DOCTOR WHO BOSSES LIFT LID ON DISNEY+ DEAL
Last year, it was announced that the BBC and Disney Branded Television have come together to transform Doctor Who into a global franchise for UK audiences and the rest of the world.
Under a shared creative vision, they will deliver this quintessentially British show to future generations on an unprecedented scale with Disney+ as the exclusive home for new seasons of Doctor Who outside the UK and Ireland.
On the origins of they deal, Russell reveals in Doctor Who Magazine that it was the BBC's idea to partner up with a streaming service. Jane Tranter said: "It was always needed - how to you make a show like this, in 2022, without that co-producing partner." Russell added: "The BBC backed Doctor Who before anyone, a streamer, had been signed up..."
He continued: "That's what drew us in - the BBC's commitment to making this series come hell or high water."
The new(ish) team also addressed fan concerns over an American streamer having a hand in the series. Exec Producer Julie Gardner said to Doctor Who Magazine: "Disney+ is buying into [Russell's] vision, and Russell's vision is very, very clear, and it's very British."
"The BBC own Doctor Who, and the huge strength of Doctor Who for Disney+ is the title, having a known brand. And having that commitment from the BBC in terms of UK funding - that's all very, very appealing."
Russell adds: "We're very happy. And I know people are, naturally, worried about American producers having notes on things. Well, don't be. They're giving us excellent notes. And I'm here to tell you, you haven't watched a drama on British television in 20 years that hadn't head American notes...
"All your favourite dramas have American co-producers. It's really, completely, normal." Julie Gardner adds: "Disney is marvellous. They care about the show, and they love Russell's vision. It's a proper working relationship, but their hearts and souls are true."
On the reports of a huge £10 million per-episode budget, Russell told Doctor Who Magazine: "That is not the budget, and I worry misinformation like that creates false expectations. Nonetheless, we have a lovely, handsome budget, and we're very happy with how we're proceeding with it."
Doctor Who Magazine issue 586 is on sale now in UK newsagents.