Disney is reportedly in conversation with UK pubcaster the BBC to acquire the global streaming rights to long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who.
The Mouse House is said to be eyeing a deal that would see future seasons of the iconic show, which first debuted in 1963, stream on Disney+ while still airing on BBC One.
Disney is looking to “bulk up on established entertainment properties”, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the story, adding “talks are in the early stages and there’s no guarantee a deal will be reached, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
Doctor Who follows the adventures of an alien time traveller known as The Doctor, who travels through time and space in the TARDIS, which resembles an old-fashioned British police telephone box.
Jodie Whittaker currently portrays the 13th incarnation of the character, who can change their appearance when close to death. This conceit has contributed to the programme’s longevity, with multiple actors portraying the character over the course of decades.
Actor Ncuti Gatwa is expected to take over the role later this year, with former showrunner Russell T Davies returning to helm the series and BBC Studios partnering with Sony-backed prodco Bad Wolf for the show’s 2023 season.
Whittaker and current showrunner Chris Chibnall will exit the series, which is currently co-produced by BBC Studios and BBC America, in a planned feature-length instalment later this year, which will also see Gatwa’s introduction.