Doctor Who boss says he can’t read reviews or online feedback: “It’s not a democracy”

Head Writer Chris Chibnall says all he can do is “hope that it connects”

Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall (BBC)

It’s fair to say that Doctor Who comes under some pretty intense scrutiny, with every episode of the sci-fi drama pored over by fans, journalists and critics all over the world in various reviews and reactions.

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But there’s one person decidedly ignoring all the chatter– series boss Chris Chibnall, who has explained in detail why his time in charge of the BBC classic has meant keeping away from reactions lest he find himself overly influenced by what people are saying.

“I’m not on social media, I don’t read press coverage and I don’t read reviews,” Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine.

“The one thing you can say about every series of Doctor Who that’s ever been made is that some people liked it, some people didn’t. That will be true forever.

“What you have to do is make the show you believe in, hope that it connects, then go home. If we allow other things in then we’re not making our vision.

“In terms of external opinions, it’s not a democracy,” he added. “We make the show we want to make.”

Writer Chris Chibnall, actors Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 (Getty)
Writer Chris Chibnall, actors Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 (Getty)

In other words, if Chibnall and his team listened to every single critic, complaining tweet or longheld fan wish, they’d end up making some nightmarish Frankenstein of a show that would please nobody. And at this stage, Chibnall says he knows when to let go of worrying about all that.

“I love this job, I really enjoy it, and I know what I want to do with it,” he said.

“One thing I’ve learned about showrunning down the years is that you can only control what you can control. There are lots of things you can’t control, so try not to worry about them.”

Sadly, this means Chris Chibnall definitely never read this piece or any others like it, but hey – we can live with that.

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Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Sundays