Fans were both upset and confused when word emerged in January that U.S. streaming services Netflix and Hulu would be losing the rights to ‘Doctor Who’ and other BBC shows. Then in February, Amazon Prime accidentally released a video of programs it would be adding to its lineup in which ‘Doctor Who’ was glimpsed. The video was quickly taken down and the speculation began. Was this just a mistake?
Yes and no. The video was accidentally released, but yes, Amazon Prime will be the exclusive source for streaming ‘Doctor Who’ in the U.S. Their deal is not as inclusive as the one Netflix had. Only the modern ‘Doctor Who’ will be offered, whereas Netflix also offered “classic” ‘Who’ episodes from the 1960s and up. Amazon Prime will start with 2005’s Ninth Doctor episodes, featuring Christopher Eccleston and the seven subsequent seasons, including holiday specials. The recently wrapped ninth season will become available in the fall, along with holiday special ‘The Husbands of River Song’.
One major bright spot, Amazon Prime will exclusively offer a new holiday special this year. That will be the only new ‘Doctor Who’ for 2016, as the new series won’t begin until 2017.
Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor only lasted one season. He was succeeded by David Tennant, then Matt Smith before Peter Capaldi took over for the current episodes. All four Doctors’ adventures will be available on Amazon Prime.
The current series is undergoing a transition, as showrunner Steven Moffat wraps up his tenure on the show, before handing it over to Chris Chibnall.
So while U.S. fans won’t be able to stream the classic episodes, at least they can continue to binge on the modern series if they need to get caught up. (You have plenty of time.)
This deal is part of an overall deal between Amazon Prime and BBC Worldwide North America, but there is no mention of other shows that will be available through the service.
‘Doctor Who’ will stream on Amazon Prime beginning March 27.