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Streaming Guide – November 2023

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Each month, The Steampunk Explorer offers a guide to steampunk-related films and series arriving on the top streaming services. We look for titles likely to appeal to steampunk fans in some way, not necessarily those that fall squarely within the genre. See “Our Ultimate Streaming Guide” for a more comprehensive look at steampunk-related titles on these services.

Doctor Who is back this month at a new streaming home, at least outside the U.K. and Ireland, as the first of three specials will premiere Nov. 26 on Disney+. Other notable arrivals in November include The Personal History of David Copperfield on Hulu and two films on Max: The Golden Compass and Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Fans of westerns will want to check out Lawmen: Bass Reeves on Paramount+.

Unless otherwise noted, these titles debuted Nov. 1. We can only confirm new arrivals in the U.S., but some titles may also be available on these streaming services in other countries.

Disney+

The big news on Disney+ this month is the arrival of Doctor Who, specifically the first of three 60th anniversary specials, entitled “The Star Beast.” It will star David Tennant as the 14th Doctor along with Catherine Tate as companion Donna Temple-Noble. They will face the Toymaker, “their most terrifying villain yet,” Disney says, as Neil Patrick Harris makes his Doctor Who debut.

Disney and the BBC announced last year that future Doctor Who episodes will stream exclusively on Disney+ outside the U.K. and Ireland, where they will continue to air on the BBC. At least for now, earlier seasons of the rebooted franchise stream on Max in the U.S.

Fans of the show were expecting that Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa would debut as the 14th Doctor. But in a surprise twist, the 13th incarnation, portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, regenerated last year as a new Doctor portrayed by Tennant, who earlier became a fan favorite as the 10th Doctor.

“The Star Beast” will premiere Nov. 26, followed by “Wild Blue Yonder” on Dec. 2 and “The Giggle” on Dec. 9. The Disney press release states that Gatwa will debut as the 15th Doctor “during the festive period,” so he will presumably appear in one of these specials.

Hulu

For steampunk fans, the most notable arrival on Hulu this month is The Personal History of David Copperfield, the 2019 Armando Iannucci comedy-drama film starring Dev Patel as the Dickens character. The all-star cast also includes Peter Capaldi as Mr. Micawber, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick, Tilda Swinton as Betsey Trotwood, Ben Whishaw as Uriah Heep, and Benedict Wong as Mr. Wickfield.

Films departing the service this month include George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road on Nov. 8 and the zombie comedy Shaun of The Dead on Nov. 30.

Max

There are two notable arrivals this month on the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service. Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) was the second adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as young Charlie Bucket.

Critics praised the film’s visuals, and some writers have noted similarities between the chocolate factory in the film and the steampunk-themed Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in Orlando.

Max is also streaming The Golden Compass, a 2007 film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s young adult steampunk fantasy novel. It was the first attempt to bring Pullman’s His Dark Materials series to screen, and some critics knocked the film for its rushed pace.

HBO and the BBC later adapted the novels into a TV series, which you can also stream on Max.

Along with these movies, fans of period dramas can continue streaming Season 2 of The Gilded Age, which debuted Oct. 29. Created by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame, the series dramatizes the conflict between old money and new in late 19th century New York City.

This month’s departures, all on Nov. 30, include Dark Shadows (2012), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), The Mummy (1959), V for Vendetta (2005), and Young Frankenstein (1974).

Netflix

Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, was an unexpected hit last year for Netflix, and now you can see Christina Ricci in the role as Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 film The Addams Family arrives on the streamer.

The cast also featured Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams, Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, and Christopher Lloyd (in perfect casting) as Uncle Fester. The film scored mixed reviews but was a box office smash.

Also arriving is the 2017 remake of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise as a U.S. Army sergeant who finds the ancient tomb of an Egyptian princess. The film bombed at the box office and was roundly panned by critics, earning a 15% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Arriving on Nov. 16 is Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture the 2019 film that continues the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early part of the 20th century.

Paramount+

Lawmen: Bass Reeves, arriving Nov. 5, is an original western series based on the exploits of a real-life lawman from the 19th century. David Oyelowo stars in the title role as one of the first black deputy U.S. marshals, and the first to work west of the Mississippi.

The cast also includes Dennis Quaid, Barry Pepper, Donald Sutherland, Dale Dickey, and Shea Whigham.

Also arriving is the 1953 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Produced by George Pal, it starred Gene Barry and Ann Robinson as, respectively, a scientist and librarian who witness the Martian invasion of Earth in 1950s California.

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