HBO Max Is Bringing a TARDIS-Load of Doctor Who With It

The Doctor and her friends have a new streaming home.
The Doctor and her friends have a new streaming home.
Image: BBC

Well, if you’re kicking off a new streaming service in an age when everyone and their mother has a streaming service, offering plenty of adventures in Time and Space is a nice way to sweeten the pot. Warner Bros. has announced its (thankfully plus-less) upcoming streaming platform HBO Max will become the exclusive home to stream Doctor Who in the USA.


Modern Doctor Who, that is. The deal—part of a wide-ranging package with the BBC that also includes the rights to series like Luther, The Office, and Top Gear as well as several upcoming series—only accounts for every season of the post-2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, up to and including the U.S. streaming debut of Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the Thirteenth Doctor in last year’s season 11.

While that means you’ll be able to get your classic Who fix elsewhere, going forward if you want to stream Modern Who you’ll only be able to do so with HBO Max—because the deal also applies to future seasons, starting with season 12 next year, after it’s completed its broadcast run on BBC America.

In the new era of streaming wars, Doctor Who is just the latest soldier in a scrap that has seen everyone from CBS to Disney leverage their armies of franchises and licenses to try and tempt you into adding yet another subscription to your distressingly-growing list of subscriptions. Amazon’s got Hobbits. Apple’s got Jason Momoa. CBS has Starfleet. The House of Mouse has, well, you know what it has at this point, and then some. Now, aside from a few superheroes, Warner Bros. has a Time Lord.

It’s like the nerdy crossover event of your dreams, only significantly more expensive to keep up with. All 11 seasons of modern Doctor Who will be available when HBO Max launches in spring 2020.

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So even with an HBO and Cinemax subscription, through cable, allowing me access to HBOGO and MAXGO, I need to dig deeper in my pocket in order to get HBOMAX which allows me to watch Doctor Who, which I could previously get through Amazon Prime, but will no longer be able to so. These independent streaming services are turning into one big screw us all until we’re blue in the face racket.