Even though Doctor Who is a narrative about an alien who can travel through time and space and is practically immortal, it has always been grounded in issues that affect Earth. This is understandable given that actors and directors have consistently had to operate within the BBC’s noticeably constrained finances from the show’s inception in 1963.
The series’ charm has been enhanced by the creators’ admirable efforts over the years to correct these flaws. Fans adored the show’s guileless imagination even when shaky sets and unconvincing masks gave way to questionable CG and blatant green screen.
The Doctor’s new non-UK home will be Disney+, therefore things will soon change. The BBC confirmed that the adventures of the new Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, in season 14 will be broadcast abroad on Disney+ following the centennial special, “The Power of the Doctor.” The Telegraph has discovered that the agreement also includes production support in addition to streaming rights.
The publication stated that “[t]he corporate might of Disney will provide the show massive finances beyond the BBC s means, allowing for more cinematic production qualities and more stars.” With this funding, Doctor Who might now boast resources comparable to those of other Disney+ programs, potentially increasing the scope of its tale.
One may easily understand the benefits of this arrangement because it enables writers to convey stories with genuine visual flair, but one also needs to consider the potential drawbacks. Disney isn’t exactly known for its hands-off approach to prospective moneymakers, even if The Telegraph reports that returning showrunner Russell T. Davies, who revived the series with Christopher Eccleston in 2005, will retain creative control, along with the BBC.
More crucially, when it comes to aesthetic brilliance and technological advancements, Disney no longer enjoys quite the same reputation that it once did. The studio that created Obi-Wan Kenobi and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has recently gained more recognition than the home of Snow White and Fantasy, both of which feature CG that intentionally detracts from the plot.
Even worse, this flaw in the production comes as further information regarding Marvel Studios’ maltreatment of visual effects professionals comes to light.
Some fans may also recall the BBC’s previous attempt to increase the popularity of Doctor Who in America by collaborating with Fox for a TV movie in 1996. Even its staunchest admirers will admit that the film deviated from the norm, despite the fact that Paul McGann has recently been recognized as the Eighth Doctor.
The movie featured a previously absent romantic dimension to the Doctor’s connection with his companion. Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor regenerated into McCann after getting caught up in a gang shootout. Worst of all, Eric Roberts was portrayed in the film as an American Master.
While such harsh departures are improbable in the Disney+ era, it appears that, at least temporarily, the days of weak rubber masks and PS2-level visuals are behind Doctor Who. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s a good or terrible thing.
In November 2023, Doctor Who will make a special three-episode 60th-anniversary appearance.
Disney+ Will Change Doctor Who in One Significant Way originally appeared on Den of Geek.