The BBC have announced that Russell T Davies will succeed Chris Chibnall as Doctor Who showrunner.
Russell successfully relaunched Doctor Who for the Beeb in 2005; the programme originally aired between 1963 and 1989 and became famous for its low budget effects.
Davies totally transformed the show, ditching the cheap props and costumes – opting for the latest computer graphics to bring the aliens to life. His take appealed to fans of the original series while capturing the imaginations of a new audience, not just in the UK – he turned the series into a ‘global phenomenon’.
The show’s popularity under his guidance led to the creation of two spin-offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The reboot saw Christopher Eccleston in the role of the iconic Timelord and Billie Piper as his assistant. Eccleston was, after one series, replaced by David Tennant, who played The Doctor for the rest of Russell’s stint as showrunner.
Russell chose to depart the show in 2009 for fresh challenges.
“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.” – Russell T Davies
Russell has in the years since brought to screen a number of acclaimed dramas including Years And Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s A Sin, which won Best New Drama at the National TV Awards earlier this month.
He will make an ‘explosive return’ to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond. BBC Studios is partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.
“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.” – Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama
Outgoing exec Chris Chibnall added that the return of Russell is “monumentally exciting”.