How to Watch Doctor Who: 60th Anniversary Specials

The Spool Staff
November 21, 2023

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re so back!

To celebrate Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary, the BBC is producing a three-episode special starring none other than the Tenth/Fourteenth Doctor himself, David Tennant. And to the supreme delight of fans (that would be me, dear reader), the Doctor will be joined by old-time companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and a new archnemesis, the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris).

Whovians will remember that in her last appearance in Doctor Who nearly 10 years ago, Donna had to be cleared of all her memories of traveling across space and time in the TARDIS with the Doctor, so their reunion will be something of an event, among other things. Showrunner Russell T Davies, who headed the seasons Tennant and Tate were in (and who some fans argue is the best of the directors so far), will also be making his comeback with this exciting special. Additionally, if the trailer is to be believed, the specials just might tease the much-awaited arrival of the Fifteenth Doctor (Sex Education and Barbie star Ncuti Gatwa).

Where to watch Doctor Who: 60th Anniversary Specials

The first episode of Doctor Who: 60th Anniversary Specials, “The Star Beast,” will be available on November 25 on Disney+. It will be followed by the second episode “Wild Blue Yonder” on December 2 and “The Giggle” on December 9, also on Disney+. They will stream the same day they’re being broadcast in the UK on BBC One, 6:30 PM (or around 10:30 AM PT).

While BBC America used to air Doctor Who, Disney+ now has exclusive streaming rights over the 2023 specials and the broadcasts that will follow, including the upcoming 14th season of the show. However, previous seasons can still be accessed on Max, which has the rights to the 2005-2022 seasons, and BritBox which has the rights to the 1963-1996 seasons.

Right now, there’s only one way to stream Doctor Who: 60th Anniversary Specials: on Disney+.

Doctor Who: 60th Anniversary Specials on Disney+

Disney+ is quickly rising to be the streamer of choice in the US, but in case you’re not subscribed yet, here’s a rundown:

Disney+

The on-demand streaming service Disney+ gives you access to thousands of films and TV shows not just from Disney itself, but from partner studios like Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and ABC. It's a giant umbrella of content for a fairly reasonable price of $7.99/month with ads and $13.99/month without, but if you want even more, Disney+ offers premium add-ons you can stack to your plan, as well as the famous Trio bundle, which gives you Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ at a discounted price.

Price: $7.99/month

Genuinely, what happened in season 13?

You’d be forgiven for not being caught up with the latest Doctor Who episodes, since the series declined in popularity in recent years. While the frequent change in showrunners could be to blame, many others cite just a general lack of engagement with storytelling compared to previous seasons.

But basically, in the season finale of season 13, the Doctor was forced to regenerate by her old nemesis, the Master (Sacha Dhawan), and while the initial attempt was reversed by her companions, the Master did succeed in mortally wounding the Doctor, which eventually leads to a regeneration that looks quite like the Tenth Doctor. Presumably, the three-episode specials will pick up where this plot twist left off.

Seasons 1 to 13 of “New Who” are available to watch on Max

You can watch the latest seasons of Doctor Who on Max. This is the one that Davies rebooted back in 2005, and which features, apart from Ten, Nine (Christopher Eccleston), Eleven (Matt Smith), Twelve (Peter Capaldi), and most recently, Thirteen (Jodie Whittaker).

There are 162 episodes of New Who available to stream on Max.

Max

While best known for streaming epic shows like Succession, Game of Thrones, and The White Lotus, Max rounds its selection with blockbusters from Warner Bros., news from CNN, reality shows from Discovery, and for an additional fee, live sports from B/R. Max’s plans begin at $10/month, but if you already have HBO, you should check with your TV provider to see if it can give you Max at no additional cost.

Price: $9.99/month

Seasons 1 to 26 of “Classic Who” are available to watch on BritBox

If you want to go waaaay back, BritBox carries the original seasons of Doctor Who, beginning with the First Doctor (William Hartnell) in 1963 all the way to the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) in 1996.

There are in total 696 episodes of Classic Who available to stream on BritBox.

Britbox

Home to some of the best telly Great Britain has to offer, Britbox is an ad-free on-demand streaming service that's compatible with most media players, including smartphones and TVs. For $9/month, you get access to BBC shows like Luther, Sherwood, and Downton Abbey, as well as ITV gems like Stonehouse, Channel 4 classics like The IT Crowd, and a host of Britbox-produced documentaries, mysteries, dramas, and sitcoms.

Price: $8.99/month