It was recently announced that the BBC rehired Russell T. Davies as showrunner for Doctor Who Season 14, twelve years after writing his last episode. He will be in charge of finding a new Doctor for Season 14 and will be in charge of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the show. I am both excited and hesitant about this annoucement.
Russell T. Davies has written some of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, such as The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Smith and Jones, Midnight, and The Waters of Mars, just to name one from each corresponding season. The man may not have an ear for plot mechanics, but was always good at building emotion and creating well written characters, and when it comes to my media, I care much more that the characters are written well than if what sci-fi hub bub they are doing makes sense.
Seasons 1-4 (and a half) were a golden era of Doctor Who for me and I have episodes I revisit again and again to this day. So why am I worried?
I should say I have loved what Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall have been doing, although even I can admit it has been different from previous seasons. She is a much more passive Doctor, the companions have been more at the forefront, and there is much more educational and historical content. Personally, I have enjoyed both Whittaker’s performance and Chibnall’s direction for the show. But the fact remains, with these changes viewership has dropped.
But, Doctor Who has always been a show of change. Should we be going back to the past to try and revitalize a show that has, mostly, thrived on new and different creators and ideas? Does this mean its going to be a challenge to introduce bold new changes to Doctor Who going forward? And does Mr. Davies have what it takes 12 years later to continue a show he left behind?
Whatever their reasoning is for going back to the well, it brings conflicted feelings to this Whovian’s heart. But to quote the Eleventh Doctor, “I am and always will be the optimist.”