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October 11th, 2023 11 comments

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60 Years of Doctor Who drops on BBC iPlayer

60 Years of Doctor Who drops on BBC iPlayer alongside landmark online archive

Over 800 episodes of Doctor Who programming on BBC iPlayer and every episode will now be available with subtitles, audio description, and sign language for the first time

I’m so excited for new viewers – imagine being 8 years old, spending winter afternoons exploring the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. And we’re determined this won’t be a dusty museum – we have exciting plans to bring the back catalogue to life, with much more to be revealed!

— Russell T Davies, Showrunner

The TARDIS doors are being thrown wide open as BBC iPlayer welcomes the biggest collection of Doctor Who to the platform with hundreds of episodes becoming available with multiple accessibility features for the first time.

Before the Anniversary Specials hit our screens, viewers will have the opportunity to travel back in time with any of the Doctors through the show’s 60 year history with the classic series, as well as explore the vast world of Doctor Who with spin-offs like the Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and Class, or step behind-the-scenes with every episode of Doctor Who Confidential – all available in one place – BBC iPlayer.

As the perfect companion to the back catalogue, the BBC will simultaneously launch an extensive online archive from the show’s history at, with everything from interviews with cast to written documents, long unheard audio, and behind-the-scenes photos. Together, they tell the story of the ground-breaking series through 60 archive gems for the 60th anniversary.

The archive invites fans to delve even deeper into the show with curated journeys such as the genesis of Doctor Who, where audio from former Head of Drama, Sydney Newman alongside documents with his original handwritten notes guide you through the origins of Doctor Who.

BBC iPlayer’s back catalogue and the online archive will launch on 1 November before David Tennant returns as the Fourteenth Doctor for three special 60th anniversary episodes.

Classic series returning to iPlayer

Episodes from Doctor Who’s extensive back catalogue of classic programmes will join the post 2005 revival of the show, available for fans to watch on iPlayer for the first time, and enabling them to revisit the Doctor’s formative adventures and some of the series greatest moments. This includes First Doctor William Hartnell’s first encounter with the Daleks, the first episodes made for colour TV with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, and fan favourites from Fourth Doctor Tom Baker’s iconic run, including City of Death and The Brain of Morbius. Also included is the 1996 TV movie with Paul McGann, featuring him taking over from Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.

Every episode on iPlayer from the back catalogue will be available with multiple accessibility options, including subtitles, audio description, and sign language.

With over 800 episodes of Doctor Who programming on iPlayer, Russell T Davies, Showrunner said: “I’d like to thank the BBC for all the hard work, to get this massive back catalogue under one roof, at long last. I’m so excited for new viewers – imagine being 8 years old, spending winter afternoons exploring the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. And we’re determined this won’t be a dusty museum – we have exciting plans to bring the back catalogue to life, with much more to be revealed!”

Dan McGolpin, Director of iPlayer and channels, said: “Doctor Who has captivated countless millions of viewers on the BBC for 60 years and in celebration of this special moment we are bringing classic series to BBC iPlayer for the first time. Fans will be able to enjoy many of the Doctor’s earliest adventures with William Hartnell right through to the very latest series and the soon to be released and tremendously exciting new anniversary specials with David Tennant. We want everyone to be able to enjoy this breath-taking back catalogue, so we are making each episode on iPlayer as accessible as possible, with subtitles, audio description, and sign language all available for the first time.”

The new online archive will launch at, so fans of the show can delve deeper into Doctor Who’s history than ever before.

In its beginning stages, this new site will feature curated journeys through the archive to bring the show’s extensive history to life for fans – with items like interviews with cast members, news pieces, audio, imagery, and written documents.

Over time, more content will be added to the archive including a special collection of photos that have been scanned at 8k resolution from an estimated total of 25,000 prints, negatives, slides and digital images, which will give an unprecedented insight into the show with access to all areas throughout the years.

The expanded archive will also feature additional gems from over 100,000 documents, including memos, correspondence, designs, and audience research, alongside orchestral scores of sheet music.

Also being added is a selection of audio clips about Doctor Who, including radio programmes, documentaries, interviews, and music.



  • Andy Dodds

    November 11th, 2023 - 9:32am

    Hi, am.just wondering if the dispute with the first story has been resolved, just noticed that (The Beginning box set DVD) is back in stock on Amazon, fingers crossed let’s wait and see if it appears on BBC iplayer.

  • The Moffat Paradox

    November 7th, 2023 - 10:03pm

    I notice as well that none of the Classic Who episodes apart from “Day Of The Daleks ” are remastered with new modern FX which is a tad disappointing.

    And if there’s any doubt about them being permanently on the iPlayer/Disney+ what’s the point anyway?

  • James

    November 6th, 2023 - 8:12pm

    I thought you had to go via the bbc iPlayer app? If you look t catchup on sky then bbc, the NuWho isn’t all there. But if you go via the bbc iPlayer app (sky or otherwise) it’s all there. Maybe that’s the same if you check the iPlayer app and not via sky (all of destiny etc)

  • Andy Dodds

    November 2nd, 2023 - 12:41am

    I’ve been though the catalogue not only is the First story missing, but I can’t find Destiny of the Daleks episodes 1, 2 and 3 only episode 4 is their but than for some reason Resurrection of the Daleks part 2 is located on season 25, but that maybe an issue with Sky not stacking programmes this has been an issue since last year. But I won’t part with Blu-Rays as with all these streaming services they won’t be on there forever.

  • Pats86

    October 20th, 2023 - 6:34am

    I was wondering how long the classic episodes will be on iplayer as well.
    Hope it’s permanent because it will take a while to get through them all.
    First batch I will be watching is,
    Power of the Daleks
    Tomb of the Cybermen
    The Deadly Assassin
    The Pirate Planet
    State of Decay
    The Caves of Androzani
    Revelation of the Daleks
    Remembrance of the Daleks
    Silver Nemesis
    Couple I haven’t seen and the rest I just love.

  • James

    October 19th, 2023 - 6:16pm

    They will be missing. They confirmed by comment when asked by Radio Times

  • Mark Belsom

    October 19th, 2023 - 1:10pm

    I believe the BBC has said that Unearthly Child won’t be on iplayer. Which is a great shame. .

  • An Unlikely Transmission

    October 17th, 2023 - 5:06pm

    It’s still unsure, but these classic episodes on BBC I-Player might be missing all four episodes of ‘An Unearthly Child’ or ‘The Tribe of Gum’ or ‘100,000 BC’ or whatever else you wish to call it. That would be a huge shame, but at least it’s on DVD.

  • Fred

    October 12th, 2023 - 9:37am

    Amazing. I firmly believe that if you pay the license fee then you should have access to everything the BBC produces, and it seems that someone agrees.

  • Andrew 74

    October 11th, 2023 - 11:23am

    This is amazing news

  • James

    October 11th, 2023 - 10:47am

    This is fantastic news. But are these only on here for the 60th or will it all be removed after ?
    Plus with all the content will it affect the sales of the Collection sets?

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