It’s official: Disney Plus has acquired the streaming rights to future seasons of Doctor Who.

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New episodes of the long-running sci-fi show premiering in 2023 will air globally on Disney Plus, while still airing exclusively on the BBC in the UK and Ireland, in a move to take the franchise to even greater heights.

The announcement was made this morning (25th October) on Live with Kelly and Ryan by the new Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa.

New episodes of the series, starring Gatwa in the leading role, will premiere on the BBC and Disney Plus in late 2023.

Returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies added in a statement: “I love this show, and this is the best of both worlds – with the vision and joy of the BBC and Disney Plus together we can launch the TARDIS all around the planet, reaching a new generation of fans while keeping our traditional home firmly on the BBC in the UK."

Russell T Davies
Returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Charlotte Moore, BBC's Chief Content Officer, added: "We are thrilled to announce this exciting global partnership with Disney who are the perfect partners to bring this very British show to the rest of the world.

"Russell T Davies's vision for Doctor Who has always been out of this world and we are committed to ensuring that audiences across the globe get the opportunity to enjoy the Doctor's epic adventures with the scale and ambition that they deserve.

"Joining forces with Disney will elevate the show to even greater heights and reach new audiences so it's an extremely exciting time for fans in the UK and across the world."

Alisa Bowen, President of Disney Plus, said: "We're excited by the opportunity to bring new seasons of this beloved franchise exclusively to Disney Plus and introduce the show to the next generation of audiences in more than 150 markets around the world.

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"The series is a perfect addition to our ever-growing catalog of global content that continues to make Disney Plus the home for exceptional storytelling."

The news comes during a period of transition for the sci-fi series, with showrunner Chris Chibnall and star Jodie Whittaker having just bowed out in Sunday’s centenary special.

Davies will take over from Chibnall, and in an unusual movie, the Fourteenth Doctor will be played by David Tennant, who previously portrayed the Tenth incarnation from 2006 to 2010, in the specials.

Gatwa will be introduced as the Fifteenth Doctor following the 60th anniversary specials in 2023, with his first episode due to air "over the festive period" in 2023.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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