Oh my god YES, RTD is back as Doctor Who Show Runner

; Date: Fri Sep 24 2021

Tags: Doctor Who

Chris Chibnall has proved that even a Doctor Who uber-fan can screw up at producing Doctor Who episodes. The BBC has announced that Russell T Davies, the guy who started modern Doctor Who will be returning as Show Runner starting with the 60th anniversary episode, and "beyond". We are probably meant to take that he will be the Show Runner starting with the 60th Anniversary blow-out, and that the 60th Anniversary show will be something big.

Source: BBC

Recently it was announced Chris Chibnall was leaving the Doctor Who Show Runner position, and Jodie Whittaker was leaving The Doctor position, at the end of the upcoming season. It's still not known when that season will air, but it's known to be a shortened season, with COVID-19 getting the blame.

My take is that Chibnall was not a good show runner, and the stories under his watch have been uninspiring. The characters seemed like they were sleepwalking through things, with little motivation to be there, for example. I love the idea of a female playing The Doctor, but the implementation left a lot to be desired, despite Jodi Whittaker's best efforts to do it. That nonsense with The Timeless Child is I hope going to be left behind in a dustbin.

But... this is about Russell T. Davies... so, let's get to that.

Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond. BBC Studios are partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.

Presumably "Bad Wolf" is RTD's production company..?

And in case we didn't get the memo, this was repeated at least three times in the announcement:

Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond. BBC Studios are partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.

Okay, BBC, we get it. Now, with that teensy bit of data let's tease apart what it will mean.

The bottom line is we'll have a long gap between the 2021 seasons and the November 23, 2023 episode honoring the 60th Anniversary. To understand why, let's discuss the timeline.

Timeline for the Doctor Who handover from Chibnall/Whittaker to Russel T Davies

For the 2021 season, (en.wikipedia.org) Wikipedia says Season 13 is due to air in 2021 after having been announced in November 2019. That's two years to get a season of Doctor Who on the air, which is not a good record for the BBC. Fans will have completely forgotten what happened last season, for example. For a show to maintain popularity, doesn't it need to have regular seasons?

There are to be six episodes in 2021, which is two episodes less than what was previously announced. Given the time remaining in 2021, it's likely they'll air in November and December 2021, timed to lead into a January 1, 2022 holiday special.

For 2022, (en.wikipedia.org) the Wikipedia says there are to be three specials, one of which will air on January 1, 2022. Jodi Whittaker is scheduled to regenerate with the last of those specials. No dates are given for the other two.

Let's make an assumption - the last of the 2022 specials will be a holiday special, perhaps returning to a Christmas time slot? Or maybe it will be January 1, 2023?

The next date to target is November 23, 2023, the 60th Anniversary date. Surely this will be the first of the RTD episodes, and surely RTD is already working scripts and other planning.

But this means.. between the end of this year and November 23, 2023, there will be three "Specials" airing in 2022. Since the Chibnall/Whittaker time ends with the last of the 2022 specials, there's no opportunity for anyone else to put together a Doctor Who episode in-between, and therefore we have another long gap to live through.

Surely, there will be several anniversary specials in 2023 just as there was in 2013. That will mean something for us to chew on, probably.

At the end of that gap we're promised an explosive return of Russell T. Davies. Maybe the Next Doctor will be a black lesbian?

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.