The BBC and Disney have announced future seasons of Doctor Who will stream on Disney+ outside the UK and Ireland. It’s the validation of a longstanding rumor that the UK’s public broadcaster was looking to move the show from its traditional distribution network.
Back in July, Bloomberg reported that Disney was looking for “established” brands to bolster its streaming platform. The world’s longest-running science-fantasy series, with its own global fanbase, certainly counts as a big draw for any global streamer.
Naturally, new series of Doctor Who will continue to air on the BBC’s own channels and streaming platform, iPlayer, in the UK and Ireland. The series will return in November 2023 with a run of specials to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, followed by a new series in 2024.
At the same time, the BBC has announced a new logo and branding that will feature on the show when it returns in 2023, as well as its vast catalog of merchandise. The new logo is a 21st century update of the classic “diamond” logo, designed by Bernard Lodge in 1973.
It's one of the most recognizable images in the show's long history, and while the diamond's shelf-life in the series proper stretched from 1973 to 1980 (for all but one year of Tom Baker's Tenure) — it was also plastered on merchandise from the early '70s all the way through to 1996. (Ironically, it was supplanted by a revamped version of the show's 1969-1974 logo.)
Back in 2018, the BBC recruited branding agency LittleHawk to revitalize the show’s image with a look covering both its Classic and New Series eras. The fact that, so quickly afterward, the show has opted to switch back to an older look stands as a repudiation of LittleHawk’s work. Not to mention the fact it’ll cause much consternation to the buyers of the show’s flagship Collection Blu-Ray boxsets. Who will, once again, have to deal with an inconsistent run of spines running along their shelves and are, arguably, the real victims in all of this.