Russell T Davies says Doctor Who should have Marvel-style shared universe of spin-offs

He feels that Doctor Who should be just as ambitious as Hollywood's major franchises.

Jodie Who

Russell T Davies has said that the BBC’s long-running sci-fi franchise Doctor Who should have a vast shared universe similar to that of Marvel and Star Wars.

Advertisement

The prolific screenwriter, who launches his LGBTQ+ drama It’s A Sin this weekend, became a household name for his work on Doctor Who during the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras of the show.

A decade on from his departure after handing the reins to Steven Moffatt, Davies’ opinions still holds a lot of sway among fans of the sci-fi series and his latest idea sounds very exciting indeed.

In light of the recent influx of streaming shows set in the Marvel, Star Wars and Star Trek universes, he believes that Doctor Who ought to be implementing the same strategy.

Journalist Paul Kirkley (who also writes for Doctor Who Magazine and RadioTimes.com) posted the comments on Twitter after interviewing Davies for the current issue of Waitrose Weekend.

“I was in the middle of running an empire,” Davies said of his time on Doctor Who. “And my god I did that 10 years too soon, didn’t I?”

The screenwriter is referencing the point at which his run on the show included spin-offs Torchwood and  The Sarah Jane Adventures, which ran alongside – and occasionally crossed over with – the main series.

Notably, this was before Marvel Studios enjoyed its meteoric surge in popularity, normalising the concept of shared universes in film and television.

Davies continued: “There should be a Doctor Who channel now. You look at those Disney announcements, of all those new Star Wars and Marvel shows, you think, we should be sitting here announcing The Nyssa Adventures or The Return of Donna Noble, and you should have the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors together in a 10-part series. Genuinely.”

The most recent Doctor Who spin-offs are 2016’s Class, which was cancelled after one season, and the recent YouTube series Daleks!, consisting of five episodes between 10-15 minutes long.

Needless to say, it’s not quite on the same level as the 10 blockbuster Star Wars shows currently in development or the numerous interconnected Marvel shows coming this year alone – but Davies has hope that Who can catch up.

He added: “You laugh, but did Star Trek fans ever think they’d be getting a Captain Pike series? Ever? That’s insane. The whole science fiction world is so creative and so money making right now, I think your wildest dreams can come true.”

For now, the BBC is working on its 13th series of Doctor Who (since the 2005 relaunch), which will see Jodie Whittaker return as the eponymous Time Lord.

At the start of the year, rumours emerged that she could be preparing to leave the role in a regeneration storyline, but there has been no official confirmation over whether that is the case.

Advertisement

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.