Every so often on Doctor Who, the lead actor leaves the show and the Doctor regenerates as someone new. The upcoming thirteenth season of the show will be the last for actor Jodie Whittaker, although we don’t yet know who will replace her.
Season 13 will also be the last for showrunner Chris Chibnall, who guided the series through the introduction of the first female Doctor. And now, the BBC itself has announced who will replace him: none other than Russell T Davies, the man who revived Doctor Who in 2005 after a decade off the air and brought it to new heights of popularity and acclaim.
Davis presided over the eras of the Ninth (Christopher Eccleston) and Tenth (David Tennant) Doctors before stepping aside to make way for the actor Matt Smith and showrunner Steven Moffat. A lot of fans see Davies’ time on the show as the high watermark of the show’s modern era, so to get him back is a big deal.
Russell T Davies is “beyond excited” to return to Doctor Who
“I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show,” Davies said in a statement. “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 also weighed in: “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.”
And we can’t forget BBC Director of Drama Piers Wenger. Here’s his two cents: “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.”
Olly Alexander’s chances of becoming the Doctor just went way up
Davies was an accomplished TV producer before he signed on to Doctor Who the first time around — he was behind the original British TV series Queen As Folk — and after; his latest project is It’s a Sin, about the AIDS crisis in the ’80s. Actually, Davies has gone on record as saying that he’d like to see It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander in the role of the Doctor. That was just rumor before, but if Davies is the guy in charge, it stands a much better chance of actually happening.
But before we even get to that, I have to absorb how wild it is that Russell is returning. It’s an unusual move to bring back someone who’d left this far into a show’s life…but then again, few shows run as long as Doctor Who.
The thirteenth season of Doctor Who premieres later this year and will run through 2022. Davies will take up the mantle again sometime in 2023.
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