The reveal that Russell T Davies was making a return to Doctor Who shocked the fandom.


All throughout the possible discussions of who would take up the mantle yet, names like Happy Valley’s Sally Wainwright and Babylon 5’s J.Michael Straczynski were floated around, with the latter even mentioning his own desire to steer the flagship show.

From the perspective of the fans, one of the clearest choices to ascend to Doctor Who showrunner-ship was none other than Toby Whithouse.

Giving his reaction to the rumours, he told “I’d love to have done it. I really would - it’s such a perfect show.

"I’m so thrilled to have been a contributor on it. Whenever I would do an episode, I'd tell my kids and they would always ask 'can you make it scary?' because they genuinely loved that. It’s a very kind of safe introduction to being scared, that fearful adrenaline."

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Whithouse made his debut in David Tennant’s first season, penning the Sarah Jane Smith-centric 'School Reunion' episode, before going on to write 'The Vampires of Venice', 'The God Complex', and 'A Town Called Mercy' for Matt Smith, as well as the 'Under the Lake/Before the Flood' two-parter and 'The Lie of the Land' for Peter Capaldi.

Matt Smith and Helen McCrory in 'The Vampires of Venice'
Matt Smith and Helen McCrory in 'The Vampires of Venice' BBC

He even had the chance to act in Capaldi’s final episode, 'Twice Upon a Time', facing off against Mark Gatiss as a German soldier suddenly frozen in time.

"It’s very lovely that there was a portion of the fandom that were having those conversations about the idea of me as showrunner. I can absolutely say those conversations were never happening at the BBC!" he said, speaking at the recent Being Human reunion at the BFI Southbank.

"I don’t really think I was ever in contention, but I’d really love to have done it. It always made me laugh when somewhere like the Daily Mail wrote 'Doctor Who is too scary, it’s frightening.' Children loved it being scary - that’s why they watched it!"

With RTD’s return to the fold, alongside Whithouse’s extensive experience writing for multiple Doctors across the decades, it’s always possible we could see the writer asked to return to the show once more in order to frighten children all over again.

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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