Yes, Disney helps with the financing Doctor who, and it’s one of the reasons Russell T. Davies returned to the show. Not long after Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, the BBC announced it was partnering with Disney to make Disney+ the streaming home of Doctor who outside the UK and Ireland in an effort to build it into a stronger global brand. Since the announcement, rumors have been swirling about Disney’s investment in the show. Speak against GKDavies confirms that Disney is helping to pay the show’s bill.
“But now it wasn’t my idea, it was the BBC’s idea of going for a streamer to invest in the show globally, which I totally agree with,” says Davies, though he quickly clarifies that. Doctor who doesn’t get the same money as one of Disney’s own brands. “We’re not on the budget level with Star Wars and the Marvel shows. It’s better than it was, yeah yeah yeah. I mean every piece of television costs millions. We’re not allowed to talk about budget, and we’re not on that Star Wars – or Star Trek level, but it’s more than I’ve ever had to work with… it’s not 10 million per episode. Absolutely not. I wish it were, it would make my life easier. But we’re very smart about spending money I think Doctor who has learned more tricks over the years than other shows might.”
But having that bigger budget does change what Davies can do creatively. He even says it’s “one of the reasons I came back – you can tell stories on a bigger scale. It’s the same old problems, I still have to cut scenes because they’re too expensive, and I still have to cut the number of reducing monsters, and things like that. But my imagination feels freer, much freer actually. It’s just a joy to write anyway. I’m really proud of it. Oh my god, there are some strong episodes coming soon.”
In a statement released at the time of the partnership announcement, Davies said: “I love this show, and this is the best of both worlds – with the vision and fun of the BBC and Disney+, together we can bring the TARDIS across the planet. reaching a new generation of fans while keeping our traditional home firmly on the BBC in the UK.
Doctor who begins its tenure on Disney+ with the anniversary specials, which debut in November.
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