Fans of Classic Doctor Who, are currently a being short-changed on ways to watch episodes, legally.
Following the recent announcement that new BBC/ITV/CH4 joint streaming Service Britbox, is to launch; one of it’s major advertised draws – is that it will feature approx. 600 episodes – of the Classic series of Doctor Who.
Britbox unfortunately, suffers from a lack of new content to justify the subscription cost. It is, effectively a collection of old shows and series only. Price-wise – it costs almost as much, as Netflix and we used to receive something similar in the UK called ‘UK Gold’ channel – which featured nothing bit repeats.
It is possible, to sign-up for Britbox – for a free month’s trial and then binge watch all of their Who content; before cancelling.
In terms of physical media, the DVD range is still available at a reasonably cheap price but that still means – a substanial cash-outlay to collect them all.
The Blu-ray situation is even more depressing (aside from original release – Spearhead From Space), with the BBC (contemptably) only releasing a limited number of the new season HD remasters. This has had the effect, of making their resale value spike and they are being listed on reseller sites for 100’s of pounds/dollars!
Some streaming services, (especially U.S. based ones such as HULU) still feature a limited supply of Classic Who episodes. But choice is limited and varies with different services. American Netflix also used to have a small library but that has since been removed. Since Britbox launched, BBC have begun actively removing them, from other competitive streaming services.
Outside of this, one of the other major (available) sources of Classic Doctor Who is illegal rips on the internet. Kodi, Terrarium Stremio and Cyberflicks all have alot of the back catalogue. More available, is the DVD rips on the Dailymotion website; which features (nearly) all of the classic available episodes and recreations of missing ones.
In our episodes section, we have just finished linking each of our serial reviews – to the 1st (or 2nd) episode (where available) on Dailymotion.
The first episode of the Three Doctors on Dailymotion :
Our episodes section can be found here (or on the menu link above) if a specific episode (or serial) is desired. The Dailymotion link, is at the bottom of each of the articles.
Of course, we aren’t condoning the illegal streaming of Classic Doctor Who. Its up to you how you choose to watch it. However, frankly the lack of legal availability – is extremely poor. Given how in the UK – at least, we pay for an ongoing TV licence to watch BBC and now they want us to pay again, for Britbox..
Classic Doctor Who is being used (distastefully) as a bargaining chip to get fans to take-out Britbox. As mentioned, fans could take the 30 day free-trial and then cancel (before paid subscription kicks in) but the whole setup – currently; is just plain wrong.
Additionally, as we start to move away from physical media (discs and players), we are in a bit of a gap. In terms of streaming these classic episodes; there is not a great deal of choice, currently available – out there. It is, exactly these type of profiteering situations – that encourage piracy.