Disney+'s New Doctor Who Trailer Breaks Franchise Record

By Sam Hargrave Updated:

The debut trailer for Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary specials - which will premiere on Disney+ and the BBC in November 2023 - broke a huge franchise record.

Doctor Who has been through a rocky few years of decreased viewing figures and poor reactions throughout the latest era of the show under Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor and showrunner Chris Chibnall. But with the British sci-fi icon now poised to enter a new era following a streaming deal with Disney+, things are looking up.

This next step for the franchise begins with three 60th Anniversary specials honoring the series' past as Doctor Who icon David Tennant returns to the leading role. All before Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa takes over the reins for the next full season to follow in 2024.

Naturally, with some familiar faces coming back and Doctor Who going international with an insane new budget thanks to Disney, anticipation is high for the next batch of episodes, something that has become immediately apparent with the series' latest trailer. 

Doctor Who's Newest Trailer Breaks Records

David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Donna Noble, Doctor Who, BBC, Disney+

The BBC recently released the first teaser trailer for Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary specials on Christmas Day, following the short Coming Soon trailer that debuted after the "Power of the Doctor" special in October.

According to StarWhovian, the viral trailer broke multiple records in Doctor Who trailer history, having already reached 1.8 million views as of December 28. This also makes it the most-viewed trailer for the British sci-fi mainstay since 2018's second trailer for Season 11, which currently stands at 2.06 million views.

As the exciting sneak peek currently holds 71k 'Likes' on YouTube, the 60th Anniversary teaser broke the record for the most 'Likes' ever on a Doctor Who trailer. This record was previously held by Season 11's 44k; other notable 'Like' counts from recent years of the sci-fi drama are listed below:

  • 60th Anniversary Specials Teaser Trailer - 71k
  • Season 13: Flux Trailer - 24k
  • Season 12 Trailer - 36k
  • Season 11 Trailer - 44k
  • Season 10 Trailer - 22k
  • Season 9 Trailer - 29k
  • Season 8 Trailer - 30k
  • Day of the Doctor Save the Day Trailer - 55k
  • Season 7 Trailer - 9.4k
  • Season 6 Trailer - 14k
  • Season 5 Trailer - 12k

Doctor Who Interest Raises Amid Disney+ Deal

Even the highest-viewed trailer for the Jodie Whittaker era of Doctor Who currently stands with 2.1 million views over four years after it was posted. After the controversy that has surrounded the last three seasons, seeing the highest view count from that era matched in just days showcases a huge increase in interest.

Granted, there are several factors behind this drastic increase in interest, not the least of them being the return of David Tennant - perhaps the most beloved Doctor actor in the show's almost 60-year history. Additionally, Russell T Davis being back in the driver's seat will undoubtedly be helping to rekindle faith in Doctor Who.

One also has to consider the publicity bump that the series has received as of late due to the deal with Disney that will give a record-breaking increase to Doctor Who's budget and bring the show to Disney+ outside of the UK. This will allow the sci-fi mainstay to reach a larger audience than ever all around the world.

2023's 60th Anniversary specials will be the first episodes to become part of that arrangement as they air on the BBC in the UK and come to Disney+ elsewhere. The huge marketing push behind that deal will undoubtedly have contributed to the raised interest in this trailer, along with the Christmas Day release and excitement from Whovians due to the return of Tennant and Davis. 

What will now be much tougher for Doctor Who is to maintain this interest going forward, as this trailer has been released especially early since the trilogy of Tennant specials is not expected to premiere until November 2023. With 11 months still to go until then, the BBC will need a steady stream of marketing all year round to keep the excitement high for this new era.

Perhaps an even tougher task will be to maintain this elevated interest beyond these specials into Season 14, at which point the nostalgia of Tennant will be gone as he regenerates into Ncuti Gatwa's 15th Doctor. But that shouldn't be too hard given the high interest shown after the first details for Season 14 were revealed.

The specials and next season will certainly have to deliver to not only hold onto the new audiences who are just discovering the show on Disney+ but also those who will be coming back after a rocky last few years due to the excitement to see Tennant and Davis bring Doctor Who back to its golden years.

Doctor Who will premiere three 60th Anniversary specials starring David Tennant's 14th Doctor and Catherine Tate's Donna Noble in November 2023.

- In This Article: Doctor Who (Series 14)
Release Date
May 10, 2024
Ncuti Gatwa
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.