In an acknowledgment that will undoubtedly lead longtime fans to sigh in relief, outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall is near-positive that the incoming Russell T Davies will ignore his changes to the series’ lore.

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 3 “Chapter Three: Once, Upon Time” (2021), BBC

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Chibnall shared his thoughts on his successor’s probable outlook towards his work during a recent interview with the Radio Times.

“You’re not carrying a vase across a room,” he said of the series’ story and lore. “You’ve got to get in there and say what you want about the show, the character and the world.”

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” (2021), BBC

“It’s one of the few drama series without a written bible, and every era contains a contradiction or left-turn from what has come before,” Chibnall continued, providing insight into the reasoning behind his decision to ignore the foundations laid by showrunners before him. “Any future showrunner will ignore it or run with it.”

Speaking specifically to the question of which outcome he expected from Davies – whose previous tenure as Doctor Who showrunner saw him helm the first five years of the series’ 2005 revival – Chibnall asserted in a joking manner, “Oh, I fully expect Russell to ignore it!” 

Source: Doctor Who: Legend of the Sea Devils (2022), BBC

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He then praised both Davies and his general return to the BBC series, declaring, “Everybody should have a big smile on their face. Russell is one of the elite showrunners and Who is very lucky to have him, especially off the back of [his recent television series] It’s a Sin, one of the greatest shows of all time.”

“For him to have incredible ideas and passion for it, to want to take it forward again – that’s fab,” he added. “Nobody has a greater love for Doctor Who.”

Source: Doctor Who Season 4 Episode 1 “The Next Doctor” (2008), BBC

As the interview drew to a close, Chibnall was asked if he had any advice for Davies, to which he optimistically replied, “the same as he gave me: enjoy it.”

“I’ve absolutely loved it,” he concluded. “It’s such a privilege. Few people have done it and you’re standing in the foot-steps of those people across 60 years now.”

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” (2021), BBC

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As noted above, many hardcore Doctor Who fans are elated at Davies’ incoming return, least of all because Chibnall’s run was such a misfire.

So much so, in fact, that his Jodie Whittaker-led seasons are on record as having pulled in the lowest ratings in the revival period’s history.

Source: Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 1 “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” (2021), BBC

To be fair, I agree with what Chibnall said.

If the return of Davies heralds anything close to a return to the Doctor Who of old, as embodied by such stars as Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, then the show is set to make the impossible possible and return to its former heights.

Source: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013), BBC

The final episode for Chibnall & Jodie Whittaker – which will also serve as the series’ overall 300th – will air sometime this autumn, after which Davies and an as-of-yet-unannounced new Doctor will officially take over the show.

What do you make of Chibnall’s interview? Are you excited for Davies to ring in a new era of Doctor Who? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments down below!

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