New Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall shared an odd note of thanks with the audience ahead of the series premiere for Doctor Who series 11.
“I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the journalists who did not spoil the finale of Bodyguard for me last night,” Chibnall told the crowd gathered to watch Jodie Whittaker’s first episode, before adding a plea for new Who companion Mandip Gill: “Can you not tell Mandip what happened because she doesn’t know yet, she hasn’t seen it.”
The trials and travails of PPO officer David Budd might seem like a strange thing for the new head writer to bring up, but really, Chibnall was using the example to explain exactly why Doctor Who has been so secretive this year.
He explained that, just like Bodyguard, the new series of Doctor Who would be completely unpredictable when fans sat down to watch it.
During the post-screening Q&A Chibnall went into some more depth about his spoiler policy for series 11, which he says took was inspired both by series like Bodyguard and his own ITV mystery Broadchurch.
“The feeling of not knowing makes it feel special,” he told the crowd.
“I felt that watching Bodyguard, I felt that when Broadchurch went out,” he continued. “It’s really important. What we’ve tried to do is show the range of what Doctor Who can do – visually, emotionally, geographically, in time and space, the whole range of everything.”
Because of that, Chibnall said he wouldn’t be drawn on what to expect in later weeks – even once people had actually seen the first episode.
“I’m not going to say anything about episode two,” he said firmly.
“[Later on,] a lot more action and adventure, alien planets, loads of monsters, historical periods.”
Hopefully, any alien conspiracies the Doctor encounters will be SLIGHTLY less complicated than the one PS Budd ended up unravelling…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October at 6.45pm