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.”


Hannah J Davies

The GuardianTramp

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