Doctor Who

Doctor Who spin-off to start filming in spring featuring fan favourite villain

Doctor Who's first hotly anticipated spin-off, following its big money deal with Disney, is set to see a fan favourite monster return as filming for the project begins this spring

Doctor Who villain Sea Devils

The first of the new Doctor Who spin-offs will feature the Sea Devils and is due to start filming this spring.

The reptile monsters, first seen in 1971, are the hibernating original inhabitants of Earth who woke to find humans had taken over. Last year they reappeared in an episode with Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor. The five-part spin-off – The War Between The Land and the Sea – will be the first of several planned series centring on monsters from the 60-year-old BBC show.

The broadcaster did a big-money tie-up with Disney, allowing the so-called Whoniverse to experience an expansion similar to that en- joyed by Marvel comic creations. An insider said: “Doctor Who fans love the monsters and The War Between The Land and the Sea will hopefully give viewers something new and different to enjoy.

“The Sea Devils and their cousins, the Silurians, have both featured in 21st-century Doctor Who, so modern audiences are familiar with them too.”

The Beeb has sold the brand’s global non-UK streaming rights to Disney. As a result, budgets on the new series, starring Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor, are rumoured to have tripled. Showrunner Russell T Davies said launching spin-offs was part of what lured him back to the BBC.

He added: “There are things coming up that are brand-new ways of telling stories. The science fiction world is so creative and so money making right now I think your wildest dreams can come true.”

His ambitions sit well with the Disney vision of an expanded universe of overlapping characters and timeframes.

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