Classic Doctor Who has been available to stream on BritBox in the UK for almost three months, but if you’re not a dyed-in-the-wool fan, or perhaps more familiar with the modern version of the sci-fi series, then perusing the vast amount of content now available to you might feel a little overwhelming.
So if current world events mean you find yourself with a little more time on your hands than usual, here’s a helpful guide to what’s on offer and how to access it.
All of time and space, everything that ever happened and ever will… and here’s how you start!
How do I sign up to BritBox?
A BritBox subscription costs £5.99 per month, but the streaming service also offers a 30-day free trial.
You can register to the streaming service (and enjoy the free trial) here. BritBox is available to watch through select smart TVs, Apple phones and tablets, Android phones and tablets, on Mac or PC (through a web browser) and on Apple TV.
How do I watch Doctor Who on BritBox?
Helpfully, BritBox’s classic Doctor Who content is accessible via the top banner of its homepage (see above) – it’s no real surprise that the service is giving the show such a prominent spot, given that it outstripped other BritBox offerings by 20:1 in its first 3 days of availability last year.
You can also head straight to britbox.co.uk/doctorwho to find all the available episodes.
Which episodes of classic Doctor Who are available on BritBox?
129 complete stories, totalling 558 episodes, are currently available to stream on BritBox. They are joined by one-off Doctor Who spin-off K-9 and Company, 50th anniversary drama An Adventure In Space And Time and documentaries More Than 30 Years In The TARDIS and Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited.
In addition, a large number of missing Doctor Who episodes – junked by the BBC in the late 1960s and 1970s – are also available in the form of animated reconstructions, previously released on DVD and as digital downloads.
Doctor Who stories available on BritBox as reconstructions are as follows:
- The Tenth Planet (episode 4 – animation)
- The Power of the Daleks (episodes 1-6 – animation)
- The Underwater Menace (episodes 1 + 4 – stills and original soundtrack)
- The Moonbase (episodes 1 + 3 – animation)
- The Macra Terror (episode 1-4 animation)
- The Ice Warriors (episodes 2 + 3 – animation)
- The Web of Fear (episode 3 – stills and original soundtrack)
- The Wheel in Space (episodes 1-2, 4-5 – stills and original soundtrack)
- The Invasion (episodes 1 + 4 – animation)
Two reconstructions previously released on DVD and/or Blu-ray but not currently available on BritBox are The Reign of Terror (released to DVD in 2013 with its missing fourth and fifth episodes animated) and The Faceless Ones (only recently released on DVD, Blu-ray and as a download, with all episodes animated).
The homepage for classic Doctor Who features icons of the first eight Doctors – click these and you’ll be taken to a season-by-season and story-by-story guide for each incarnation.
However, it is worth noting that certain of the animated reconstructions do not appear in this mode. To access these, first click on any story and then, once it begins playing, hit the back arrow in the top left hand corner – this will take you to an episode-by-episode navigation not clearly accessible from the Doctor Who homepage.
The episode-by-episode page also allows you to access and watch the original unaired Doctor Who pilot episode from 1963, as well as surviving “orphan” episodes – i.e. surviving episodes from stories that are otherwise missing from the archives. These include…
- Galaxy 4: Air Lock
- The Crusade: The Lion
- The Crusade: The Wheel of Fortune
- The Celestial Toymaker: The Final Test
- The Space Pirates (Part 2)
As well as being divided up by Doctor, the BritBox Doctor Who homepage also presents stories sorted into a number of different themed collections, including fan favourites, regeneration stories and adventures featuring iconic foes like the Daleks, the Master and the Cybermen.
Is new Doctor Who on BritBox?
In a word, no – though the classic series is well represented, with episodes from 1963’s An Unearthly Child through to 1996’s Paul McGann TV movie, modern Doctor Who (post-2005) is not available to stream on BritBox.
All 12 series of the new show are available to watch on BBC iPlayer however, while the first 10 series are also streaming on Netflix in the UK.
Is Doctor Who leaving BritBox?
Fans were left bereft when, just eight weeks after classic Doctor Who came to streaming in (almost) its entirety for the first time, a large number of episodes vanished from BritBox in late February.
The first three seasons were removed from the service, along with stories from the fifth and sixth, all of eight and 10, all but one story from the 11th, the entirety of 18-20, 22 and 23 and some stories from season 24.
However, after a short hiatus, these stories were restored and made available to stream once again.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, a BritBox spokesperson explained: “Due to an unforeseen technical issue, some Doctor Who episodes were temporarily absent from BritBox on the evening of the 24th February. These have now been restored to the platform.”
So there’s no need to worry about Doctor Who being removed from BritBox any time in the near future!
All the same, with 272 hours of content available, what are you waiting for? Now’s as good a time as any to start your travels in the TARDIS…