Does BBC Studios’ Statement Mean Better Publicity for Doctor Who Series 11?

In preparation for the 2018 Global Licensing Show, BBC Studios, which has taken over the role of BBC Worldwide, has released a statement that teases upcoming merchandise to tie into Doctor Who Series 11. A bit.

The truth is, it doesn’t tell us a great deal. It’s your standard marketing hype, but the lead quote from Sergei Kuharsky – EVP, Franchise and Digital Enterprises, BBC Studios (Americas) – at least gives us hope that the publicity machine is gearing up:

“With the BBC’s ongoing commitment to educate, inform, and entertain, our brands continue to stand out as trusted and cherished IPs that can withstand the tests of time. This year marks a new phase for one of our biggest global brands, Doctor Who, as Jodie Whittaker takes on the iconic title role as the first female Doctor, paving the way for new products with current and new partners; the brand is poised to reignite, and grow.”

Doctor Who, front and centre in the marketing department? It’s almost as if it’s 2008 all over again!

The report goes on to detail a few new licensees and a number of long-standing ones too, but overall, doesn’t shine much light on… well, anything at all really. Nonetheless, we’re hopeful that Doctor Who‘s prominence here means the coming series will actually be promoted, so licensees stay happy. If we were cynical, we’d argue that this is exactly what Doctor Who needed before now – not necessarily a “new direction” involving major changes behind and in front of the cameras; just better publicity.

Here’s that statement:

“Doctor Who will undoubtedly be a main attraction as excitement builds for the new season, which will include Jodie Whittaker as the first-ever female [D]octor in the series.

Titan has already renewed their licensing agreement for the U.S., Canada and UK for figurines, apparel and gifts/novelties. In addition, in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, Funko has renewed their licensing deal for “Pop Vinyl” figurines, “Rock Candy” figurines and novelties. Meanwhile, Lady Sandra, who has brought to market incredible home goods for the brand, including comforters, pillows and more, has renewed for U.S. and Canada. Also, home decor licensee Rabbit Tanakahas renewed in the U.S. and Canada for various home goods, including lighting, mirrors, clocks and wall décor. Further new deals for Doctor Who will be announced in the coming months.

With over 55 years of history as the world’s longest running sci-fi television show, Doctor Who is a hit global franchise, watched in over 239 countries with hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide and nearly 70 long-standing global licensees including Character Options, Penguin Random House, Winning Moves, Eaglemoss, Kokomo and Brand Alliance. Recent launches for the brand that have proved an immediate success include Penguin Random House’s collection of Dr. Men books and with RP2 Global’s UK launch of Dr. Men figurines.”

As UK fans might’ve noticed, the brands listed here are aimed at foreign territories; that’s purely because the 2018 Global Licensing Show will be in Las Vegas towards the end of May. Others might’ve justifiably been troubled by the lack of Oxford commas or understanding of singular collectives.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more about upcoming Doctor Who products next month. But don’t get your hopes up – Chris Chibnall and co. seem to be limiting the amount of information leaking out, so we may not find out much at all until Series 11 airs. Still, we live in hope…

This year’s Global Licensing Show takes place from 22nd to 24th May, while Series 11 is expected on BBC1 and BBC America in October 2018.