Doctor Who Classics go digital

The digital video subscription service BritBox, which currently serves the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, has added classic Doctor Who material to its streaming repertoire as of Boxing Day 2019. The service, which streams British television series and films from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, has added 627 pieces of Doctor Who Classic era content, made up of episodes, spin-offs and documentaries. Most notably for Doctor Who fans, this includes both animated reconstructions and telesnap reconstructions of missing episodes. The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors and The Invasion were all added, featuring the surviving episodes with the animated reconstructions previously released on DVD. The most recent version of Shada, completed with animated segments for the unfilmed portions of the story, was added as one 130 minute special. The fully animated reconstructions of The Power Of The Daleks and The Macra Terror were both added, as well as The Underwater Menace, The Wheel in Space and The Web of Fear, which have been completed with telesnap reconstructions of the missing episodes. The surviving episodes of The Crusade, Galaxy 4, The Space Pirates and The Celestial Toymaker were also added, but without any reconstructions for the missing parts.

Since the launch of BritBox as a Netflix-style streaming service in March 2016, it has continued to grow in both reach and content. The addition of Doctor Who, with the range of material added thus far covering the first eight Doctors, is a major step towards creating one consistent digital platform that can house all aspects of the show’s long history. Commenting on the launch Reemah Sakaan, Group Director of ITV SVOD, stated: “We are looking forward to expanding the collection even further by working with the show creators to lovingly restore lost and previously unavailable episodes in the months to come and offering a truly exclusive experience”. All of which bodes well for further animated reconstructions, finally actively working towards the day when fans can enjoy easy access to every single episode of Doctor Who from start to finish. Although not currently available in Australia, the success of BritBox overseas will hopefully lead to its introduction Down Under in the not too distant future.



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