Russell T. Davies is writing Doctor Who Season 16 (but it hasn't been renewed)

Russell T. Davies is already working on Doctor Who Season 16. However, the BBC hasn't officially renewed the series just yet.
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios /

Russell T. Davies has said that he is working on Doctor Who Season 16. That would be great, except that there’s one problem. BBC hasn’t officially renewed the series.

Season 14 has come to an end. There is a confirmed Christmas Day special for 2024, and then there will be new episodes in 2025. Season 15 has already been renewed, written, and filmed. Eyes are on the future of the series, and Davies hopes for some good news.

The linear ratings haven’t been great for Doctor Who Season 14

Davies did recently have to admit that the return of The Doctor hasn’t been as well received as he hoped. At least, that’s in terms of the linear ratings. The problem is those are the linear ratings, and Doctor Who was released in a very different way in 2024.

Instead of releasing the episodes on BBC 1 first, they were released on iPlayer at midnight. This allowed for Disney+ to release the episodes earlier in North America. A lot of people, especially younger viewers, would turn to the iPlayer streaming platform to watch the episodes instead of waiting for them to come to BBC 1.

That is sure to skew the linear ratings. It will be interesting to see how things are for BBC as a whole to see how successful the new series has been. The series is skewed more to younger viewers now with recent changes, which could also affect things.

Disney+ will need to decide what to do after Season 15

On top of that, Disney+ has only opted to license two seasons of Doctor Who so far. Of course, that may be partially linked to the fact that BBC hasn’t even renewed the show for Season 16 yet. However, it could be that Disney+ doesn’t want to license too much in case it’s not a success.

It’s hard to tell if the move to Disney+ has been a success internationally. There was a lot chatter on social media, but that doesn’t mean millions of people are tuning in. It is easier to tell for Disney+ across all locations compared to trying to track all the different locations around the world before this move.

BBC may want to ensure Disney is on board with another season before renewing it. Plus, BBC may want to see how episodes fare next year before deciding on more.

I can’t see the BBC getting rid of Doctor Who. At least, not just yet after the success of the 60th Anniversary specials. It’s probably while Davies is currently working on the writing for the season.

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