Doctor Who: BBC launches Whoniverse with 800 episodes and Tales of the TARDIS series

Leon Miller
A still from Tales of the Tardis featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace.

The Whoniverse portal is now live on BBC iPlayer and includes over 800 Doctor Who episodes, as well as the platform-exclusive six-part Tales of the Tardis series.

The BBC is touting the Whoniverse as the biggest collection of Doctor Who content currently available – and it’s not hard to see why. The portal includes (almost) every episode and special from the iconic sci-fi series’ classic and revived runs, plus spinoffs Torchwood, The Sarah Janes Adventures, Class, and K-9 and Company.

Animated adventures Doctor Who: Infinite Quest and Doctor Who: Dreamland are also part of the Whoniverse’s library, along with highlights from the three Doctor Who Proms concerts. Fans interested in the inner workings of Doctor Who are equally well-served, thanks to the inclusion of all six seasons of the Doctor Who Confidential series produced to date.

The Whoniverse’s behind-the-scenes material is further bolstered by two documentary specials, Whose Doctor Who and The Science of Doctor Who, and Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes – a docudrama covering the creation of Doctor Who’s theme tune.

Tales of the TARDIS launches the BBC’s Whoniverse

The most high-profile addition to the Whoniverse is Tales of the TARDIS: an original series that brings back several legacy Doctor Who cast members for a six-episode anthology adventure. Returning series veterans include Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Seventh Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sophie Aldred (Ace), and Nicola Bryant (Peri).

Each Tales of the Tardis installment focuses on a different Doctor Who duo, weaving together archival footage with newly shot scenes written by current showrunner Russell T. Davies, and former series scribes Phil Ford and Pete McTighe. All six Tales of the Tardis episodes are feature-length, clocking in at between 97 and 111 minutes, and are “absolutely” canon, according to Davies in a recent interview with SFX.

It’s worth noting that Tales of the TARDIS is not part of the deal between the BBC and Disney for the latter to air Doctor Who on Disney+ outside the UK and Ireland. As such, the series is currently a BBC iPlayer exclusive and when (or even if) it will debut on Disney+ remains unclear at this stage.

Which Doctor Who episodes does the Whoniverse not include?

For fans able to access Tales of the Tardis (and by extension, the Whoniverse itself), the limited series represents the opportunity to start celebrating Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary early. Festivities to mark the sci-fi show’s sixth decade will kick off in earnest in late November, with the release of “The Star Beast” – the first of three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials due out in 2023.

Not everyone associated with Doctor Who is as eager to celebrate the series’ birthday, though. Notably, the son of original Doctor Who writer Anthony Coburn, Stef Coburn, has blocked the BBC from adding the first-ever serial, “An Unearthly Child,” to the Whoniverse due to an ongoing dispute with the broadcaster. As such, the four episodes that make up “An Unearthly Child” join the almost 100 “missing” episodes from Doctor Who’s initial run that aren’t available via the portal.

Keen to catch up Doctor Who in time for the 60th anniversary specials? Check out our guide on where to stream all the episodes in the series.