Russell T Davies promises “no gap years, lots of content” for Doctor Who

It’s fair to say there is a lot for Doctor Who fans to be excited about at the moment. We’ve just enjoyed the record-breaking multi-Doctor and multi-Companion extravaganza of The Power of the Doctor which bid goodbye to Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall. We’ve seen the surprise reintroduction of David Tennant to the show as the Fourteenth Doctor who will be starring in three 60th anniversary specials in November, and after that, we’ve got a new Doctor and companion to look forward to in Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson.

Oh yeah, and there’s that Disney+ deal where the BBC and Disney have talked about their “shared creative vision” for the show – and probably most significant of all, we have the return of Russell T Davies to being the showrunner of the BBC science fiction series, more than a decade after he left his first stint in charge of the show.

But with all this excitement comes something else that seems to have become a bit of a habit for Doctor Who fans in recent times… waiting.

As much as The Power of the Doctor was a feature-length spectacular, there’s no disguising the fact that Jodie Whittaker’s swansong, which aired in November 2022 to coincide with the BBC’s 100th birthday, will be more than a year old by the time the 60th-anniversary specials come on the air in November 2023. And indeed, it will be more like 14 months since Jodie Whittaker regenerated before we get our chance to see Ncuti Gatwa’s first full season as the Doctor opposite Millie Gibson’s Ruby Sunday around the festive season of 2023.

But, the good news is, it seem Russell T Davies feels the pain of fans and recognises that people want more regular new episodes in their life.

“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,” the showrunner said in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine issue 585, which is released on Thursday 7th December.

In the same magazine, he confirmed that there will only be eight episodes in season 14 of the show, which is fewer than were in season 13 or season 12 with Jodie Whittaker, but tried to reassure fans that “we have plans, and that’s a promise!” 

What exactly those plans are remain to be seen, but with continued speculation that the episodes may have a bigger budget perhaps one bi-product could be that they are longer than normal? Additionally, there continues to be rumours that the show is about to launch spin-offs like Torchwood that expand the Doctor Who universe – so perhaps they could be part of an “empire” that sees more regular content arriving on our screens.

Season 14 of Doctor Who officially began filming on Monday 15th December and the BBC tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo of the TARDIS to celebrate. Millie Gibson also shared a picture of her accommodation in the Welsh capital with the message that she was a “Cardiff resident” now.

Adventures in time and space and guessing what might happen next continue…