Sure, you’ve watched and sobbed over the Tenth Doctor saying goodbye to Rose approximately 900 times. You’ve considered — more strongly than you’d like to admit — dabbling in the Eleventh Doctor’s favourite meal of fish fingers and custard. You joined the chorus of screaming female nerds across the globe when it was revealed the Thirteenth Doctor would be played by a woman. But how much do you really know about doctors first through seventh? Admit it. Not a lot. But the opportunity for you to atone for your sins has arrived because you can now stream 500 classic Doctor Who episodes on video platform Twitch.
From 7 p.m. UK time on May 29, eight episodes a day will be streamed online every weekday until July 23. The episodes will span 26 series, incorporating doctors from William Hartnell’s original incarnation to Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy. It’s part of a collaboration between BBC Studios and Twitch, probably best known as a platform for live-streaming video games. Each eight-hour block of episodes will be repeated a subsequent two times, so there’s absolutely no excuse to be distracted by such minor concerns as maintaining a job or getting the minimum amount of sleep required to stave off death. And there's even an episode by episode schedule, so you can cancel any prior commitments — dinners, deadlines, your sister's wedding — that might interfere with the ones you're most eager to see.
Viewers will also be able to chat to other Whovians while watching — see, who needs offline friends? — while those in the UK, U.S., and Canada can enter weekly giveaways, with prizes including a trip to Comic Con in London. British gaming YouTubers The Yogscast will produce extra pre-show content for each incarnation of the show, the BBC has revealed, roping in screenwriters, fans, and an as of yet undisclosed former companion to share "the highs, the lows, the behind the scenes stories, the monsters and the gaffes".
As Radio Times reports, Nick Coulter — BBC Studios’ director of digital sales and business development — said of the event: "We are constantly looking at ways to reach new audiences and make it easier for fans to engage with our most popular shows."
He added, "Doctor Who, in particular, has a great tradition of pioneering new technologies, from early VHS all the way through to the new digital services of today. Twitch is another great example of this, as a brilliant service with over 15 million active daily users, we are thrilled to be able to offer them the chance to indulge in the classic Doctor Who series and celebrate its amazing 54 year legacy of excitement and innovation."
The event is one more thing to keep Whovians going as they anxiously await Jodie Whittaker's inaugural full series as the Thirteenth Doctor — the first ever incarnation of the almost 55-year-old character to be played by a woman. Whittaker's first appearance in last year's Christmas special suggested her version of the Doctor will be a new, joyous one, and according to the Radio Times, it's a feeling shared by the actor. "I must smile every single morning knowing I'm going to work to do it," Whittaker said on the BAFTA red carpet.
Since there's a while to wait before the new series airs this autumn, Whovians might as well spend the time catching up on the show's history. Put aside your bow ties and Converse, Nu-Who fans (or your suspenders, if you're an early Thirteenth Doctor adopter). It’s time to fashion yourselves a multi-coloured scarf or a novelty umbrella handle and get streaming.