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Doctor Who’s Russell T Davies wants to makeway for trans storytellers

"Good people are doing the work," the It's A Sin creator has said on improving queer representation.

By Alastair James

Russell T Davies
Russell T Davies (Image: Attitude)

Doctor Who showrunner, Russell T Davies, has said he wants to make way for trans storytellers as part of improving diversity in media.

Davies, who’s been very forthright in the past with his opinions on gay actors playing gay characters, has once again turned to the topic of representation.

His work has always shone for its inclusivity and portrayal of the LGBTQ community, from Queer as Folk to Banana/Cucumber/Tofu, and more recently, It’s A Sin.

Trans actor Bethany Black starred in Banana/Cucumber back in 2015. Since then Davies has cast Heartstopper‘s Yasmin Finney as Rose in the eagerly anticipated 60th anniversary series of Doctor Who.

On improving levels of trans representation in TV and film, Davies recently told The Independent: “Without me, that’s happening.”

He added, “Good people are doing the work. It’s not just a trans thing. It’s about [showing] every form of sexuality and every race. And the point now is for gatekeepers like me to make way for trans storytellers, because that’s when you really improve things.”

Ahead of the return of Doctor Who later this year, with Sex Education‘s Ncuti Gatwa in the lead role, Davies, who has returned as showrunner, has remained tight-lipped about what fans can expect.

“We’ve still got 10 months [until my first episode] so I’m keeping my powder dry,” he has told The Independent.

He promised fans a show that’s “not a radically changed show,” adding, “It’s lasted for 60 years because it’s good. It needs a bigger budget and a bigger profile, and hopefully that’s what we’re bringing to it.”

Doctor Who returns later in 2023.