Russell T Davies to return to Doctor Who as showrunner

The Queer as Folk and It’s a Sin creator first revived the science-fiction series for the BBC in 2005

Russell T Davies is to return as showrunner to the BBC’s flagship science fiction series Doctor Who.

Davies, 58, was behind the show’s revival in 2005, in which Christopher Eccleston took on the role of the ninth doctor. Under Davies’s tenure, the show became a primetime TV fixture, and led to two popular spin-offs, Torchwood for a post-watershed audience and the children’s series Sarah Jane Adventures.

Davies remained at the helm during David Tennant’s time as the 10th doctor, before stepping down in 2009, when he was succeeded by Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat. The Queer as Folk creator went on to make series including the 2019 BBC drama Years and Years, about a family living through a fascist dictatorship in Britain, and It’s a Sin, the acclaimed drama about the Aids crisis in the 1980s, which aired earlier this year on Channel 4 and won a National Television Award earlier this month for best drama.

Davies will return to the series when current showrunner Chris Chibnall steps down in 2022, before the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023. Current Doctor Jodie Whittaker will leave the programme after its next series and three special episodes, due for broadcast next year.

In a statement, Davies said he was “beyond excited to be back on my favourite show”, though added that he was “still a viewer for now … 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”.

Chibnall described Davies’s appointment as “monumentally exciting and fitting”, adding that Davies “built the baton that is about to be handed back to him”.

He said: “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, the head of BBC drama, said the corporation was “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.”

Bad Wolf, the production company founded by Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, who worked with Russell on the original relaunch, said in a statement: “We are delighted to be joining Russell T Davies on a looped ontological paradox. Where Russell goes, we are proud to follow – and that with BBC Studios, Bad Wolf will be producing the all-new series of Doctor Who. It is a privilege to be asked to support him in Doctor Who’s future.”

Contributor

Hannah J Davies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Jodie Whittaker to leave Doctor Who along with showrunner, says BBC
First woman to play role will depart next year, while Chris Chibnall’s exit also announced after three series

Martin Belam

29, Jul, 2021 @2:44 PM

Article image
Interview Russell T Davies
The Doctor Who screenwriter has been in LA working on a new-look Torchwood – with a revolutionary funding model. By Vicky Frost

Vicky Frost

26, Jun, 2011 @7:30 PM

Article image
Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies laments decline of children's TV
Writer claims the creators of classic shows have been marginalised and fears the genre is endangered

Maggie Brown

28, Jan, 2012 @9:20 PM

Article image
Russell T Davies: ‘It sounds like a sex version of Midsummer Night's Dream. And it's not’
No wonder the Doctor Who and Queer As Folk writer is cheerful – he’s rewritten Shakespeare, he’s got more money than he can spend, and he’s just got married. Just don’t get him on to the Daily Mail’s view of his primetime lesbian kiss...

Decca Aitkenhead

27, May, 2016 @3:00 PM

Article image
Guardian profile: David Tennant, our favourite Doctor … his time has come

Actor returns to face old foe in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special, possibly the TV event of 2013, then is off to crack US

John Plunkett

14, Nov, 2013 @7:29 PM

Article image
A Midsummer Night’s Dream review: Doctor Who-ish but rather good
There was much grumbling in advance of Russell T Davies’s TV adaptation, with predictions of political correctness gone mad, but it was a spirited, triumphant performance. Plus, Alan Partridge on the ‘schasm’ between rich and poor

Tim Dowling

31, May, 2016 @6:20 AM

Article image
We nearly appointed a black Doctor, says Doctor Who showrunner
Steven Moffat is keen to cast two non-white leads because ‘we need to do better on that. We just have to’

John Plunkett

02, Jun, 2016 @3:31 PM

Article image
Doctor Who's departing Russell T Davies reveals debt to Pop Idol

Ahead of David Tennant's last turn as timelord, producer says he aimed to translate talent show's success into drama

Stephen Brook and Peter Robins

23, Dec, 2009 @7:08 PM

Article image
Doctor Who writer predicts extermination of the soap opera | Media Monkey
Media Monkey: Russell T Davies believes the likes of EastEnders and Coronation Street have had their day

Monkey

04, Jul, 2014 @8:19 AM

Article image
Doctor Who: Olly Alexander tipped to be new lead
Pop singer and actor who stole show at Brit awards would be first out gay Time Lord – if rumours are true

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

27, Jun, 2021 @1:40 PM