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September 24th, 2021 35 comments

Russell T Davies to Return as Doctor Who Showrunner

From The Offcial Site

Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond.

BBC Studios are partnering with Bad Wolf to produce Doctor Who

Multi award-winning Russell T Davies will take control of the TARDIS once more as the next Doctor Who showrunner, succeeding Chris Chibnall who departs next year.

Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond. BBC Studios are partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.

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.

Davies left the show in 2009. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he has most recently achieved huge success with Years and Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s a Sin which won Best New Drama at the National TV Awards this month. Russell T Davies says “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.”

Chris Chibnall says “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 says “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.”


  • Jim Allen Johnston

    September 29th, 2021 - 5:28pm

    oh — and to clarify, that Capaldi regenerates into Richard Ayoade. Since he’s awesome.

  • Jim Allen Johnston

    September 29th, 2021 - 5:06pm

    well, I personally would have preferred Stephen Moffat to return… or Mark Gattis as a second-best, since while I LIKED the Moffat years, I LOVED the Moffat ones.

    But that said… this is a tremendous relief that A) they are letting the show survive after the atrocities of the Chibnall era and B) that there’s hope for something big out of it instead of just a never-ending mediocre Woke-fest.

    Personally i hope it starts with Capaldi regenerating into someone else and pretending the current era never, ever happened… failing that, a retcon that explains , nahhhh, all that stuff the Master told you about 8 zillion past regenerations forced on this poor little girl from long long ago was just the Master messing with the Doctor’s brain, not actually TRUTH…

  • Darkbill

    September 25th, 2021 - 10:09pm

    So long as we’re revisiting the show’s past to give it a shot in the arm then why not get Phillip Hinchcliffe back and give him a decent budget this time around…

  • Trenzalore

    September 25th, 2021 - 1:12pm

    I can’t wait to start loving the show again and being excited for new episodes. I feel especially excited for all the young people who will discover the show. Whatever you think of RTD he really understands the show and knows what it needs, he knows how to write timeless characters that the audience can cling to. My only worry is that Russell won’t be able to get rid of perceptions that the show is tired and he might struggle to pull audiences in a way that was easy when the show was revived in 2005 because it was fresh. But as well as knowing how to write he also knows how to sell and market a tv show, that is clear from reading his ‘writers tale’ book. So I think we can also expect more merchandise, more promotion, and perhaps a bigger universe of spin of shows, i do remember him talking about wanting a marvel style approach. Either way he has been away from the show for a while as an onlooker, and knows what’s wrong with it, and has some great ideas for it that he has had a decade to think up. I’m so excited to see where he takes the show.

  • Bunter

    September 25th, 2021 - 12:49pm

    Oh well, might as well chip in on this. The quick version is I have mixed feelings. Here are some thoughts:

    – Some people seem to have a rose-tinted view of the past (pun intended). I’ve seen some suggestions that DT will come back too, but why would that be? And I do not want Rose back. I re-watched Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel at the weekend and some of it made me cringe; people complaining about JW’s gurning should take another look at DT’s mockney gawping (and I love DT!). A lot of that era seems to be in soft focus and comes across like a mix of CBBC and Hollyoaks. A billion daleks are here; wave a wand; now they’ve gone; now lots of crying and goodbyes.
    – I dislike the idea that some of the most toxic anti-CC/JW ‘fans’ think they’ve ‘won’. If you don’t think RTD is ‘woke’ then take another look. And good for him.
    – I’m not sure a wider audience will care as much about the showrunner as some people seem to think, it would be the new Doctor that peaks their interest.
    – I’m genuinely grateful to RTD for bringing back the show and making it a hit.
    – Olly Alexander seems far more likely to be the next Doctor now. I’m not a fan of the music and I’ve not yet watched his acting, but I’ve heard good things.
    – Any miniscule hope that CE might come back for the 60th (come on, no-one thought he’d even do Big Finish and conventions) is now gone, with the return of this production team. And as for other RTD era returnees… Mickey? Er… whoops. Captain Jack? Er… whoops.

    Like I said, mixed feelings.

  • Bicky

    September 25th, 2021 - 10:48am

    Excellent news.

  • Doctor Stu

    September 25th, 2021 - 10:36am

    Neil. It might not even be a reboot, it might just carry on, and if you’re not watching how are you to know what any of the plot threads are?

  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    September 25th, 2021 - 8:25am

    Russell T Davies is returning as showrunner….does that also mean David Tennant might return as the Doctor? 10th and 14th Doctor perhaps?

  • Neil

    September 25th, 2021 - 6:47am

    Well finally some good news on the Who front. Although still a while off before the reboot happens with Davies and I can watch again. Certainly needs some clever writing. I don’t have an issue with the scripts being subtly political I just want entertained at the same time.

  • NickD

    September 24th, 2021 - 11:47pm

    Best news all year.

  • Ross Baker

    September 24th, 2021 - 9:47pm

    Although I have mixed feelings about his era, it was clearly what the show needed to be at the time to get a broad audience interested. Bringing him back after such a mediocre run is a really great idea – hopefully it’ll grab the interest of casual and lapsed fans, and at the very least he’ll be able to make it a warm, fun programme again after such a drab couple of series. Even if I don’t end up liking it much, I’m happy the show has been given a potential reprieve like this. Even if it really feels like an admittance that both the BBC and Russell are very, very aware of how much the show needs saving right now!

  • Persona

    September 24th, 2021 - 9:25pm

    Couldn’t be more pleased, Doctor Who was never quite the same when RTD left and I hope he stays for as long as possible. I did genuinely like some of Moffat’s work and as for Chibnall…he will not be missed.

  • Doctor Stu

    September 24th, 2021 - 8:53pm

    RPG74. Trust me there will be a big audience of his first episode, which perfectly happens to be the 60th anniversary special. People left under Moffat because he wasn’t RTD, people left under Chibnall because he wasn’t RTD or at the very least, Moffat. So now RTD is back, people will flock back to the show just to see what the first episode is like.

    Chibnalls problem was his first series was abysmal despite him knowing full well the viewing figures would be astronomical given the fact it was the first ever appearance of a female doctor. Not filling that first episode with any good acting was a fatal mistake, then there was the ham fisted content in a consecutive period of years where movies have purely just been replacing male parts with females and trying to be as inclusive as possible, he made the show feel like another example of that very same thread. Which is why people turned off in their droves. If series 12 had been chibnalls first season with a female doctor. I think he’d have retained the audience figures pretty much to the end. But instead he gambled on the wrong horse and turned a lot of people off

    All RTD needs to do is draw a large crowd for his first episode, and keep them until the end of the series. Which I think he can do seeing as how adored he is. But then again I can see there might be room for worry at the same time.

  • Whorules

    September 24th, 2021 - 8:51pm

    Unexpected. It’s a ways off so be patient. I doubt we’ll get any info on his new era until new the end of 2022. I’m fine with him coming back and the partnership with bad wolf is a reflection on the times. Who is an expensive show and a partner can provide extra resources in these complex, expensive times. I just hope fans can restrain themselves. How long before the same people lauding his return are demanding he leave I wonder? We have 9 more Jodie episodes which I’m looking forward to, then we’ll just have to see. Good luck Russell.


    September 24th, 2021 - 8:21pm

    I couldn’t be more pleased by this announcement because if he cant restore this series to its previous zenith under his last tenure after the nadir of Chibnall/Whittaker NO ONE CAN!

  • the ergon

    September 24th, 2021 - 8:18pm

    Only russell T Davies can restore the show back to its former glory. Who else Could have taken the reins after Chris Chibnall had left, who had a clear insight to how the show actually works and to make it the success it once was. Without a reliable showrunner the series would have been sleepwalking into another cancellation. Time will tell of course but i feel more positive in hearing this and it buys us more time under his guidance.

  • Tim M

    September 24th, 2021 - 7:32pm

    Welcome back Russell T Davies! Normal service will resume soon. Easily the best showrunner since the show went back into production in 2004.

  • The Temporal Jelly Baby

    September 24th, 2021 - 6:09pm

    Wow! Talk about unexpected! When I first saw the tweet from the Doctor Who account, I just assumed it was one of those real-looking fake accounts. But nope, it’s real!

    Brilliant news. 2005 to 2009 was a massive success with, in my opinion, only 2 bad episodes in 4 and a half seasons. I have a lot of confidence in Russell’s ability to run the show, so I’m really looking forward to 2023.

    It’s a long wait though. In the meantime, we have 9 more episodes of Chris Chibnall’s era. After what I consider to be quite a mixed couple of seasons, I hope they exceed expectations.

  • Doctor Mysterio

    September 24th, 2021 - 5:30pm

    Was not expecting this news today. Suddenly feel a whole lot better about the world. His love for the show, and for it’s branding and legacy, and his positive relationships with DWM etc, should bode well for us fans. He’s a big supporter of Big Finish too, so I feel that the continuing merchandise brands we love are a lot safer today and we can carry on enjoying the past just as much as the future. Welcome back Russell!

  • Alan Collins

    September 24th, 2021 - 5:27pm

    Excellent news, I now feel very positive about the future of DOCTOR WHO.

  • RPG74

    September 24th, 2021 - 5:25pm

    On the face of it this seems like terrific news, but it could in fact be final nail in the coffin. Davies wil come up with fantastic material no doubt, but the wider audience may view this as a last desperate act (since he swore blind he’d never return), not to mention a damaging admission that the Chibnall era was ruinous. I’m broadly pleased, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not so sure the general audience will come back.

  • 1

    September 24th, 2021 - 5:12pm

    I can’t believe is coming back, I thought it was an April fool or just far fetched rumour. I’m glad his coming back though. Olly Alexander doctor anyone?

  • Max Kennedy

    September 24th, 2021 - 4:34pm

    When we needed Him Most…He returned.

    This is gonna be…Fantastic!

  • Doctor Stu

    September 24th, 2021 - 4:13pm

    Bad wolf productions is Julie Gardners production company I think? So it would make sense they’re back together again. I may be wrong. Side note, this is the most exciting news we’ve had in years and years (pun intended) there should be thousands of comments here XD. As long as he brings Murray Gold back with him this could be phenomenal

  • Josh

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:50pm

    Maybe thisll lead to more spin offs again.

    Bringing bad wolf productions in makes me feel like the BBC are outsourcing it to a company that will make sure it lasts and is popular.

  • J45ON96

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:45pm

    I absolutely love this news, he never got to do an anniversary special in his previous time on the show, which was a real shame.

    One way or another, however, people are still gonna complain. Let ’em. Moaners will moan. I’ll just keep enjoying the show I love, even when something doesn’t land, or a plot is a bit iffy. I’d rather them take chances with something than be boring!

  • Haza14

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:44pm

    What the?? I never saw this coming! Bad Wolf is the production company set up by Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter as well. They’ve made His Dark Materials and other amazing drama! I’m beyond excited by this news! The best possible! I just hope Russell can reinvent it again. He must have ideas to come back. I would have loved to see them get someone like Sally Wainwright to take it in a new direction again, but I just never thought Russell would be an option! He’s got a lot to live up to after his first run though! General public interest in pretty low now. I’m just so excited to see what he has planned though! Still think it might be a hoax! Lol

  • Judooning

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:41pm

    Welcome home.

  • Anonymous

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:36pm

    I remember when fans did nothing but moan about his era. DW fans will never be happy.

  • David Havers

    September 24th, 2021 - 3:34pm

    Fantastic news. Best showruunner. Here’s hoping that fans will stop moaning and come back to the show

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