Twitch is back with another TV marathon-streaming stunt: More than 500 classic “Doctor Who” episodes will be broadcast on the Amazon-owned service over a seven-week span.
The “Doctor Who” episodes from 26 seasons — going back to the show’s inception in 1963 until 1989 — will be available on Twitch starting May 29 at 11 a.m. PT. Fans can tune in each weekday to watch a collection of live-streaming episodes on twitch.tv/TwitchPresents in 6- to 7-hour daily blocks (which will be repeated twice back-to-back for international audiences).
The older episodes of the sci-fi cult favorite, which presumably will appeal to a sizable portion of Twitch’s gamer-focused core audience of 15 million daily active users, are coming to Twitch under a pact with BBC Studios. Note that they’re separate from the modern iteration of the BBC’s “Doctor Who,” with season 11 to feature Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.
For the “Doctor Who” marathon, Twitch viewers who subscribe to the TwitchPresents channel (for $4.99 per month) will have access to 14 exclusive emotes themed after each of the first seven doctors. In addition, Twitch will host a giveaway for “Doctor Who” fans in the U.S., U.K., and Canada each week of the event, including a grand-prize trip to the fall 2018 MCM London Comic Con. Info on the sweepstakes is available at this link.
It’s the latest bid by Twitch to broaden the scope of its live-streaming platform beyond video-game broadcasts. In the last few years, Twitch has run more than a dozen similar marathons, most recently streaming 48 hours of “Saturday Night Live” sketches leading up to the NBC show’s season 43 finale on May 19. It has also staged live-streaming marathons for “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Power Rangers.”
“Doctor Who” has had “a great tradition of pioneering new technologies, from early VHS all the way through to the new digital services of today,” said Nick Coulter, BBC Studio’s director of digital sales and business development. “Twitch is another great example of this.”
Also as part of the event, U.K. gamers and content creators The Yogscast are producing a series of shows for Twitch that will introduce each Doctor, with 20-minute episodes providing a summary of the storylines as well as the actors, monsters, famous phrases and production gaffes to watch for.
“Doctor Who” follows the adventures of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time in a Tardis — a spaceship shaped like a British police telephone box. With an array of allies, the Doctor fights different foes, while working to save civilizations. Instead of dying, the Doctor is able to “regenerate” into a new body, taking on a new personality with each regeneration.
“‘Doctor Who’ and its clever take on sci-fi exemplifies the type of adjacent content to gaming that has resonated with the Twitch community,” said Jane Weedon, director of business development at Twitch. “By presenting this iconic BBC show in a new interactive format, it is a fun new way to bridge several generations of ‘Doctor Who’ fans, while building a new generation of them.”
In the U.S., all classic “Doctor Who” seasons are available on BritBox, the $6.99-per-month subscription-streaming service from BBC Worldwide and ITV.