This month marks the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, the hit BBC sci-fi series with a devoted fan following worldwide. And while new episodes of the 2005 revival series are coming to Disney+ later this month, fans of classic Doctor Who will get a chance to fully explore the Doctor’s adventures even further. Tubi has announced that as of today, over 600 episodes of the original Doctor Who series are now streaming for free.
Doctor Who debuted on November 23, 1963, in an era before the preservation of television programs was given any priority. Because of that, 97 episodes are missing from the show’s original 871-episode run. However, a few of those lost episodes were animated with archival recordings of the actors. Those recreations will also be available on Tubi under the Classic Doctor Who: The Animated Lost Stories banner.
One of the reasons for Doctor Who‘s sustained popularity is that it maintains its continuity all the way back to the beginning of the series. William Hartnell was the first actor to portray the Doctor, a Time Lord from Gallifrey who travels through time and space on his ship, the TARDIS, which is permanently disguised as a blue Police Box.
When Hartnell stepped aside from the role, the Doctor regenerated with a new face and persona, as played by Patrick Troughton. The rest of the Doctors from the original series include Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy.
McCoy appeared for his regeneration scene in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, which cast Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor. However, Fox only aired the movie and declined to pick up the show. It took another nine years before the BBC resurrected Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston in the title role. Eccleston was succeeded by David Tennant (arguably the most popular modern Doctor), Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker. The fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, will star in a new season of the revival Doctor Who series next year on Disney+.
In the meantime, Disney+ will premiere the first of three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials on November 25.