Russell T Davies appears to suggest Doctor Who spin-offs will return

Ever since the Disney deal with the BBC to make Disney+ the streaming home of Doctor Who outside the UK, there has been rampant speculation that the show could be about to expand in both size and scale with Russell T Davies back as showrunner.

We have had reports that the budget for Doctor Who has skyrocketed, rumours that many famous faces will return for the 60th anniversary beyond those already announced – and of course, then there’s the spin-offs, the constant chat of spin-offs that will see Doctor Who become a Whoniverse – perhaps similar to those that have been created by Marvel or Star Wars in the past decades.

And while Davies has called the £10m per episode budget reports “exaggerated” and the full cast for the 60th alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate will probably remain a mystery until November, the showrunner has no apparently confirmed that Doctor Who could be about to launch another spin-off or spin-offs in the near future.

“So I thought — with no criticism whatsoever towards the people who were running it at the time because they were running it within the BBC’s measures — it was time for the next stage for Doctor Who,” explained Russell T Davies in an interview with GQ promoting his new ITVX show Nolly, which stars Helen Bonham Carter as the Crossroads legend Noele Gordon.

Added Davies, specifically referencing spin-offs for the first time: “I thought the streaming platforms are ready, the spin-offs are ready; I always believed in spin-offs when I was there. I did Torchwood (pictured above) as a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures as a spin-off. Those spin-offs declined when I left, and I can see why. And I very much left after 2008, when the money became scarce, I think that’s fair enough for the public service broadcaster that the money is spent on other things.

“But now, it wasn’t my idea, it was the BBC’s notion to go for a streamer [Disney+] to invest in the show worldwide, which I completely agree with.”

There has still been no official confirmation of what any new spin-offs might be about from the BBC, nor indeed that there definitely are any in the works, but Davies’ comments in the interview are certainly the closest we have yet to a public green light for new projects.

Of course that leaves us speculating about what could be in store for the Whoniverse? More from the Eighth Doctor, a UNIT spin-off, a return of the Doctor’s Daughter or perhaps a reboot of Torchwood – the possibilities are as endless as time and space itself. Indeed it was only recently that Billie Piper said she’d be interested in doing a Rose Tyler spin-off it she could film in London.

Doctor Who is next on TV in November 2023 with three special anniversary episodes for the 60th starring David Tennant.

Ncuti Gatwa will have his first full episode as the Fifteenth Doctor around the festive season of 2023 and that will also mark the debut of Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday. Doctor Who season 14 is expected to play out in 2024.