Netflix’s ‘Classic Doctor Who’ fail

So I’m looking on my iPad for something to watch on Netflix. Although the golden rule of Netflix still applies – it’ll never have the thing you were actually hoping to watch, but it will have something that you’ll be happy to watch instead – of late, they’ve been getting some good stuff in, so it wasn’t an entirely pointless mission. 

Noticing that it had the Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie available, I decided to see what other ‘classic Doctor Who‘ Netflix had. Its ‘new Who‘ range is quite extensive, with seemingly everything from Christopher Eccleston onwards in stock. Yet this is what I was presented with when I had a look at its range.

Be warned: if you’re a Doctor Who fan, you might have a brain aneurism.

Netflix's Classic Doctor Who

So let’s take this from the top. First, the creators of Doctor Who. CE Webber, okay (just about), but where’s Donald Wilson?

Next, Netflix has episodes from four seasons listed: seasons 21, 22, 25 and 26. Those would be Peter Davison’s final season, Colin Baker’s first season and Sylvester McCoy’s final two seasons. A quick check of the credits, though, establishes that in fact William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton will be starring in these episodes. Huh.

Netflix also doesn’t give the story titles for individual episodes, just the episode numbers. They also have only one story per season – all of them Dalek stories. With the exception of Remembrance of the Daleks from season 25, none of the episodes have the correct numbers for those seasons, since only Remembrance was the first story in its season.

Moving on, if you look above, you’ll notice that Revelation of the Daleks, which is what the story listed above is actually called, has been chopped up: it originally aired as two 45-minute episodes, but these were chopped in two for sales to some countries. Netflix is certainly not appealing to the purists here.

But lastly, I’ll just highlight the most obvious point: ‘season 26’ actually contains Genesis of the Daleks, a Tom Baker story from season 12.

Quadruple oops. Someone needs to have a word with Netflix’s librarian.

  • Mark Carroll

    In the US, where Netflix actually mail DVDs out, they were still often frustrating with “classic” Doctor Who for not having enough stock of stories whose DVDs were readily available through Amazon; those stories' reviews would mostly be other customers asking them to actually buy it so they could be queued as something better than “unavailable”.

  • Craig Grannell

    One might argue the bigger Doctor Who fail on Netflix was the service removing huge numbers of classic episodes earlier this year. It had most of the available episodes for the first two Doctors online. Now: a handful of Dalek stuff and that cruddy movie. Neflix's response to such things is that it's a “dynamic” service—a big warning to anyone who was considering it a replacement for shiny discs.

  • I gave up on DVD mailing services like Lovefilm, when I realised I'd had a copy of Capote for a year and a half, still hadn't watched it and hadn't watched anything else as a result.

  • Yes, they do seem to subtract things occasionally, which is odd, given their current under-powered library

  • Craig Grannell

    Craig Grannell liked your message with Boxer. On Tue, Jul 09, 2013 at 03:58 PM, Disqus wrote:  Settings   A new comment was posted on The Medium Is Not Enough Rob Buckley Yes, they do seem to subtract things occasionally, which is odd, given their current under-powered library 10:58 a.m., Tuesday July 9     Reply to Rob Buckley     Rob Buckley’s comment is in reply to Craig Grannell:   One might argue the bigger Doctor Who fail on Netflix was the service removing huge numbers of classic episodes earlier this year. It had most … Read more You're receiving this message because you're signed up to receive notifications about replies to craiggrannell. You can unsubscribe from emails about replies to craiggrannell by replying to this email with “unsubscribe” or reduce the rate with which these emails are sent by adjusting your notification settings.

  • Mark Carroll

    Ah, my wife had Moulin Rouge for many weeks, but I consistently get through them at a good rate; I mailed Beasts of the Southern Wild back just yesterday.