Doctor Who

BBC iPlayer to Offer Over 800 ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes

Time is getting closer for the return of David Tenant to Doctor Who as the 14th Doctor as the franchise celebrates its 60th anniversary. Ahead of the arrival of these Anniversary Special, BBC iPlayer will be welcoming the biggest collection of Doctor Who to its collection. This will include hundreds of episodes of Doctor Who, along with the ability for fans to explore the stories of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and Class. Every episode of Doctor Who Confidential will also be available on the BBC iPlayer. This new catalogue and archive will be launching on BBC iPlayer on November 1, 2023. This will be just before the return of David Tenant and Catherine Tate to Doctor Who for the three 60th anniversary specials.

Along with the back catalogue of episodes arriving on BBC iPlayer in November, an archive will also be available as well. Fans of the show will be able to go to to learn all about the history of the show. This will include interviews with the cast, written documents, long unheard audio, and behind-the-scenes photos. All of this will help tell the story of this show on its 60th anniversary. One of the offerings that will be found there will be a journey that is led by audio from the former Head of Drama, Sydney Newman. Couple with documents and original handwritten notes, this will take fans on a journey through the origins of Doctor Who.

Russell T. Davies, current Doctor Who Showrunner said: “I’d like to thank the BBC for all the hard work, to get this massive back catalogue under one roof, at long last. I’m so excited for new viewers – imagine being 8 years old, spending winter afternoons exploring the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. And we’re determined this won’t be a dusty museum – we have exciting plans to bring the back catalogue to life, with much more to be revealed!”

With this new set of offerings coming to BBC iPlayer, fans will be able to watch episodes of Doctor Who from before the 2005 revival, which is currently available. This will be the first time these older episodes will be available on iPlayer. It will also allow fans to see some of the most iconic moments of the show. This will include the First Doctor William Hartnell’s first encounter with the Daleks, the first episodes in color with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, and also fan favorites with the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. This will include episodes like City of Death and The Brain of Morbius. The 1996 TV movie with Paul McGann where he takes over from Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy will also be presented.

Dan McGolpin, Director of iPlayer and channels, said: “Doctor Who has captivated countless millions of viewers on the BBC for 60 years and in celebration of this special moment we are bringing classic series to BBC iPlayer for the first time. Fans will be able to enjoy many of the Doctor’s earliest adventures with William Hartnell right through to the very latest series and the soon to be released and tremendously exciting new anniversary specials with David Tennant. We want everyone to be able to enjoy this breath-taking back catalogue, so we are making each episode on iPlayer as accessible as possible, with subtitles, audio description, and sign language all available for the first time.”

All episodes on iPlayer from the back catalogue will be available with multiple accessibility options, including subtitles, audio description, and sign language. The online archive will continue to grow and develop with time as well. Initially it will include curated journeys to help bring the show’s history to life. This will include things like interviews with cast members, news pieces, audio, imagery, and written documents. As time goes on there will be photos added from a collection of 25,000 prints, negatives, slides and digital images which have been scanned in at 8K resolution. The expanded archive will eventually have over 100,000 different documents, including memos, correspondence, designs, and audience research, alongside orchestral scores of sheet music. There will also be audio clips added that include radio programmes, documentaries, interviews, and music.

All of the archives will be found at starting on November 1st, along with the back catalogue of Doctor Who episodes on BBC iPlayer. New episodes of Doctor Who, including the 60th anniversary specials, will be presented globally on Disney+ and in the UK and Ireland on the BBC. What do you think about these new Doctor Who offerings? Are you excited to check them out? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!