Disney In Talks With BBC To Acquire Doctor Who Streaming Rights

"Doctor Who" has aired for many decades now, and across its storied run, a few things have always held true: the Doctor will always regenerate eventually; they'll (almost) always have a companion on their adventures; finally, the show will always air first on the BBC. Except today, Bloomberg is reporting that the last point in this list may not be as set in stone as we thought. Disney+ is reportedly in talks with the British Broadcasting Corporation about gaining streaming rights to the series.

To be clear, the report indicates that the BBC would still air "Doctor Who," but the new deal would clear the path for the long-running sci-fi series to stream on the Walt Disney-owned streamer as well. Sources cited say the deal would lead to "Doctor Who" airing globally on the streamer, meaning it likely would drop new episodes relatively in tandem with the BBC rather than putting each complete season on Disney+ after they've finished airing.

The future of Who

The surprise news is also stirring up some confusion about whether or not fans should expect an entirely new series, as Bloomberg specifically states that the two companies are discussing "the streaming rights to a new 'Doctor Who' series." To the American ear, this sentence seems to indicate an entirely new show, rather than simply a new season of the long running show. Though, it's quite likely that the outlet is simply using the UK version of the word "series," meaning "season." Still, there has been some recent chatter about the possibility of a "Doctor Who" spinoff.

Last fall, longtime "Doctor Who" screenwriter Russell T. Davies even mentioned Disney by name when asked about whether the series' universe has room to grow. He told Waitrose Magazine (via Radio Times):

"There should be a 'Doctor Who' channel now. You look at those Disney announcements, of all those new 'Star Wars' and Marvel shows, you think, we should be sitting here announcing The Nyssa Adventures or The Return of Donna Noble, and you should have the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors together in a 10-part series. Genuinely."

As the current "Doctor Who" showrunner, Davies may be the only person who has the power to make that happen. However, talks of any type of streaming deal between Disney and BBC are apparently in early stages, so it may be a while until we learn exactly what the future has in store for the beloved series. In the meantime, there's definitely a new Doctor to look forward to: "Sex Education" star Ncuti Gatwa will be taking on the role of the fourteenth Doctor next year.