March 26th marked ten years that Doctor Who returned from it’s sixteen year hiatus under the stewardship of Russell T. Davies and the show began it’s meteoric transition from cult classic to international phenomenon. Though the BBC chose not to mark the occasion with a special episode, like last year’s 50th Anniversary special, it is celebrating the occasion with a rather unprecedented move – by making the show available for download on BitTorrent.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but it doesn’t get you all of the show. For US$12 you can grab a BitTorrent Bundle of ten episodes (or, to be accurate, nine regular eps and a two-part special). There’s a free short about the last ten years of the show available to anyone as well, hosted by current Doctor Peter Capaldi. The first episode of “New Who”, “Rose” which introduces Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Most Popular Companion Ever Rose Tyler, is also available free.
If you choose to drop the cash, the episodes you get are pretty great. A few of them even come with intros from Capaldi. “The Empty Child,” “The Doctor Dances” and “Blink” are all stand out scary episodes, David Tennant’s farewell two parter “The End of Time” remains an emotional two hours of television and “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “The Doctor’s Wife” are now considered modern classics.
“This innovative deal with BitTorrent allows us to directly reach a huge number of consumers and engage with fans on a global and fast-growing digital platform,” said Julia Kenyon, director of BBC Worldwide, in the press release. BitTorrent has offered its services to plenty of artists and companies in the past, collaborating to release music and movies from Linkin Park, Public Enemy and Madonna.