In taking over Doctor Who, showrunner Chris Chibnall had a pretty big job.
Not only did he have to take the wheel of one of the BBC’s longest-running programmes, but he also had to live up to his predecessors in the top job, including screenwriters Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.
Now, Chibnall is a series in, and both Davies and Moffat have expressed admiration for how he and new star Jodie Whittaker carried the show forward – even if they admitted they did originally have reservations about one of his changes.
- 7 Doctor Who spin-off ideas that might just work
- 11 changes Doctor Who fans want when the series returns in 2020
- Jodie Whittaker on auditioning for Matt Smith’s Doctor Who series: ‘Thank goodness I didn’t get it!’
“I think the move to Sunday has been brilliant,” Davies told RadioTimes.com at the Radio Times Covers Party. “I was worried about that, and I was a fool.”
“I was worried too,” agreed Moffat.
When Doctor Who returned to TV in 2005 under Davies’ stewardship, Doctor Who was a Saturday evening treat. Barring seasonal specials, the show retained that slot until Moffat’s departure in 2017.
However, the series was moved to Sunday evenings during Chibnall’s first run.
“[The change] has worked superbly,” Moffat said. “They were absolutely spot on.”
“It was brilliant,” said Davies. “It works doesn’t it?”
The former writers added that they believe the series’ move gave it an opportunity to refresh, while also allowing Chibnall to “re-tool” Doctor Who to his liking.
“I think he’s re-tooled it a bit for Sunday,” Moffat said. “A bigger cast, a different feel to it. Very smart.”
“Bigger horizons,” agreed Davies. “He’s not bad, is he? The boy.”
“If only he’d talk to us,” joked Moffat.
Doctor Who is currently set to return to TV screens in early 2020, but the BBC has not yet confirmed whether the show will move to – but if it does, the decision will definitely have at least two staunch supporters.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in 2020