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‘Doctor Who’ episode rentals now available through Facebook

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Following last week’s big midseason premier of the BBC’s revamped Doctor Who, a seemingly random selection of back catalog episodes of the cult-classic hit show are now available for on-demand rental through Facebook.

The digitally remastered Doctor Who episodes from the first season of the show (not the current remake) are being made available by BBC Worldwide, the company’s commercial arm. As with other streaming video rentals we’ve seen on Facebook, users will be able to rent the episodes using Facebook credits.

Each episode costs 15 Facebook Credits, or $1.50. Users will have 48 hours to watch an episode once it’s rented. The service is currently only available to users in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to a press release.

“As we have grown internationally, we’ve seen through our Facebook channel that fans who are loving the new series are asking for a guide into our rich Doctor Who back catalogue,” said John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide. “Our approach to Facebook and other leading edge platforms is to be right there alongside them in fostering innovation. We see this service as a perfect way to give our fans what they want, as well as a great way for them to get their fix between now and the autumn when Series Six continues.”

BBC Worldwide is far from the first company to make its video content available through Facebook. Last month, Miramax joined Warner Bros, Universal and Paramount in offering selections from their movie library to Facebook users. With the addition of Doctor Who, it looks as though Facebook might soon evolve into a major competitor in the video streaming business, as well as social networking.

The list of available Doctor Who episodes currently available includes:

“An Unearthly Child” (season 1, episode 1)
“Tomb of the Cybermen” (season 5, episode 37)
“The Time Warrior” (season 11, episode 70)
“City of Death” (season 17, episode 105)
“Earthshock” (season 19, episode 121)
“Attack of The Cybermen” (season 22, episode 137)
“Greatest Show in the Galaxy” (season 25, episode 151)
“End of the World” (series 1 (2005), episode 158)
“Silence in the Library” (series 4 (2005), episode 195, part 1)