Russell T Davies confirms that Doctor Who Series 14 will be rebranded Season 1

Leon Miller
Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor in Doctor Who Season 1.

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has announced that the BBC sci-fi show is overhauling its numbering and naming convention, with Series 14 now officially known as Season 1.

It’s a move that could confuse those eager to climb aboard the Doctor Who bandwagon in time for its 60th anniversary, as it further complicates how the long-running program’s episodes are organized. When Doctor Who first debuted in 1963, its first batch of episodes was labeled “Season 1” – an approach that continued until the show wrapped up its original run with 1989’s Season 26.

However, the 2005 Doctor Who revival didn’t follow suite, grouping the adventures of Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor under the “Series 1” banner, instead. The same applied to the tenures of Eccleston’s successors David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker, all of which used “series” and not “season” terminology (save for when multiple specials aired back-to-back, where neither was used).

Previous statements by both the BBC and Davies indicated that Ncuti Gatwa’s time in the TARDIS would likewise carry the “series” tag when he debuts as the 15th Doctor in 2024. But it now appears this is no longer than plan (if indeed it ever was).

Doctor Who Series 14 will be rebranded Season 1

In an interview with SFX magazine, Davies confirmed that Doctor Who Series 14 will not only mark a return to “season” terminology, but also restart the show’s chronology from scratch, too. “Next year, Season 1,” he said. “Yes, we’re calling it Season 1.”

Davies added that he expects the Season 1 rebrand to prove “controversial” with the Doctor Who fanbase, while also indicating he isn’t worried about the potential backlash. The showrunner didn’t elaborate further on the motivation behind the decision to reposition Series 14 as Season 1 other than to describe it as a way to “reset” the show – leaving fans to speculate on whether Disney acquiring the rights to air Doctor Who on Disney+ outside the UK and Ireland was a factor.

That said, Davies was somewhat more forthcoming regarding his vision for The Doctor beyond Season 1. Notably, he confirmed that he’s already mapping out Doctor Who Seasons 3 and 4, to follow the two seasons headlined by Gatwa already in production.

Fans react to the Doctor Who Series 14 / Season 1 news

For now, though, the focus of most Doctor Who devotees is on Season 1 – and as Davies predicted, many of them are less than thrilled by the Series 14/Season 1 change-up. “I’m just gonna keep calling it Series 14. This is such a dumb idea,” wrote one fan on X, while another complained that the rebrand “feels like next [Doctor Who] will be called ‘Disney’s Doctor Who’, the TARDIS will have Mickey Ears and the show will last for three seasons of six episodes each.”

Other fans were less phased, however. A recurring theme among the more positive responses to the news was that the BBC and Davies using the “Season 1” label to usher in Doctor Who’s “Whoniverse” era felt right, given the previous, post-revival “New Who” (or “NuWho”) era is now almost 20 years old.

Already primed to watch Doctor Who Season 1 when it drops in 2024? Check out our guide on where to stream all the episodes in the series.

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About The Author

Leon is a freelance Movies and TV writer at Dexerto. His past writing credits include articles for Polygon, Popverse, The Escapist, Screen Rant, CBR, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more. Originally from Australia, Leon is currently based in the UK.