Multiple Doctor Who Spinoffs In The Works?
Multiple Doctor Who spinoff shows are in the works, primarily featuring various adversaries of the Timelord in their own series. According to Doctor Who TV, these plans may have been triggered in part by the recent deal between the BBC and Disney+, under which the popular streaming platform gained global rights to the venerable science fiction show for reportedly tens of millions of dollars. Also according to these sources, these new Doctor Who spinoff shows will feature traditional Timelord adversaries like the Cybermen, the Sontarans, the Sea Devils, the Weeping Angels, and the most famous enemy of the Doctor of all, the Daleks.
Doctor Who has been a cornerstone of nerd culture since it first premiered in 1963, with William Hartnell playing the first incarnation of the time and space-traveling alien known as the Doctor. As one might expect from a show with six decades worth of lore, Doctor Who has already had a spin-off or two (or possibly few dozen). It seems that returning showrunner Russell T Davies is specifically interested in the “Marvelization” of Doctor Who (unlike, say, Quentin Tarantino), which is to say expanding into shared, interconnected shows.
It seems the recent deal between the BBC and Disney+ involves an influx of cash into the Doctor Who franchise and its potential new adversary-oriented spinoff shows. While Doctor Who is arguably one of the most legendary science fiction series of all time, it has also always been produced by the publicly funded BBC, which means that its production values have always been a bit suspect (just ask Peter Capaldi). The upcoming fifteenth season of Doctor Who starring Ncuti Gatwa is likely to have a much larger production budget, as might new spinoff shows.
Russell T Davies has previously alluded to the idea that an entire channel could eventually be dedicated to Doctor Who, which would almost certainly necessitate new content like spinoff shows. Given that one of the most compelling elements of the entire franchise has been consistently interesting, nuanced villains (or at least, people opposing the Doctor in various forms), it makes sense to try to build some content around them. After all, if you have a visually evocative, terrifying alien species like predatory aliens who seem like statues until you look away, why waste them by only having them pop up to menace David Tennant?
Doctor Who fans are likely to face a deluge of change in the next few years, which (broadly speaking) fans of iconic science fiction franchises do not always react well to. Ncuti Gatwa will be the first Black actor to portray the Doctor in a regular role, just coming off Jodie Whittaker’s turn as the first regular female Doctor. The upcoming Once and Future special will feature many of the most beloved actors to ever take on the role, including Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston, and David Tennant, so at least there will be some familiar elements before Russell T Davies starts mixing things up. Doctor Who spinoff shows are practically a tradition at this point, so we shall just have to see weird these ones get.