Doctor Who made history in 2018 with series 11, the first to feature new star Jodie Whitaker as the very first female Dr. She’ll be back for more in 2020, and as always, the show will air first in the UK, which means it can be tricky to keep up if you live in another country or find yourself abroad on holiday but don’t want to miss the latest episode.
Here’s our guide to watching every episode of Doctor Who, whether live or on catch-up, from absolutely anywhere in the world.
When is Doctor Who on?
Season 12 kicked off on New Year’s Day, and is continuing every Sunday evening at 7pm on BBC One in the UK, or 7/8c on BBC America in the US.
Keep an eye on our guide to the latest Doctor Who news to find out more about the new season.
How to watch Doctor Who in the US
BBC America airs the show every Sunday, just hours after the show hits UK TV.
If you’re happy to wait a while longer, from this year the new streaming service HBO Max will have exclusive streaming rights to modern Doctor Who. The service will include every episode since the 2005 relaunch, including any new ones – though they’ll still air first on BBC America, and we’re not sure how long you’ll have to wait for new episodes to hit the HBO site.
Still, if you don’t have BBC America in your cable package, or want to watch every episode the second it starts in the UK rather than waiting a few hours and risking spoilers, your best bet is to use a VPN instead.
Watch Doctor Who with a VPN
A VPN is arguably the easiest way to watch Dr Who abroad, and it works no matter what country you’re in, so long as you have a compatible device and an internet connection. It will let you watch the show live as it airs on BBC One, or on catch-up through BBC iPlayer if you miss the initial broadcast.
A VPN allows you to mask your computer’s IP address and simulate another one, essentially letting you browse the web as if you were based in another country. For this purpose, it means you can appear to be browsing from the UK even if you’re actually elsewhere in the world, meaning you’ll be able to access the iPlayer website and apps – both of which let you watch either live or on catch-up.
We’ve already rounded up our recommendations of the best VPNs for iPlayer, but our top pick is NordVPN, which you can currently get from just $2.75 per month. Yes, you have to pay for it. There are free VPNs out there too, but they’re usually slower, less reliable, and less secure, so we really recommend going for a paid one – even if you just opt to use the free trial.
Once you’ve got your VPN set up on your chosen device – most now have apps for smartphones and tablets, as well as versions for PCs and Macs – you simply have to open the iPlayer app or head to the website and browse to find the latest Doctor Who episode.
There is one final detail to be aware of: the BBC requires that iPlayer users sign in with a free BBC account, which requires a UK postcode. You’ll need an account if you want to watch or listen to iPlayer through the website or mobile apps, though for now the account remains optional for iPlayer’s Smart TV and game console apps.
You can register for an account for free, but you’ll need to give your date of birth, gender, and email address, along with a valid UK postcode, and the BBC says that it will use the information to better understand its audience and improve its recommendations to users.
If you’re a British resident with a paid-up Licence Fee, the new account won’t change your ability to watch iPlayer abroad – simply sign into your account, and continue to use a VPN as described above. However, if you don’t have a Licence because you live abroad or just haven’t paid for one, and are hoping to access iPlayer anyway, you’ll need to give a valid UK postcode and your details to get access.