The Doctor is heading to court after the BBC has asked the California Federal Court to reveal who leaked footage of the forthcoming season of Doctor Who to a U.S. social media site.
BBC Studios, the company’s production and commercial arm, has filed an application in the U.S. court, to compel California-based website Tapatalk to disclose who leaked a 53-second clip of the new season.
The leak is particularly significant as it is the first season starring the show’s first female Doctor, played by Broadchurch actor Jodie Whittaker. The short clip, as well as two still images, were shared on the site last week. However, the British public broadcaster is not accusing Tapatalk of any wrongdoing, noting that users who upload copyrighted materials violate the site’s terms and conditions.
BBC Studios said it takes “theft and illegal distribution of our content extremely seriously.” It’s understood that the link was disabled soon after the BBC discovered it and it has been removed from other social media sites.
“We will strive to protect our program-makers, audiences and licence fee payers from any breaches of security – ensuring Doctor Who fans enjoy the final and fully completed version of the episode when it premieres,” a BBC Studios spokesman said.
Last month, BBC America revealed that Whittaker will be making her debut at San Diego Comic Con and, past years and past Time Lords are any indication, the panel will take place in the huge Hall H to fit all the Whovians in to cheer for the first female Doctor.
It’s likely that the panel, which takes place at the July 19 -22 event, will come with a sneak peek or two at the 11th season of the revived Doctor Who. Whittaker will be joined on the panel by co-stars Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, showrunner Chris Chibnall and EP Matt Strevens.
The new 10-episode season is scheduled to premiere in the fall with an hour-long opener.