While there is no word yet on who will be replacing Jodie Whittaker as the new lead in Doctor Who, one mystery has been solved today as former showrunner Russell T Davies was announced as the new head writer on the show over a decade after he left the job. The BBC made the announcement of Davies' return to the series as the show undergoes an overhaul after its upcoming season, which will be the final run for both Whittaker as The Doctor and current showrunner Chris Chibnall. What this means is that Davies will be around to take charge of the show's 60th anniversary in 2023, which seems fitting as he was the one who brought the sci-fi drama back to screens in 2005.
Russell T Davies has been behind a number of hit shows since leaving Doctor Who in 2009, including It's a Sin, Years and Years and A Very English Scandal, but the screenwriter has clearly always had a place in his heart for the franchise that he resurrected with Christopher Eccleston sixteen years ago. As well as being in charge for the big upcoming birthday bash, it also means that the decision about who will be taking over the TARDIS next will also fall into his lap. This follows Christopher Eccleston also reprising his role as the Doctor for an audiobook series.
"I'm beyond excited to be back on my favourite show," said Davies, but he is not going to be in a rush to step into his new role before time. "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," he continued. "I'm still a viewer for now."
Jodie Whittaker will appear in the new six part series, which will air later this year, and three specials which will be spread out over 2022 before she hands her Sonic Screwdriver over to a new owner...whoever that may be. For now, Davies is not about to be drawn into the conversation about whether the next Time Lord will be male or female, black or white, but for anyone, like myself, who is a fan of the Eccleston and David Tennant years, having Davies back in charge feels like a homecoming.
Current writer Chris Chibnall, who had huge success with shows like the UK's Broadchurch before taking over as showrunner of Doctor Who, fell a little short with many fans in the storylines produced over the last couple of years. Where Davies brought spectacle to the show, and his successor Steven Moffat brought intricate and interconnected plotting that built to a season finale payoff, Chibnall seemed to approach the show as a slow burning drama rather than a fantastic science fiction one, with long monologues and in depth social commentaries taking center stage over the awesome worlds and scary monsters that have been the signature of the show across its six decade history.
For his final batch of episodes, Chris Chibnall teased many surprises to come. Commenting on the news of Davies' return, Chibnall echoed many fans' opinions that the return of Davies is "monumentally exciting and fitting" in the run up to the 60th anniversary. "Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him," he said. The BBC's Director of Drama, Piers Wenger, agreed with Chibnall's comments, saying that the news would be a "delight to Doctor Who fans across the globe."
It will be a good while before we see Russell T Davies fully take the reins on the show, and expect news of who will be taking over the lead sometime next year just ahead of the crossover episode that see the departure of Whittaker and the ushering in of the next regeneration of the Time Lord. This news comes to us from BBC News.