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FEATURED: Five Decades: Doctor Who will no longer appear on ABC beyond the current season after BBC’s Deal With Disney +

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#AceNewsDesk – ABC’s five-decade partnership with Doctor Who ends after BBC confirms Disney+ deal from 2023 Outside UK And Ireland Via BBC-Disney Branded Television Partnership

Composite image of actors Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant in Doctor Who. Whittaker looks at her hands. Tennant looks surprised
All future episodes of Doctor Who will go straight to streaming service Disney+.(BBC)none

The BBC on Wednesday announced a new deal with Disney+ to continue the series.

ABC audiences are currently able to watch past seasons of Doctor Who, including the recent centenary special, on ABC iView. 

Whovians will need a subscription to Disney+ to watch future episodes.

The new episodes will air in November 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary. 

Former Time Lord David Tennant will reprise his role as the Doctor for the first three episodes before Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa takes over as the Fifteenth Doctor.

The ABC first bought the rights to bring Doctor Who to Australian screens in March 1964, going on to be one of its first and longest broadcasters outside the UK.

More than five decades on Australian screens: Actor William Hartnell was the first to take on the role in 1963.(Forbidden Planet) none

It first went to air in January 1965.

At the time, the film reel of each episode had to be physically transported from city to city, airing on different dates in each area. 

It would not be until February 1978 that all regions across Australia would broadcast the show at the same time. 

To coincide with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the ABC was among broadcasters in 94 countries to air episodes simultaneous to the BBC.

When the series was renewed in 2005, it would be picked up for a prime-time slot on Saturday nights, with the gap between air times in Australia and the UK shortening from several months to just minutes over the following decade.

The lost episodes: The mystery plaguing Australian fans: Almost 100 classic episodes of Doctor Who are currently missing — some diehard fans are still hopeful they might be in Australia.

The BBC regularly deleted archived content due to limited storage space, resulting in the loss of thousands of hours of programming. 

Rather than doing the sensible thing of building a larger archive to hold all of the material, they basically said, ‘Well a lot of the black and white stuff we’re not going to get resale value on it and we’re not going to be showing it again, so let’s just destroy it’,” Darran Jordan, vice-president of the Doctor Who Club of Australia and author of Whovian, The True Story of BTR and Doctor Who, told the ABC in 2020.

“So they were literally getting old episodes of Doctor Who, taping them up and burning them.”

At the time, broadcasters, including the ABC, were told to either return or destroy copies of episodes, however, several have resurfaced around the world. 

It’s hoped that because episodes were sent to the Film Censorship Board in Australia before they went to air, censored clips and extra copies could reappear. 

Two episodes that aired in 1965 and 1967, thought to have been lost forever, were found in the private collection of a former TV engineer in 2011.

The copies, which were bought at a fete in the 1980s, were believed to have originated from the ABC. 

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