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Showrunner Says Disney+ Deal Had To Happen As Demise Of The BBC Is “Undoubtedly On Its Way”

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies has issued some doom-and-gloom thinking behind why the hit sci-fi series needed to partner with Disney+.

Speaking to the They Like to Watch podcast, the storied British showrunner declared that the BBC is “somehow, surely, undoubtedly on its way out in some shape or form,” and additional cash and partners were therefore necessary for Doctor Who.

“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,”he said. “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.”


I'm not as pessimistic as Russell T. Davies. I think, even if the Tories somehow pull it out of the bag and win the general election (which seems vanishingly unlikely), the BBC will continue for the foreseeable future. The licence fee model might well end -- either under a Conservative or Labour government -- but that would most likely see the BBC's services funded by direct taxation instead.

But for all the Tories' apparent hatred of the organisation, that's just a sop to their core voters. They're not quite philistine enough to destroy the organisation altogether, but only to shrink it.

That said, he's right that a shrunk BBC would not be able to afford to make Doctor Who on a budget that can remotely compete with US entertainment franchises. That's already the case after fourteen years of cuts, hence the current situation.