Russell T Davies explains why he returned to Doctor Who
Russell T Davies will always hold a place of affection with every Doctor Who fan. Having successfully brought the series back to British TV in 2005, the show ascended to its peak of popularity under his leadership. Now, after 12 years away, he’s headed back to “save” the show. Yet while he might be well known for his critically acclaimed run on Doctor Who, Davies says that everything about the role he once held now seems new to him.
“There are things coming up that are brand new ways of telling stories that have never been done before, so it just feels new – I wouldn’t have gone back if it wasn’t feeling new,” Davies told the Radio Times, revealing that work is already well underway for the next series.
“I’m sitting here now, 10 pages away from a climax thinking, ‘God, I’ve never been in this territory before – this is strange and new, and hopefully I’ll learn something out of it.”
Davies will be stepping into the role of showrunner with many fans and commentators saying the show is in crisis, with ratings falling to their lowest point of the entire revival. Some of the ratings are so low that they’re comparable to the final years of the show’s original run, and while the TV landscape has changed dramatically since then fans are understandably excited to see if RTD can reignite Doctor Who’s popularity.
Russel T Davies never really “moved on” from Doctor Who
However, the return of Davies was a surprise to many, since he previously said he wouldn’t return to the show. The acclaimed writer has been on a critical high after the broadcast of AIDS drama It’s A Sin on the UK’s Channel 4, so it seemed like Davies had truly left Doctor Who behind.
“The truth of it is, everyone lies when they leave Doctor Who and says ‘Oh, I’ve moved on! – I’ve been thinking about it since I was three, so there’s no way you stop thinking about it,” said Davies. “The reason why I’ve worked on 34 programs in my life is that I don’t normally like continuing series. That’s why It’s A Sin came to an end, and I just moved on.”
I just like looking at a new set of challenges every time and another blank page, but Doctor Who is always a blank page.
Davies has long been credited for casting Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as the Ninth and Tenth Doctors respectively, and now has the arduous task of finding another lead, with Jodie Whittaker departing the show alongside current showrunner Chris Chibnall.
As is usual, whenever the Doctor Who lead role is available almost every notable British actor enters into speculation for the part. Although many names out there are wishful thinking or simply the press looking for clicks, names believed to actually be in the running include Lydia West, Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Fisayo Akinade, and a returning David Tennant.
But before we see another Doctor, we’ll be getting two more specials this year starring Jodie Whittaker: “Legend of the Sea Devils” this spring, and the regeneration special in the fall.
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