Chris Chibnall says it took “longer than expected” for him to leave Doctor Who

The baton has been passed back to Russell T Davies.

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It will be all change for Doctor Who in the coming months as Russell T Davies has been named showrunner for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary in 2023 and beyond, replacing current boss Chris Chibnall.

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Chibnall will exit alongside the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, and while we wait to find out who will be cast as the next Time Lord, Chibnall has been chatting to press, including RadioTimes.com, ahead of series 13. As you’d expect, the subject of his departure came up and it turns out that he stuck around for longer than he thought he would.

“It’s taken longer than expected if we’re being honest. I’ve been throwing batons at people for about a year now. And finally, someone’s picked it up,” Chibnall said on the search for his replacement.

“We had that conversation right at the start, and I hope you can see that the atmosphere is so team-oriented and so positive, it is a proper family atmosphere. This cast and this crew are so close – you wouldn’t want to do it with other people, because it’s just been its own little, discrete show. And then the next version will be its own discrete show, just as Peter [Capaldi]’s era was, and Matt [Smith]’s era was, and David [Tennant]’s was.”

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While the Cloister Bell may be sounding on his time in charge, Chibnall insists he has nothing but fond memories of his time on Doctor Who.

“You couldn’t enjoy it any more than we’ve enjoyed it. It’s been such a laugh and such a privilege,” he said. “And I think we’ve been deliberately very mindful of being in the moment. Obviously, I’ve known Russell and Steven [Moffat] for a long time and part of their advice was just: ‘Enjoy it while you’re doing it, because afterwards you really miss it.’

“We’ve definitely approached it like that. I don’t feel any sadness about the end approaching. It’s just: ‘We came in, and we did what we set out to do.’ And I feel like there’s been an incredible atmosphere while we’ve been doing it. So it feels really good. And frankly, I’ll get to see my family again, which would be really nice.”

Series 13, titled Doctor Who: Flux is due to start its six-episode run on Halloween with further specials lined up for the current team, taking the show up to the regeneration and the return of RTD in 2023.

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Doctor Who will return to BBC One on Saturday 31st October. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Sci-fi hub.