Pluto TV

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Doctor Who on Pluto TV Channel 77

PLUTO TV is a US-based 24/7 online service; founded in 2013, it is currently owned by Viacom.

The free - but ad-supported - service is currently only available in the United States.

A Latin American service (from April 2020) and a number of different European channels - with feeds available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, plus France and Spain - were launched in the early 2020s, although Doctor Who was only on the German-language channels (see below).


Doctor Who on Pluto TV

In April 2019 it was announced that Pluto TV had acquired the rights to Doctor Who, with the service showing a selection of over 200 episodes from the "Classic" series (the first seven Doctors only) - all for free on special "pop-up" channels (initially on channels 77 and 360, but mainly on 370). (The episodes air with 'closed-captioning' / subtitles.) By late 2020 the series had moved to Channel 532.

In the initial press announcements, these were some of the stories that would be made available:


On 12 June 2019, Doctor Who Channel 77 became available for the first time.

When it was launched, serials were added to Pluto's daily schedules on a random basis, with stories playing in no particular order - for example, one showing of The Curse of Fenric was immediately followed by The Ark in Space.

However, by 2020, the stories were available in story order.

The ones we know of so far are (as at December 2020):

Tom Baker Marathon 4 July 2019
The Sun Makers was available in August 2019; the Doctor on Pluto on Pluto!

NOTE: The Pluto schedule changed on a daily basis; the stories listed above were not all available simultaneously.

The promised run of "over 200 episodes" was accounted for by the middle of 2020. Note: The Season 22 stories are usually shown in the original 45 minute edits, with commercials to fill out the hour, although Revelation of the Daleks was (instead/also?) shown as a 4-parter.)

In November 2020, a number of new stories were added to the selection, including several more William Hartnell and Sylvester McCoy serials. And in early 2021 additional stories from all seven Doctors were made available, but at same time all bar a handful of Tom Baker stories from Seasons 14 to 18 had been dropped.

Some of these broadcasts apparently display the BritBox logo on them, which indicates that Pluto and BritBox have some sort of share arrangement.


SPECIAL EVENTS

On 4 July 2019, Pluto's Channel 370 screened a special Classic Doctor Who Marathon featuring just fourth Doctor stories ("Celebrate the 4th .. with the Fourth Doctor! All day...").

To celebrate the series' 56th anniversary, from midnight 23 November 2019, Pluto had a Doctor Who Day Marathon, showing "all the Doctor's greatest adventures".

On Halloween Night 31 October 2020, the station ran a series of the "spookiest Classic episodes".

In November 2020, the station started screening the UK/Australian spin-off series, K9.

On 23 November 2020, Pluto held an anniversary day run of special episodes, which included The War Games.

In mid-2021, the animated reconstruction of The Power of the Daleks was available.


Pluto TV Europe

The European branch was launched in early 2021. Only episodes dubbed into German were available, ones that had previously been shown on TV (in the 1980s/90s) or released on DVD; indeed Pluto are using what appears to be old DVD masters, and not the upscaled HD editions created for the recent collection sets or Blu-rays, or recently broadcast on German TV channel One.

Sample menu of stories available on Pluto TV Europe
Doctor Who Classic on Pluto TV Germany Ch 20

On 23 September 2021, Pluto Europe deleted all the Season 18 Bakers and Season 19 Davison stories (marked # above), and added the following Colin Baker (Season 22 in 45 minute edits) and McCoy stories:

From 15 October 2021, Doctor Who Classic was available on its own dedicated channel - Ch 20 - on the German site.


External links