definition this Christmas – so there’s that!
Anyway, watch this space (and time) for more details about exactly how this spectacular Doctor Who offering will be delivered this festive season, but beware – after sitting down to watch just a couple of adventures you might find that suddenly, all your free time after Christmas has mysteriously vworped away…