Doctor Who will return in 2023 with a new leading star, well-known writers and a new international home on Disney+, one that will offer a record-breaking budget.
The longest-running sci-fi franchise has had a tough few years under Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor and Chris Chibnall’s leadership. Now, Doctor Who is preparing to re-enter familiar territory as Russell T. Davis, the man who originally brought the show back to screens in 2005, returns as showrunner.
But that’s not all as the famous author brings some old faces back to the TARDIS. The ever-popular David Tennant recently became the Doctor again after Whittaker’s shock regeneration, and will soon reunite with Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble for three 60th anniversary specials to be released in November 2023.
All this comes before Sex education alum Ncuti Gatwa finally takes control of the TARDIS next December as the 15th Doctor for Season 13 of The Revival. Although there will be some changes in the ancient structure which, Doctor Who is now coming to Disney+ outside of the UK, bringing with it a host of new benefits.
Ncuti Gatwa’s doctor receiving exciting budget update
According to a new report from Broadcast, the BBC’s deal with Disney+ to release upcoming seasons of Doctor Who on the streaming platform from 2023 onwards will give the long-running sci-fi series a record-breaking budget boost.
While recent seasons of the British epic have been produced for around $1.1 million to $3.4 million, the budget could increase to around $11.5 million when filming begins on Ncuti Gatwa’s Season 14 this month. Since the last few seasons of the show have been 10 episodes, with no specials, this could put the total budget over $100 million.
This will make the upcoming Doctor Who era the most expensive season of a BBC series ever, with the record previously held His dark materials. The HBO collaboration, which saw the US giant share costs, reportedly had a budget of under $7 million per episode – around $40 to $50 million for the entire Season 2.
How Doctor Who’s New Budget Will Improve the Sci-Fi Series
With Doctor Who is now seeing a budget increase of over five times as it makes the jump to Disney+, and the series is taking big steps to move into the modern era. This drastic leap in financial freedom will allow it to fit right in with Marvel and Star Wars’ visually stunning and star-studded projects on Disney’s streaming platform.
Not only will the transition allow the sci-fi prop to create bigger worlds, scarier monsters and crazier action, but it will also allow more big stars to get involved. Although the show has already welcomed many big British icons, more A-list stars could soon be appearing for one-off and recurring roles.
This change can already be seen beginning as How I Met Your Mother Star Neil Patrick Harris will appear as an unknown villain in one of Tennant’s specials – potentially with a British accent. So there are already signs of that Doctor Who is beginning to turn to Hollywood for its guest actors in this new era.
Perhaps when it comes to casting Ncuti Gatwa’s companion to join him on his time and space adventures, there could be even more familiar names in the mix. Usually, Doctor Who tends to choose among newcomers actors and actresses, but now it might not be out of the question to cast already known names.
As Doctor Who is preparing to compete with the giants of streaming, many existing fans will be concerned that the essence of the show is being lost. But the BBC and Russell T. Davis’ Bad Wolf Studios are likely to remain in full creative control as Disney acts as a quieter partner in bringing in a wider audience.
Doctor Who returns in November 2023 with three specials starring David Tennant; Ncuti Gatwa’s TARDIS tenure will follow shortly after in December 2023.