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BBC Asks California Federal Court for Dr. Who Leakers

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 03, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Who leaked footage of the upcoming season of Doctor Who, the famous science fiction television series?

That's what the producers want to know, and they have filed suit to find out. The leak is significant, the trades say, because it is the first season to star a female Doctor.

If you don't know who is Doctor Who, that's probably because it's a British production. In any case, it will soon be airing in an American court near you.

Doctor Her

Jodie Whittaker is the first woman to play the lead role in the series, which dates back to 1963. There have been more Doctors than James Bonds, and far more episodes. Doctor Who has the world record for a science fiction show with 840 episodes.

The Doctor is a time-traveler, which makes you wonder how BBC Studios didn't see the lastest leak coming. It's at least the fourth time it has happened.

Even so, BBC said it takes "theft and illegal distribution of our content extremely seriously." The company filed its complaint in a California federal court.

However, it does not accuse the alleged distributor of any wrongdoing. BBC Studios just wants Tapatalk, a user platform that hosted the video, to produce records that could identify the Leakers.

The Leak

The 53-second clip, which Tapatalk took down promptly upon discovery, featured a scene with Whittaker and still images. BBC had already announced the new Doctor by that time, but still.

Fans online speculated the clip was supposed to be shown at an upcoming Comic-Con in San Diego. Now the buzz will just have to keep going until the season begins or the lawsuit solves the mystery.

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