We recently learned that, outside of the UK, Doctor Who looks set to call Disney+ its home. That's exciting news for fans of the iconic sci-fi franchise, and it appears BBC's new streaming partner will be giving the show a record-breaking budget increase.
According to Broadcast, while recent seasons have featured episodes with budgets ranging from $1.1 million to $3.4 million, that figure could soon increase to as much as $11.5 million. While the specials starring David Tennant have already been shot, it sounds like all the stops will be pulled out for season 14 starring Ncuti Gatwa (which starts shooting later this month).
As a result, Doctor Who will soon become the BBC's most expensive TV series ever, topping His Dark Materials. That cost around $7 million per episode and between $40 million - $50 million for a season.
Doctor Who, in comparison, now has a budget on par with the likes of The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Even so, it's a long way off from shows like House of the Dragon ($20 million per episode), The Lord: of the Rings: The Rings of Power ($50 million - $80 million per episode), and Stranger Things ($30 million per episode).
"The BBC had to make the decision for the future success of Doctor Who because any show of scale needs a partner," one anonymous source told the site. "Reliability is the most important factor irrespective of how many episodes you make or who the Doctor is."
"If you can bring in a single partner with one distribution agreement, while retaining exclusivity in the UK, that is the best of both worlds for the BBC."
What's unclear is whether Disney now has any creative input with Doctor Who, though there have been rumblings the streaming service is fairly heavily involved with the series now.
Doctor Who returns next year with three special episodes starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor, while Gatwa will then take over as the Fifteenth iteration shortly after.