Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies reveals new details on Series 14 and hints at plans for the future of the series.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate will star in three special episodes of Doctor Who in November 2023. Ncuti Gatwa will make his first full appearance as the Doctor during the festive period in 2023, taking over from Tennant. He will be joined by former Coronation Street star Millie Gibson as the new companion Ruby Sunday in the TARDIS.

Showrunner Russell T. Davies has confirmed that Series 14, the first series with Ncuti Gatwa as the title role, will be eight episodes long. He recognizes that this is a bit short, but explains: “Okay, that’s fewer episodes than the last full season. But give us time. We have plans, and that’s a promise!”

Accompanying the eight-episode series every year will be an annual holiday special. Russell reveals in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine: “For the first time ever, I’m writing a Christmas Special… at Christmas! And this isn’t for next year, no, the 2023 script has been long since signed-off. The new one is for end-of-year 2024!”

Ncuti Gatway as The Doctor, in a one-off vague promotional image, done because any background they could have put him in that was relevant to his new series would be a spoiler!

Davies also addressed the extended gap of 13 months between the last episode and the first 60th Anniversary special: “It takes a while to get the empire in shape, but that’s a serious plan: annual Doctor Who, no gap years, lots of content, on and on.”

Doctor Who fans gained their first glimpse of Ncuti Gatwa at the end of the trailer for the 2023 60th Anniversary specials. Russell T. Davies has revealed that the ‘cloudy background’ used for this shot was a one-off: “You’ll never see that again. Because the actual location would give away too much!”

It’s a new era of Doctor Who, so it’s fitting that there should be new crew members. There will be a lot of new faces behind the scenes, but some of the department leads are:

  • Will Cohen (VFX Producer)
  • Sandra Cosfeld (Production Co-ordinator)
  • Pam Downe (Costume designer)
  • Ceres Doyle (Post-production producer)
  • Claire Williams (Hair and make-up designer).
Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson as The Doctor and Ruby Sunday

Russell goes on to say:

“That’s a serious plan: annual Doctor Who, no gap years, lots of content, on and on.”

This implies a lot of creative content going on in books, magazines and other things while the shows are going on, and that generally means Merchandising, with a capital M. One of the criticisms of Doctor Who is that it’s hard to sustain a fandom when you only produce a few shows a year and spread a season across two years at a go. Perhaps Davies is addressing this issue.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the reveal of Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor costume reveal. Both Ncuti and new companion Molly Gibson met with the show’s costume designer on Monday 31 October for their first fittings.


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