Outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has almost finished with the BBC sci-fi series, with just this week’s Easter special and a centenary episode this autumn to go before he and star Jodie Whittaker hand in their TARDIS keys.


And Chibnall was in a reflective mood when he recently caught up with Radio Times, looking back on his time making the show as well as the sometimes-controversial changes he made to Doctor Who “lore” (including a new backstory for Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord).

“You’re not carrying a vase across a room – you’ve got to get in there and say what you want about the show, the character and the world,” Chibnall says in the new edition of the Radio Times in an exclusive extended interview.

“It’s one of the few drama series without a written bible, and every era contains a contradiction or left-turn from what has come before. Any future showrunner will ignore it or run with it.”

Of course, we know the next showrunner taking over is none other than former series boss Russell T Davies – and Chibnall says he already knows which way the wind is blowing.

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“Oh, I fully expect Russell to ignore it!” he laughs.

More generally, Chibnall heaps praise on Davies for returning to steer the Doctor Who ship once more, over a decade after he originally stepped back from showrunning duties.

“Everybody should have a big smile on their face,” he says. “Russell is one of the elite showrunners and Who is very lucky to have him, especially off the back of It’s a Sin, one of the greatest shows of all time.

Russell T Davies
Returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies

“For him to have incredible ideas and passion for it, to want to take it forward again – that’s fab. Nobody has a greater love for Doctor Who.”

His advice for his predecessor/successor? “The same as he gave me: enjoy it.

“I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s such a privilege. Few people have done it and you’re standing in the foot-steps of those people across 60 years now.”

Just don’t ask him whether he’ll do his own RTD comeback one day…

Read the full exclusive Chris Chibnall interview in the new edition of Radio Times, on sale now. Subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door, and for more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Radio Times Easter Cover
Radio Times Easter Cover Radio Times

Read more about Doctor Who:

Doctor Who: Legend of the Sea Devils comes to BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 17th April. All 13 series of Doctor Who are available to watch now on Prime Video – sign up for a Prime Video free trial.


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