Russell T Davies is “a man with a vision” for new Doctor Who, says BBC drama boss

Russell T Davies will return to replace outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall in 2023.

Russell T Davies on the set of Doctor Who

Head of BBC Drama Piers Wenger has described bringing Russell T Davies back as Doctor Who showrunner as “one of the least painful decisions” he’s ever had to make in his career.

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Speaking at a press event on Monday 11th October, Wenger said that Davies is a “man with a vision” for the next iteration of Doctor Who, following current Doctor Jodie Whittaker’s upcoming departure.

Asked about why he decided to bring Davies back for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary, Wenger said: “I almost think that I don’t need to answer that question. I think bringing back Russell for Doctor Who was one of the least painful decisions I’ve ever had to make.

“How will he evolve that show? I mean, he is a man with a vision, for sure. But, you know, we are way off filming. We’ve got a new series starting at the end of the month, and a whole year of Jodie [Whittaker] to go yet. And lots of adventures ahead for her. And so I think it’s just a bit early to say what his vision will be, but it was a very exciting opportunity for the BBC to bring him back.”

In an interview with BBC Writersroom (originally filmed in 2019) Davies addressed the aspect of screenwriting that he previously found most challenging for Doctor Who: convincingly writing a character who is smarter than the writer.

“I do think the hardest show to write on television is Doctor Who,” he said. “I’ve been there obviously and truly it’s hard to write because the Doctor is a billion times cleverer than the writer, he understands art and science and the cosmos and so on, he gets everything.”

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Doctor Who will return to BBC One later this year. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub.