With Doctor Who’s return in 2023, the long-running BBC sci-fi series is bringing back Russell T. Davies as showrunner—the man responsible for its 2000s revival. Sixteen years after he brought Doctor Who to this century, he’s returning for the show’s 60th anniversary.
“I’m beyond excited to be back on my favorite show,” Davies says. “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.”
During his time as showrunner the first time, Davies made the series an international smash hit with the Ninth and Tenth iterations of The Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant respectively. After leading the show from 2005-2009, Davies passed the reigns over to Steven Moffat and the Eleventh Doctor—Matt Smith—while continuing to write episodes from time to time. Davies crafted Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood which aired from 2006-2011. He’s also known for creating the original Queer As Folk series and A Very English Scandal. His most recent project is the HBO Max queer miniseries It’s A Sin.
Moffat’s Doctor Who stint ran until 2016, when Doctor Who was handed over to Chris Chibnall. Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker (who was the first woman Doctor) both announced their departure from the series earlier this year. Chibnall and Whittaker’s final season is set to air later this year, followed by a trio of feature-length specials in 2022. “It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home,” Chibnall says. “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.”
With a Davies return and a new Doctor on the way, it’s very possible the tenured British series could see its first openly queer iteration of the Time Lord.