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'Doctor Who' is departing Netflix, at least in the U.S.

Jared Newman | Jan. 28, 2016
The brain-bending sci-fi series remains available for binge-watching on Hulu.

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Netflix users in the United States will lose a binge-watching mainstay this month with the departure of Doctor Who.

On February 1, Netflix will lose all eight modern seasons of the BBC-produced sci-fi series, along with a collection of classic Doctor Who episodes spanning 18 seasons. The disappearance only applies to the U.S. version of Netflix, as the show will remain available in the United Kingdom.

Last year, Doctor Who also appeared to be on its way out, but Netflix later clarified that it had re-upped its content deal with the BBC. This time it appears the Doctor isn’t coming back.

That doesn’t mean the series is gone from streaming services entirely. Hulu, which started carrying modern and classic Doctor Who episodes last summer, continues to offer them with a paid subscription. Individual episodes and seasons are also available for purchase through on-demand stores such as Amazon Instant Video and Apple iTunes.

Other notable departures from Netflix this month include The Hurt Locker, Rain Man, Terms of Endearment, Fletch, and The Terminator. On the bright side, Netflix subscribers can commence binge-watching the entire first season of Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul on February 1.

Why this matters: Doctor Who has long been one of Netflix’s most popular programs, at least according to third-party metrics, and it's a great fit for the binge-watching style that the service helped pioneer. Its departure illustrates how Netflix is becoming more interested in original series, and how competition among streaming services can cause popular content to bounce around. Netflix hasn’t ruled out getting the Time Lord back down the road, but for now it’s Hulu’s turn to be the show’s main purveyor in the U.S..


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