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BBC bosses have spoken about the new era of Doctor Who at this year's Edinburgh Television Festival - the annual event where the television industry gathers to chew over the past year and look to the year ahead.

In October is was announced that the BBC and Disney 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, the BBC say they, in partnership with Disney, will deliver the 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.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival today (Thursday 24th August), BBC Chief Content Officer, Charlotte Moore, said: "[The anniversary] will be a massive event moment at the BBC. Russell is at the heart of that show, but, just like any good co-production partner, obviously, you work in a great partnership creatively, but absolutely the BBC owns the IP for that show and drives the creative...

"We've got a great working relationship [with Disney+]. Having that kind of co-production deal at the moment is a fantastic thing for Doctor Who. Audience expectation, young people wanting to feel it is the big global show, is incredibly exciting. Obviously, the UK audience gets exclusivity to watch it on the BBC here. It makes the whole thing incredibly ambitious and creative, and really exciting. So it is a great partnership.

The BBC's head of drama commissioning, Lindsay Salt, added: "My experience so far in terms of the co-pro partners, they're hugely respectful to the BBC. They defer to us, check in, and Disney included, on Doctor Who. They're really respectful of the brand that has lasted 60 years. The methodology of Doctor Who is absolutely at the core of British culture. Russell is the great person to be holding the pen to that."

Speaking in October, Moore added on the Disney deal: "Russell T Davies' vision for Doctor Who has always been out of this world and we are committed to ensuring that audiences across the globe get the opportunity to enjoy the Doctor's epic adventures with the scale and ambition that they deserve. Joining forces with Disney will elevate the show to even greater heights and reach new audiences so it's an extremely exciting time for fans in the UK and across the world."

Ayo Davis, President, Disney Branded Television said: "Doctor Who has captivated the imaginations of families around the world for the past six decades. We are so excited about this collaboration with the BBC, and the opportunity to bring this iconic franchise – and Russell T Davies' brilliant vision – to life for a huge new global audience. Grab your sonic screwdrivers and prepare to travel through time and space!"

Doctor Who returns this November with three specials to mark the sci-fi show's 60th anniversary. The trilogy will see David Tennant and Catherine Tate reprise their roles as The Doctor and Donna Noble respectively. Also starring are Yasmin Finney and Neil Patrick Harris.

Ncuti Gatwa will make his full debut at the Fifteenth Doctor over the festive period alongside Millie Gibson's Ruby Sunday. A new series, comprising of eight episodes, will follow in the first half of 2024.

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios and Bad Wolf production and returns this November on BBC One. Watch previous episodes on BBC iPlayer.


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