Britbox has pulled dozens of classic Doctor Who stories citing ‘technical problems’.
Until Monday the streaming service offered every surviving story of the 1963-1989 run, including a number of ‘missing stories’ which have been recreated using animation, a selection of orphaned episodes which survived the BBC’s cull of its archives, and the 1996 Paul McGann TV Movie.
Doctor Who arrived on the service on Boxing Day just days after a press release headlined ‘BritBox becomes home to Doctor Who Classic’ proclaimed that fans could look forward to “the biggest Doctor Who Classic collection ever streamed in the UK” with “129 complete stories.”
The show is believed to have driven a surge in sign-ups for the service and, according to a press release issued after the Christmas break, quickly became Britbox’s “most streamed series”.
Britbox boss Reemah Sakaan was quoted as saying: ‘We are so glad that subscribers are enjoying our fantastic Doctor Who Classic collection; the first of its kind available to stream in the UK. There has never been a better reason to miss a few nights’ sleep!’
However on Monday dozens of stories, including all but one each from the William Hartnell and Colin Baker eras, were removed from the service.
Britbox has advised fans querying the move:
“We have been made aware of a technical fault with a few of the episodes, these have been removed to be fixed and will return within due course. Rest assured they haven’t been removed for definite and we appreciate your patience while we get these sorted for you”
Pushed for a return date, they replied: “We don’t have an exact timeframe but you won’t be waiting long. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Update: A spokesperson for Britbox confirmed the majority of episodes had re-appeared by Tuesday morning.