Chris Chibnall promises “havoc” when Doctor Who brings back the Judoon
The series showrunner revealed some behind-the-scenes details about the rhino-like aliens’ return to the series
It was recently revealed that another old monster will be returning for Jodie Whittaker’s second Doctor Who series, with the Judoon – rhino-like alien thugs who operate as an outer-space police force – taking on the Thirteenth Doctor nearly 13 years after their first appearance in 2007.
And now, Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed some intriguing new details about the Judoon’s return, including an update to their classic design and some casting details.
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“The Judoon are back. I love typing those words,” Chibnall wrote in his semi-regular column for Doctor Who Magazine.
“From the moment I broke the news to people within the production (producer Nikki Wilson whooped with delight when I told her), through the tone meeting, readthrough, and now watching the glorious rushes coming in, we’ve all had Judoon-based grins on our faces.
“Knowing that we’d be filming in broad daylight with Judoon on the streets of Gloucester, we made a plan to release an official photo with the Doctor (oof, she looks cross, why would she be looking cross?) the night before,” he said.
“Though I must admit I hadn’t clocked it was being released at the exact start time of episode two of Russell T Davies’ amazing Years and Years on BBC One. Eek. Sorry, Russell!”
And Chibnall went on to reveal a few intriguing new details about the Judoon’s return, confirming that voice actor Nick Briggs (best known for voicing Daleks in the series) would reprise the vocal performance he invented for the creatures’ debut in 2007.
“I got to alert our voice maestro, Nicholas Briggs, before the public announcement, to ask to him to reprise his Judoon. Nick instantly replied in Judoonese (you never lose it). Judoon on the end of my phone! I love this job, have I mentioned?” Chibnall wrote.
“It’s ridiculously thrilling to hear him talking Judoonese down the phone to me, from his shed at the bottom of his garden.”
Chibnall also divulged that veteran Doctor Who monster performer Paul Kasey will film his first adventure with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor inside the Judoon costume, which has itself had a bit of a makeover since its noughties heyday.
“We have a slightly updated Judoon head from Kate Walshe and her team of geniuses at Millennium FX: same brilliant design, just updated with a little more animatronic tech,” he wrote.
“And inside that updated head, the no-need-to- be-updated Paul Kasey. As I’m sure you know, Paul has been an Ood, a Cyberman, a Slitheen, an Auton, a Hath, a Clockwork Man, a Robot Santa, a Zygon and many more, across the years. Doctor Who monster royalty is back in front of the cameras,” he continued.
“I’m at Roath Lock for a tone meeting on the next block of episodes and can’t resist nipping down onto set (what a set!) to say hello and tell him, ‘Welcome home.’ ‘It really does feel like home,’ he says.”
“Welcome back, Judoon. Shame you’re going to cause so much havoc for the Doctor,” Chibnall concluded.
For more details about the eagerly-awaited series 12, you can check out our dedicated update page here.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in 2020