James Strong, director on ITV's new thriller The Suspect, has confirmed he's discussed a possible return to Doctor Who.


Strong – also known for his work on Vigil and Broadchurch – directed seven episodes of the BBC sci-fi series between 2006 and 2009, including the acclaimed two-parter The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit and festive episode Voyage of the Damned featuring Kylie Minogue.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com to promote ITV's The Suspect, Strong revealed there had been "conversations" about his stepping back aboard the TARDIS to take the helm for new adventures.

"I had such an amazing time on it... I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been some conversations," Strong said.

It was announced in September 2021 that Russell T Davies would return to Doctor Who as showrunner, having previously served as head writer and executive producer from 2005 to 2010, with former executive producer Julie Gardner also confirmed to be back.

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In January, it was announced that they'd be joined by Phil Collinson, who had previously acted as producer during the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras.

Strong continued: "I love Russell [T Davies] and Julie [Gardner] and Phil [Collinson] who are doing it so much – so yes, I would be very keen to discuss a way that we could do that. That would be great."

Another Doctor Who directing veteran, Rachel Talalay, will serve as director for the show's 60th anniversary celebrations, meaning Strong would be helming an episode or episodes starring Ncuti Gatwa.

The Sex Education star is expected to begin filming as the new Doctor in November.

Shaun Parkes as Detective Inspector Ruiz in ITV's The Suspect
Shaun Parkes as Detective Inspector Ruiz in ITV's The Suspect. ITV

Strong actually reunites with one of his former Doctor Who colleagues on The Suspect – actor Shaun Parkes, who played Zachary Cross Flane in The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit and stars as Detective Inspector Ruiz in the new ITV drama.

"That's where I met Shaun and we've been mates ever since," Strong explained. "[Those episodes] still stand up."

Based on the novel of the same name, The Suspect casts Aidan Turner as Joe O’Loughlin, a psychologist whose squeaky-clean image comes under scrutiny when he becomes entangled in an investigation into a young woman's death.

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The Suspect begins on Monday 29th August at 9pm on ITV, with episodes also available after broadcast on ITV Hub.

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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