Russel T. Davies, showrunner of the modern Doctor Who return in 2005 has just been announced to be returning once more to lead the show in 2023, replacing an exiting Chris Chibnall.
Well, this is quite the surprise. The BBC just posted an announcement on the Doctor Who website. “Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond,” the post reads. “Responsible for Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, he is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV’s biggest hits. His tenure on the show oversaw a surge in popularity enjoying huge acclaim and success. The Doctor won the nation’s hearts through his masterful relaunch, which led him to create two spin off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures during that time.”
Honestly, as someone who enjoyed a lot of Davies’ tenure, this has left me quite speechless. For a show as progressive as the long-running sci-fi series—and coming off series featuring Jodie Whittaker and Jo Martin as the Doctor—going back in time to a previous showrunner seems like a huge misstep. Whether you liked his work or not, I think most Whovians would agree this was an opportunity to breathe new life into the series, especially on its 60th anniversary.
Speaking for himself, Davies said: “I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we’re time-travelling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm – I’m still a viewer for now.” Exiting showrunner Chibnall adds: “It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home. Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him - Doctor Who, the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and let’s be honest everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be Very Excited Indeed about what lies ahead.” Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama also said: “As the 13th Doctor prepares to embark on new and extraordinary adventures, the winds of change are blowing… bringing with them news to delight Doctor Who fans across the globe. We are thrilled that Russell is returning to Doctor Who to build on the huge achievements of Chris and Jodie. Thank you to the two of them and the team in Cardiff for all they continue to do for the show and hello Russell, it’s wonderful to have you back.”
“Winds of change.” Hysterical. It can be said that Davies never really left Who behind, he even just had a new “old” story announced to be adapted into a Big Finish audio drama. But time will tell what he’ll make of the next installment of Doctor Who, and who he’ll bring along to work with him. We’ll bring you more as we know it.
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