Russell T Davies to return as Doctor Who showrunner

Russell T Davies. Image Credit: Fabio De Paola
Russell T Davies. Image Credit: Fabio De Paola

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 is partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.

Responsible for Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, Davies 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.”

Perhaps as significant a part of this news story is that Doctor Who will now be co-produced by the BBC and Bad Wolf, a company founded in 2015 by Jane Tranter, who as Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC was instrumental in reviving Doctor Who in 2005, and award-winning producer Julie Gardner.

Its aim is to create ambitious, imaginative and relevant drama for the global TV marketplace. Based in South Wales, the company has built up an international reputation as one of the foremost independent production companies in the UK, producing over 50 hours of high-end drama for broadcasters and networks including HBO, BBC, AMC and Sky.

In the last five years, Bad Wolf has brought many of the world’s most renowned producers, directors and actors to Wales to collaborate on groundbreaking TV productions. This has run in parallel with a firm commitment to the creative sector in Wales to build and strengthen the growing creative community through wide-ranging partnerships and training initiatives.

Since launching, shows including The Night Of (HBO), His Dark Materials (HBO/BBC), A Discovery Of Witches (Sky / AMC Networks), Industry (HBO / BBC) and I Hate Suzie (Sky / HBO Max) have all gone on to achieve global recognition and win multiple awards at the BAFTA, BAFTA Cymru, RTS, Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

A brief statement on social media from Bad Wolf stated: “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.”

“Always good in these moments to wonder what Rose Tyler would say,” added Jane Tranter, who as Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC was instrumental in reviving Doctor Who in 2005, and is Executive Producer of A Discovery of Witches and His Dark Materials. “Maybe.. ‘take the words… scatter them, in time and space. A message. To lead here’. Sometimes in life paths and plans are made without you realising it. So excited by this.”

Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who’s current show runner, and current rebel Time Lord Jodie Whittaker announced they will leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in Autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

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.”

The next Doctor will be announced in due course.

Categories: Doctor Who, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, Television

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