Much like the audiences who have had to suffer through their scripts for the past few years, returning Doctor Who showrunner Russel T Davies has admitted that he is not a fan of modern television writers.
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Davies, who notably helmed the classic British sci-fi series’ return between 2005-2010 before being brought back to wright the Revived Era’s ship with its upcoming fourteenth season, lamented the quality of his would-be peers during a recent interview given to UK news outlet The Sunday Times given alongside Sherlock creator Mark Gatiss in promotion of their upcoming Noele Gordon biographic miniseries Nolly.
Noting that Doctor Who’s ratings have plunged in recent years among younger viewers, outlet contributor Stephen Armstrong inquired as to what plans, if any, Davies had to revive the series’ popularity, to which the showrunner asserted, “You make all of the back catalogue available, first, on iPlayer.”
Admitting that he “can’t swear that will happen, but there are contracts,” Davies then explained, “It’s our heritage, it deserves to be there so kids can fall in love with Doctor Who like they love Friends.”
“The reason I spun out Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures first time round was to keep the [channel] controllers interested in Doctor Who,” he added. “It’s a brand, a franchise.”
To that ever-continuing end and ostensibly in light of the possibility that one of them could eventually up entrusted with their own Doctor Who run, Armstrong next asked Davies for his thoughts on the latest generation of television writers.
Unforunately for said writers, rather than the glowing praise normally lavished upon them by the media, the entertainment veteran offered only criticism.
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“I do a lot of mentoring, and there are voices wanting to be heard — of any gender or ethnicity — who consider themselves invisible,” recalled Davies. “They hate the media that ignores them, and they’re trapped into wanting a job in that medium purely to increase representation.”
“I read their scripts and they’re rubbish,” he declared. “They don’t actually love television, so they don’t know how to write for it.”
Echoing Davies’ sentiments, Gatiss chimed in, ““I’m so glad you said that.”
“Sometimes I think I’m like Pollyanna [the fictional young girl who dedicates herself to finding the silver lining to any and every situation, regardless of how dire] because I’ve met so many people over the years who hate making television,” said the Nolly co-creator. “It seems to make them so miserable. Go and work on the bins or something. It’s hard work — it gives you ulcers — so you have to love it.”
Davies’ return to Doctor Who, which will see Nctui Gatwa debut as the series’ Fifteenth Doctor, is currently set to premiere on November 23rd, 2023.