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Russell T Davies ‘beyond excited’ to rejoin Doctor Who as showrunner after 12 years

The screenwriter helped run the show from 2005-2009 and will be returning in time for its 60th anniversary.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Attitude/Markus Bidaux

Russell T Davies is returning to the TARDIS once more, as it’s been announced that he is to return as Doctor Who’s showrunner.

The BBC announced today (Friday 24 September) that the screenwriter and Doctor Who fan, who’s been away from the show for 12 years, is back to help the show prepare for its 60th anniversary in 2023.

We can’t wait.

“I’m beyond excited”

In a statement, Davies 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.”

Davies will take over from current showrunner, Chris Chibnall, who is leaving the show next year. Chibnall said it is “monumentally exciting” that Davies is returning to the show, referring to the legacy he left by adding: “Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him.”

Picking the show up in 2005, Davies helped turn it into the global phenomenon it has become. Since then, there have been several incarnations of the regenerating Time Lord from Christopher Eccleston to the current Doctor played by Jodie Whitaker.

The news has been warmly received by fans of Davies and Doctor Who, with TV critic Scott Bryan tweeting Davies “completely rejuvenated Doctor Who back in 2005. He’s now showrunner again just when it needs another boost.”

The show’s success paved the way for spin-offs such as Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Since leaving the show in 2009 Davies has gone on to write and produce award-winning programmes, most notably the Aids drama It’s a Sin, which won the Best Drama award at the 2021 National Television Awards. 

In April it was announced that Davies would be serving as an executive producer on a reboot of Queer As Folk, another of Davies’ popular successes. 

The BBC’s Director of Drama, Piers Wenger, has said: “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.”

Chibnall and Whittaker have both previously announced they will leave Doctor Who in Autumn 2022 in an epic blockbuster event as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

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