Doctor Who fans in the UK are not happy with the release plan for season 14

Showrunner Russell T Davies is apparently weighing in on this change through liking a series of social media posts expressing frustration about this plan.
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) in Doctor Who.
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) in Doctor Who. /

The next season of Doctor Who is set to premiere in May across the world, including on the BBC in the UK and on Disney+ in the U.S. (and wherever else it is available). Pretty stellar news, right? Well, if you're living in the United Kingdom, then, sort of.

The May premiere date was announced last week. All new episodes are set to air on the BBC iPlayer at midnight in the UK and then on Saturday night linearly over the BBC. Why is this upsetting some UK fans? Find out below!

Doctor Who's premiere time for Season 14 caused a ruckus on social media

Recently, Disney made a deal whereby it will air new episodes of Doctor Who on Disney+ around the world at the same time as those episodes become available to viewers in the United Kingdom on the BBC iPlayer. Since the episodes will air at midnight UK time, it means that most UK fans will not be watching until the next day, unless you're the type of fan who will stay up until then. But in the U.S., episodes drop in the early evening, meaning that UK residents will have to be very wary of spoilers the next day, which is why some are speaking out.

In seasons past, Doctor Who episodes would air in the evening, during tea time on Saturdays, and had become sort of a staple tradition. But now, because of the Disney+ deal, any previous traditions may be getting axed.

If you peruse through social media, you'll see fans addressing their anger over the changes. In fact, even U.S. viewers are calling the changes "disrespectful." Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has even sorta-kinda addressed the matter by liking comments that express anger and frustration regarding the release plan, including:

  • “I am a bit upset about this. I imagine it wasn’t down to you because I know how much you believe in terrestrial television viewing. I just really hope that this is changed for season two.“
  • “The episodes are airing at midnight? ButDoctor Whois a family show – what about kids watching at/just after dinner, hiding behind the settee? Am I misunderstanding something here?”
  • “Not a fan of the midnight release.”

Whether or not the BBC or those in charge will take these concerns seriously is unknown, especially because they are tied by the licensing agreement with Disney. They may not have much wiggle room, but it will be interesting to see how this the backlash impacts the reception of Doctor Who season 14 in the UK. The show is a huge deal there, and the fact that it can't be celebrated and watched like it once was will surely be a letdown.

Here's hoping changes are made for the better!

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h/t Independent, Bleeding Cool