The BBC is taking legal action to force a US website which hosted leaked footage from the new series of Doctor Who to reveal where it came from.
The broadcaster has filed an application with the California Federal Court after a 53-second clip and two still images of new Doctor Jodie Whittaker turned up on the Tapatalk site.
It is seeking to identity of the person or persons responsible for the leak.
“We take theft and illegal distribution of our content extremely seriously,” a spokesman for BBC Studios said.
“We will strive to protect our program-makers, audiences and license fee payers from any breaches of security – ensuring Doctor Who fans enjoy the final and fully completed version of the episode when it premieres.”
The BBC had kept footage and plot details firmly under wraps until the leak last week, and immediately began the process of having the clip and images removed from social media sites and file-sharing platforms.
It’s said that the clip featured temporary music, and was also in an unfinished state, which may also assist in discovering at which point in the show-making process it was leaked, and where from.
Whittaker’s debut is notable as she’ll be the first female to play the Doctor in the long-running BBC sci-fi series, which has fans around the globe.
She takes over as the thirteenth Doctor following Peter Capaldi, who played the Time Lord for three series.
Whittaker makes her debut at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, where she’ll help hype the new series, which is set for broadcast in the autumn.