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Doctor Who's Second Russell T. Davies Era Begins With Its 60th Anniversary

The showrunner who rescued the series from the past returns just in time to celebrate it.

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Russell T. Davies, in a black jacket and floral tie, stands before a placard reading attitude Magazine Foundation.
Russell T. Davies at the 2021 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards in London on October 6, 2021.
Photo: Kate Green (Getty Images)

We know the man who brought Doctor Who into the 21st century is returning to the series he helped revitalize after showrunner Chris Chibnall and current Doctor Jodie Whittaker depart the TARDIS after three specials scattered throughout 2022. But now we know when the second era of Russell T. DaviesDoctor Who will begin: November 2023, just in time for the series’ 60th anniversary.

The very first episode of the beloved sci-fi staple aired on the BBC on November 23, 1963, with William Hartnell playing the very first incarnation of the Doctor (well, as far as we knew back then). Davies has confirmed to The Guardian that the first episode of his second tenure as the showrunner of Doctor Who will premiere at some point in November of 2023, starring whoever the hell gets cast to play the 14th version of the Time Lord. When The Guardian asked if English musician and actor Oly Alexander had been cast in the role, as has been rumored, Davies responded, “Behave! Stop it! We have genuinely not cast anyone yet. We’re just starting auditions.”


It’ll be interesting to see what Davies does with the opportunity—whether he’ll forgo the Stephen Moffat era’s navel-gazing at the character or the Chibnall era’s attempt to fill in the Doctor’s past. A 60th anniversary is a perfect time to look back at the legacy of Doctor Who as a series, but so was the 50th anniversary, and all Moffat could muster—under bonkers circumstancesfor that was the fun but ultimately anticlimactic “The Day of the Doctor” starring David Tennant and Matt Smith as the 10th and 11th Doctors, respectively. Perhaps it would be better for Davies to step immediately into the series’ future and save the lookbacks for later, even if it would stoke the ire of fans who want an anniversary to be celebrated as Who has in the past, with its traditional Doctor team ups. With nearly two full years until the 14th Doctor begins his tenure, however, Davies has plenty of time to decide.

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