Doctor Who's Chris Chibnall has revealed that he wanted to introduce spin-offs to the Whoniverse during his time as showrunner, but couldn’t for budgetary reasons.


Speaking to Radio Free Skaro about the upcoming season, Chibnall – who served as Doctor Who's showrunner from 2018 until last year – said that Disney’s involvement will allow the show to expand its titles.

The Doctor and Yaz looking to the sky.
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan in Doctor Who. James Pardon/BBC Studios

"That’s a thing in terms of keeping up with modern television, a thing of how does the show keep evolving and keep continuing it?" he said.

“That’s a really interesting discussion, and it will, because now the Disney thing is the perfect solution to opening up space, opening up budgets, opening up — being able to have places for spin-offs, which you know, we wanted to do, but there wasn’t the space or budgets for.”

The BBC announced back in October that Disney Plus would become the exclusive home for new seasons of Doctor Who outside of the UK and Ireland, with incoming showrunner Russell T Davies saying that the deal is “the best of both worlds”.

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As for Russell T Davies’s plans for the 2023 episodes, Chibnall said that they were kept tightly under wraps.

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“They were really secretive about the plan coming in after us," he added. "[They were] going, ‘There’s a plan, there’s a plan, there’s a plan.’ And then it’s like, ‘Oh okay, that’s fine.’ You know, you can’t be sure that they’re telling you the truth. But yeah, it’s just delightful and amazing.”

Davies will be returning to the show for its 60th anniversary this year alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate, who are reprising their roles as the Doctor and Donna Noble.

The Doctor Who anniversary specials were teased in a brand new trailer on Christmas Day, giving fans a sneak-peek at Neil Patrick Harris as an enigmatic antagonist as well as Heartstopper's Yasmin Finney in her new role.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

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