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Multi award-winning Russell T Davies will take control of the TARDIS once more as the next Doctor Who showrunner, succeeding Chris Chibnall, who departs next year.

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 T Davies 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. He’s taking over from his friend Chris Chibnall, who has been showrunner since 2016, when he took the role in turn from Steven Moffat.

Responsible for Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, Davies is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV’s biggest hits. Doctor Who is now the longest running science fiction show ever, and is one of the top 15 longest running shows of all time.

His tenure on the show oversaw a surge in popularity, enjoying huge acclaim and success. The Doctor won the nation’s hearts through his masterful relaunch, which led him to create two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, during that time.

Davies left the show in 2009. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he has most recently achieved huge success with Years And Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s A Sin, which won Best New Drama at the National TV Awards this month.

doctor-who-season-13
Jodie Whittaker as The 13th Doctor

Russell T Davies says: “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.”

Chris Chibnall says: “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.”

Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama, says: “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.”

Andrew Smith and Russell T Davies were together for 20 years before Andrew died of a brain tumour in 2018. Davies has said that caring for his husband was the greatest work he would ever do.

Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker 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.

The next Doctor will be announced in due course.

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