The 1st November marks the beginning of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Here’s a guide to everything that’s just landed on BBC iPlayer.
It’s the day Whovians have been counting down to ever since it was announced – the Whoniverse is now live on iPlayer as of today, 1st November.
Even to a seasoned fan, the sheer volume of material now freely available could be overwhelming. Here’s a break down of everything we can now watch, from episodes to spin-offs and documentaries:
For the first time ever, Classic Who isn’t locked behind a paywall or restricted to those who can afford home media releases. Whether you want to start with the original William Hartnell era, or perhaps you’re especially brave and fancy starting with The Twin Dilemma, you now have a free choice of almost every episode from 1963 to 1989.
Sadly, as has been extensively written about in recent weeks, due to a rights dispute, the very first story, An Unearthly Child, is not available.
All surviving episodes from missing stories are also available, as are several of the animations, some of which are even on colour, such as Galaxy 4, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Evil Of The Daleks, Fury From The Deep and Shada.
Given the complex web of rights surrounding the 1996 television movie starring Paul McGann, it’s astonishing that it is also available to watch on iPlayer.
Every episode from 2005 to the present day remains on iPlayer, with the addition of animated specials Dreamland and The Infinite Quest.
Spin-Offs and Other Shows
Arguably the most surprising addition to the archive is K9 and Company, the first ever official spin-off from 1981.
The entirety of both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures are present and correct, as is Class.
Tales Of The Tardis, a series which is not technically a spin-off, but rather new scenes written to expand on characters from a selection of stories.
Three broadcasts of Doctor Who At The Proms from 2008, 2010 and 2013.
The Science Of Doctor Who With Brian Cox.
Two things that weren’t previously announced are Caroline Catz’s wonderful docudrama Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes, an account of the composer of the iconic Doctor Who theme, and Whose Doctor Who, a 1977 documentary which “explores the ideas and attitudes which have characterised one of the most popular shows on television”.
Finally, the entirety of Doctor Who Confidential, has been dug out of the archive. A priceless document that is not only a brilliant insight for Doctor Who fans, but also a fascinating glimpse into the minutiae of television drama production.
Perhaps the most notable omission is Steven Moffat’s 1999 Comic Relief special The Curse Of Fatal Death. The BBC has not given an explanation for this, though we assume they’ll explain later. Anybody hoping to see Jon Pertwee demanding to know what year it is in the infamous 1993 Children In Need Eastenders crossover special Dimensions In Time will also be disappointed as it is nowhere to be seen either. Also unavailable is Richard E. Grant’s second stint as The Doctor (after briefly but memorably taking the reins for a scene in The Curse Of Fatal Death) in 2003 animation Scream Of The Shalka.
Doctor Who: The Lost Episodes is available to listen to on BBC Sounds, while BBC Four is hosting a Doctor Who evening tonight from 19:30. David Tennant takes a deep dive into the history of the show in Talking Doctor Who, followed by Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration.
You can view the Whoniverse section of iPlayer here.
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