Some people have asked what the point of BritBox is, especially when BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 already have their own streaming platforms and an array of content available on more popular services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. But from Boxing Day there's about to be a huge chunk of content added to the library - content that the other services have largely ignored.
As you may have guessed, it's the classic Doctor Who library, and BritBox is set to receive 627 pieces of classic content from the days before Christopher Eccleston showed us that the Doctor was allowed to sound like he was from Salford. All of it is set to hit BritBox's UK library on Boxing Day, meaning you don't have to suffer through whatever the BBC has commissioned Michael McIntyre to host.
According to the press release that content is a "mix of episodes, spin-offs, documentaries, telesnaps and more and includes many rarely-seen treasures." It comprises of:
- 558 complete Doctor Who episodes (making up 129 different stories) featuring the first eight Doctors
- Four stories that have mixed surviving live action footage and animated recreations, for a total of 22 new episodes. This includes The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors, and The Invasion
- Two stories that are completely animated because none of the live-action footage is still around. They are The Power of the Daleks, and The Macra Terror - that's six and four extra episodes respectively
- The newly-recreated Shada, which fills in the unfinished episode's gaps with animated footage
- Five 'orphaned stories' that haven't yet been restored with animation. This includes two episodes of The Crusades, and a single episode of Galaxy 4, The Space Pirates, and The Celestial Toymaker
- Telesnap recreations of The Underwater Menace, The Wheel in Space, and The Web of Fear
- The original unaired pilot episode of An Unearthly Child
- Spin offs including An Adventure in Space and Time, K9 and Company, plus documentaries More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS and Doctor Who Revisited
All that totals 272 hours of content, which would take you over 11 days to watch non-stop. Because it's a lot to get through, BritBox will put together collections of the classic episodes, including a "New to Who" collection that will feature a single key episode from each of the first seven Doctors. Future collections will focus on regeneration and the Doctor's classic villains.
There's no word on the new series and whether they might eventually come to the services. So for the time being you'll have to be happy with the old stuff, or everything up to the end of series 10 on Netflix.