‘Doctor Who’ Gets Officially Disneyfied, Show Leads Embrace It

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The Doctor and Ruby Sunday arrive on Disney+

Credit: Inside the Magic

The new season of Doctor Who is officially going full-force on Disney+, and it seems to be right at home. While it’s still a BBC/Badwolf production, the mouse’s influence is certainly noticeable, and even the Doctor himself is going all out by embracing his Disney side.

David Tennant as the Doctor in the 60th anniversary special of 'Doctor Who', standing in the doorway of the TARDIS
Credit: BBC

Just after David Tennant reprised his role of the titular time traveler in the recent holiday specials, he passed the torch to newcomer Ncuti Gatwa as he embarked on a new cosmic joyride. Joined by Millie Gibson as the delightful Ruby Sunday, the new Fifteenth Doctor is charging headfirst into a new season of space babies, jam sessions with the Beatles, and exciting journeys across the universe.

Related: ‘Gravity Falls,’ ‘Owl House,’ and ‘Doctor Who’ Keep Disney Weird

While Disney’s involvement with the iconic sci-fi series might have some longtime fans clutching their pearls at the very thought, the studio has been treating the series remarkably well. In fact, Ncuti Gatwa was recently seen promoting the show at Disney’s California Adventure at Disneyland.

The Doctor Does Disneyland

Two people stand smiling in front of a blue TARDIS from "Doctor Who" with the sign "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX." The person on the left wears a white patterned shirt, while the person on the right, who could easily be mistaken for a show lead, sports a light blue outfit. Palm trees and a park setting are visible.
Credit: Disney Parks

This week, Disney Parks shared photos of Doctor Who stars Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson enjoying a day at Disneyland shortly after the premiere of the new episodes. A report from What’s On Disney Plus shared the following in their coverage,

“To celebrate the launch of the new season of the classic British sci-fi series, “Doctor Who,” Ncuti Gatwa, who plays the Fifthteeth Doctor, and Millie Gibson, who plays his companion Ruby Sunday, recently visited Disney’s California Adventure theme park at the Disneyland Resort.”

Celebrities in Disney shows visiting the parks are nothing new, but Disney is only “the new home of Doctor Who” as far as distribution is concerned. Sort of in the way the platform gives the world access to Bluey.

Related: ‘Bridgerton’ Star Returns To ‘Doctor Who’

Yes, Disney+ will be the premiere spot to watch the new episodes. No, Disney doesn’t own the series. That said, the studio has undeniable access to the TARDIS. Disney might only be in partnership with BBC and the show, but its influence is clear in the show’s atmosphere, visuals, and plotlines, which have a noticeably Disney flavor.

What This Means for The Doctor

The Doctor with his companion, Ruby Sunday.
Credit: BBC/BadWolf

Gatwa and Gibson’s appearance at Disneyland isn’t just a move by BBC and Disney’s publicity teams but further confirmation that the Doctor has found a new home alongside Mickey Mouse and the rest of his animated companions. While some purists might object, that might actually be a good thing.

Related: Disney Drops New ‘Doctor Who’ Announcement

It’s previously been reported that BBC struggled with Doctor Who’s production after the events with Jodie Whitaker’s divisive female Thirteenth Doctor, and even showrunner Russell T. Davies voiced his concerns. Per They Like to Watch, Davies shared,

“Somehow, surely, undoubtedly on its way out in some shape or form. I had already said in interviews that I think Doctor Who will have to become a co-pro; there’s no way the BBC is going to fund that. You’ve also got to look in the long term at the end of the BBC, which is somehow, surely, undoubtedly on its way in some shape or form. What is Doctor Who going to do then? You have to prepare for that.”

With the premiere of the new season, however, Davies also reassured fans that the show was in the best of hands.

“People are, naturally, worried about American producers having notes on things. Well, don’t be,” [Disney is] giving excellent notes. And I’m here to tell you, you haven’t watched a drama on British television in 20 years that hasn’t had American notes on it. Everything is a co-production… it’s really, completely normal.”

Regardless of where fans stand, Disney+ will be the Doctor’s second home in the foreseeable future. In this writer’s opinion, it might actually be a good thing. Considering that Disney already provides fans with a source for titans of the genre, like Star Wars and the Marvel Multiverse, Doctor Who fits right in with other mind-bending and interstellar adventures.

Has Doctor Who been truly Disneyfied? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below! 

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