Returning Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies has promised that his comeback will deliver "lots of content" with "no gap years" between series – and now former colleague Mark Gatiss has suggested that this "regularity" will be key to the show's future success.


Speaking to to promote Count Magnus – his latest M R James adaptation for the BBC's A Ghost Story for Christmas strand – Gatiss insisted that, despite having formerly contributed scripts to Doctor Who and remaining friends with Davies, he's not sitting on a huge amount of insider info about the next instalment.

"I don't know a thing. The only thing was… Russell came to Nolly [Davies' ITVX drama, in which Gatiss plays TV entertainer Larry Grayson] on my last day in Manchester and it took about four-and-a-half seconds for us to talk about Doctor Who! And then he showed me the regeneration from Jodie into David and that was very exciting, so I held on to that as a little piece of the Key to Time for a bit…

"But no, I know nothing. I really know nothing. I haven’t a clue. And that's a lovely feeling, to just be watching as a viewer. I’ve no idea what the structure is, or what’s happened. Who is David? He is the Fourteenth Doctor, isn’t he? So what’s happened? Who has done that? The only clue is, he says, 'I don’t know who I am anymore.'"

With a chuckle, Gatiss added: "I suspect some kind of celestial intervention!" (So we can chalk him up as one more fan who suspects that Neil Patrick Harris is playing classic Doctor Who villain The Celestial Toymaker and that it is he who's responsible for the Fourteenth Doctor's old/new face.)

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Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who (BBC)
Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who. BBC

Looking ahead to the show's trilogy of 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate and the subsequent eight-part series starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson, Gatiss revealed what he's most excited for as a fan.

"This is a mundane thing to say, [but] regularity. Definitely. The thing that really works is for it to be on the telly! On the telly as much as possible."

He continued: "Just a couple of Instagram emojis caused worldwide headlines. Isn’t that marvellous? There's just such a kind of… it's got a spring in its step which just makes you very excited to watch it and Ncuti just seems so absolutely adorable and just brimming with that kind of effervescent love of the show."

Doctor Who will return with three 60th anniversary specials next year on BBC One in the UK and Disney Plus internationally, with Gatwa's first episode to air over 2023's festive period and a full series to follow in 2024.

A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus airs on BBC Two on Friday (23rd December) at 10pm.

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.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage and visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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