We live in a truly digital world and viewing habits of the average Doctor Who fan have completely changed since the shows beginnings in the 1960’s. Not only would you get just one chance to see the show (airtime), but there was no way to record or rewatch it.
Fast forward 50 years and we are spoiled for choice with how we can watch - and rewatch Doctor Who! If we miss an episode, we can simply record it, Sky+ it, watch it on BBC iPlayer, buy a DVD or wait for a repeat on TV.
Even if we travel abroad on holiday for seasons such as Christmas, there are still ways for us to watch our beloved show. With syndication rights across the world, there are loads of channels that have picked up Doctor Who; BBC America, for example. So if, like us, you’re headed out to the USA for the holiday season, you can catch Peter Capaldi’s next Christmas Special!
The BBC also have to be commended for their endeavours to bring forward the international airdates so that episodes air on the same days as they do in the UK.
While the BBC has provided many ways to watch the show, there are still individuals that won’t be able to watch the show as it’s aired, or even immediately afterwards. While simply waiting for the DVD to be released is an option, it isn’t exactly in line with our on-demand lifestyles. While services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix have led the way in permitting us to watch TV series on demand, there’s still a delay in the release date from its first airing. There’s also the uncertainty of how long the show will last, especially with Netflix constantly shuffling its show roster. With only the series post Eccleston being available, the UK Netflix also doesn’t have any of the previous Doctor Who episodes.
There are alternatives. There are dodgy streams galore, but naturally, there are significant concerns around using these, not least from a computer safety standard! Depending on what’s available where, it’s also possible to watch the shows through a VPN. VPNs provide a proxy server, which masks your geo-location, and can permit UK specific shows to be watched in other locations. While Netflix seems to be going to war with VPN companies, it may provide a solution on how to watch previously Geo-Blocked content. If you’re out of the UK, a VPN can be used to stream BBC iPlayer, the perfect opportunity to watch Doctor Who almost immediately. BestVPN.com provide an extensive review of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer on their website.
It’s not just new episodes that we can rewatch; this month, BBC Store released animated episodes of a lost 1960’s classic (The Power Of The Daleks), which you could download or stream exclusively on the platform. Not wanting to miss out on the commercial possibilities, the BBC also decided to release it on DVD in both black and white and colour versions!
So what does the future hold for the show? Well the BBC have their finger on the pulse of technologies and services available, with the exception of a +1 service. Ever got home later than planned, only to find the episode has started? Many channels now have a +1 service, including rival channel ITV. It feels like the only option missing, and judging from fan reaction the last time we brought it up, we think it could be a real hit!
We’d love to hear from you guys - how do you watch the show, and what’s your preferred method of rewatching it? Leave a comment, below!