Amazon has reached a multi-year deal with BBC Worldwide, giving them exclusive rights for streaming Doctor Who in North America. The show will be available only to Amazon Prime members starting on March 27.
Members will have access to the first eight seasons of the show’s 2005 revival, as well as the holiday specials. Season nine’s Christmas special will also be available when it debuts this year in autumn.
Amazon initially streamed the show on its service before removing it and other BBC programming last year. Amazon disliked their licensing deal with BBC as it allowed competitors to stream the same content. Amazon’s goal is to have exclusive content along with their original programming. The company decided that they would rather have no BBC than share it with others. BBC was willing to negotiate following a year of no access to Amazon. The two came together for their current deal.
Netflix and Hulu Plus previously offered Doctor Who on their services but their rights expired on Feb. 1. The deal with Amazon was initially revealed last month on Amazon’s twitter before the tweet was abruptly deleted, but now it appears that the tweet was simply too soon.
This announcement comes at a moment of great change for the long-running series. Showrunner Steven Moffat announced his plans to leave at the end of the show’s tenth season. He will be succeeded by Chris Chibnall, who has been a contributing writer to Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood. Chibnall also created the successful BBC drama Broadchurch, starring former Doctor, David Tennant.
Actress Jenna Coleman also recently departed the series, leaving an opening for the Doctor’s companion. Current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, has revealed that the newest companion has already been cast but is unable to reveal many details about them. Capaldi himself has been very reserved about his potential return to the series.