SHOWBIZ NEWS: Russell T Davies to return as Doctor Who showrunner
Russell T Davies will return to Doctor Who to serve as showrunner after departing the show in 2009, the BBC has announced.
The It’s A Sin writer, who was behind the 2005 revival of the Time Lord, will replace Chris Chibnall when he exits the show next year alongside current star Jodie Whittaker.
Davies will make his return to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023.
He said: “I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show.
“But we’re time-travelling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm – I’m still a viewer for now.”
Chibnall has served as executive producer and head writer since taking over from Steven Moffat in 2017 and was responsible for casting Whittaker as the Time Lord.
In July, it was announced that Whittaker and Chibnall would exit the sci-fi drama in the new year.
Whittaker will star in the next series of the programme later this year, before making her final appearances in a trio of specials next year.
The first special will air on New Year’s Day, the second will be later in the spring and the third, when the Doctor will regenerate, will air in autumn 2022 and will form part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.
Welsh screenwriter and television producer Davies’s credits also include A Very English Scandal, and Years And Years.
It’s A Sin, his most recent drama, on Channel 4, explores the HIV/Aids crisis in the 1980s.
It stars Olly Alexander and follows a group of young gay men who move to London in the 1980s at the beginning of the crisis.
Alexander is the favourite to replace Whittaker as The Doctor, meaning he and Davies could reunite on the show.
However, his manager recently released a statement dismissing the reports, which said: “Even though Olly is often contacted by Cybermen, I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation.”
Chibnall said: “It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home.
“Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him – Doctor Who, the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and, let’s be honest, everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be very excited indeed about what lies ahead.”
Piers Wenger, BBC director of drama, said: “As the 13th Doctor prepares to embark on new and extraordinary adventures, the winds of change are blowing… bringing with them news to delight Doctor Who fans across the globe.
“We are thrilled that Russell is returning to Doctor Who to build on the huge achievements of Chris and Jodie. Thank you to the two of them and the team in Cardiff for all they continue to do for the show and hello Russell, it’s wonderful to have you back.”
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