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Russell T Davies RETURNS as the leading producer on Doctor Who


Russell T Davies is returning as the Doctor Who showrunner amid falling ratings – 12 years after he stepped away from the series.

The 58-year-old screenwriter was responsible for bringing the sci-fi series back to screens in 2005 and he will return to helm the programme following the departure of current showrunner Chris Chibnall and Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker.

Russell will be responsible for overseeing Doctor Who when it celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2023 and beyond.

Exciting! Russell T Davies is returning as the Doctor Who showrunner – 12 years after he stepped away from the series

Speaking about his sensational return, Russell said: ‘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.’

Commenting on Russell’s appointment, Chibnall said: ‘It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home. 

‘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.’

Iconic: The 58-year-old screenwriter was responsible for bringing the sci-fi series back to screens in 2005 and he will return to helm the programme following the departure of current showrunner Chris Chibnall and Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker (pictured)

Upcoming: Russell will succeed Chris Chibnall (pictured) who departs next year

Upcoming: Russell will succeed Chris Chibnall (pictured) who departs next year

After bringing Doctor Who back to the BBC – 16 years after it was cancelled in 1989 – with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, Russell is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV’s biggest hits.

He replaced Eccleston with Tenth Doctor David Tennant and also created two successful spin off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures – which saw Elisabeth Sladen reprise her role as the beloved titular companion who travelled with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and Fourth Doctor Tom Baker in the 1970s.

After departing the TARDIS in 2009, Russell has created some of the most acclaimed dramas on TV, including Years and Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s a Sin.

Goodbye: Chris and Jodie (pictured) announced they will leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in Autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations

Goodbye: Chris and Jodie (pictured) announced they will leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in Autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations

Star: After departing the TARDIS in 2009, Russell has created some of the most acclaimed dramas on TV, including Years and Years, A Very English Scandal and It's a Sin (pictured with Olly Alexander at the NTAs after their win for the show)

Star: After departing the TARDIS in 2009, Russell has created some of the most acclaimed dramas on TV, including Years and Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s a Sin (pictured with Olly Alexander at the NTAs after their win for the show)

The later – which starred Olly Alexander – focused on the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and recently won Best New Drama at the National TV Awards.

It was reported in January that there has been a fall in Doctor Who viewership, which has been declining for five years. 

It was reported that Jodie and showrunner Chris had attracted just half the audience during their paring compared to what the Russell-led, David Tennant-fronted version of the show did. 

The Telegraph reported at the beginning of the year that episodes were drawing in fewer than 5million viewers. The paper added that such numbers are ‘not dissimilar to when the show was axed in 1989’. 

In comparison, more than 10million viewers watched David Tennant’s Doctor Who finale in 2010, according to The Guardian.   

However, episode Can You Hear Me? saw just 3.81 million viewers tuning in on the over-night ratings, which – according to website Cosmic Book News – was a 22% decrease since the first episode of Season 12, which aired ten months earlier. 

And in figures released in March 2020, the same month the series ended, Doctor Who’s ratings slipped to its lowest since the show made a comeback in 2005. 

The season finale of series 12 had a total TV audience of 4.6million, making it the lowest Doctor Who has ever had. The previous all-time low was 4.7million in 2017.

Series 12 saw an average viewership of 5.4million.  

Speaking about Russell’s return, Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama, said: ‘As the Thirteenth 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.’ 

Impressive: After bringing Doctor Who back to the BBC - 16 years after it was cancelled in 1989 - with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, Russell is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV's biggest hits

Impressive: After bringing Doctor Who back to the BBC – 16 years after it was cancelled in 1989 – with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, Russell is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV’s biggest hits

Who is odds-on to replace Jodie as Doctor Who? 

According to Ladbrokes.co.uk, these are the favourites to succeed Jodie into the Tardis… 

 OLLY ALEXANDER – 3/1

 

 The It’s A Sin actor and Years And Years hitmaker, 30, has already said he’d love to take over the Tardis.

KRIS MARSHALL – 6/1

Kris, 47, was widely rumoured to be the 13th Doctor back in 2017 – could 2021 be the year he finally steps into the Tardis?   

JODIE COMER – 10/1

 The Killing Eve star, 27, who has picked up an Emmy and a BAFTA thus far, is also one of the top names.

 

REECE SHEARSMITH – 12/1  

 The League of Gentleman actor, 51, is currently an outside bet for the role.

MICHAELA COEL – 5/1       

Michaela, 33, won acclaim for her BAFTA-winning role in Chewing Gum and BBC/HBO drama, I May Destroy You – making her the hot favourite.  

RICHARD AYOADE  – 6/1 

The IT Crowd star, 43, is not far behind Michaela as he looks to add to his impressive CV.      

 

PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE – 8/1

The much-decorated Fleabag and Killing Eve is among the favourites for the role.   

JOHN BOYEGA – 10/1

The Star Wars actor, 28, has previously starred alongside current Time Lord Jodie in Attack the Block and branded her performance ‘brilliant.’   

 



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