Disney+ is set to launch next week, alongside a huge catalogue of Disney content that is bound to keep plenty of people occupied for a long time. Up until now it's not been clear whether original series, particularly The Mandalorian, would be arriving in one go or with a staggered release - though Disney has now confirmed that it's definitely the latter.
On 24th March you will only be able to watch the first two episodes of The Mandalorian in the UK, even though the whole eight-episode season has been available in other territories for months. A third episode will arrive on 27th March (next Friday), but that's it for week one. After that it's a weekly release schedule, with each new episode arriving at 8am on a Friday morning.
If you're excited about Clone Wars then I have some good news and some bad news. We only get two episodes at launch, with a further two episodes released on Friday 27th. Then we get two more episodes every week and are set to catch up with the US catalogue on 10th April. So that means from 17th April onwards it's just one episode a week,
All other original series on Disney+ will only have a single episode at launch, with each new episode arriving at 8am on Fridays.
It's still not clear why The Mandalorian has such a strange release pattern. When asked Disney's official response was:
"As The Mandalorian is event television, we have released the show weekly in all markets that have Disney+, and we are excited to be bringing this must-see series to UK viewers."
Which doesn't make any sense to me, at all. Considering the final episode of season one arrived back in December, anyone who really wanted to see it already has. And anyone who gets hooked on it after launch can just pirate the whole season in one go. Surely if Disney really wanted it to be event television, they'd have let us watch The Mandalorian back in November.
Disney+ is set to cost £6 a month or £60 a year, but if you pre-order before the end of the day on 23rd March you can get a year's subscription for just £50. Also O2 is the exclusive network distributor of the service, and is giving new and upgrading customers six months free. Existing customers can also sign up for just £4 a month through the network, which works out the cheapest way to enjoy what the service has to offer. You can find out more about that here.
Disney+ will arrive on Tuesday, and not one minute earlier.