Russell T. Davies wants Doctor Who to become as big as Stranger Things

Doctor Who is undergoing something of a reboot right now. Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor, and the show has a bigger budget thanks to Disney. Is it time for the franchise to reach new heights?
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) in Doctor Who.
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) in Doctor Who. /

Doctor Who has been a cornerstone of science fiction for over 60 years now, and it's still going strong. Showrunner Russell T. Davies, who's been involved in the Whoniverse for two decades, is back at the helm for the upcoming season, and he believes the new cash being pumped into the franchise right now is enough to rocket Doctor Who to the pinnacle of pop culture.

Doctor Who has never had the big budget of other famous genre properties like Marvel. The meagre BBC budgets can't match the resources of a company like Disney. However, since Disney itself has bought the rights to air new episodes of Doctor Who, the studio is pouring money into the franchise, more than it's ever had before, with the caveat that new episodes will air on Disney+ in the US a day before they premiere on BBC One in the UK.

Disney managed to woo Russell T. Davies back to take control of the Whoniverse after promising to allow him the financial freedom to create stories that wouldn't have previously been possible. “They said, ‘We want to make Doctor Who bigger. We want to take it to a streamer. We want to go worldwide. We want it to have a bigger budget. And we want it to be up there withStranger Things and Star Trek and the Marvel shows,’” Davies told Entertainment Weekly. “Finally, we can afford for different members of an alien race to have different faces!” he quipped.

Whether Doctor Who will lose its quirky British charm remains to be seen, but Davies is ardent that moving to streaming was the best move for all involved. “We think that it’s good enough, and we believe in the show to know that it can have that heft, weight, and swagger.” The future is in good hands.

Looking ahead to the new season — which is now known as 'season one' on Disney+ — Davies teases that Millie Gibson's companion Ruby Sunday will be key. "That story’s going to be the spine of the whole show,” he said. Of course, the Christmas special, "The Church on Ruby Road," teased her upcoming story. Turns out she was an orphan, dropped off at a church by a mysterious figure on one snowy night.

The new season of Doctor Who premieres on May 11 on Disney+, and the next day on BBC One in the UK!

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