He may have been the man responsible for rebooting the BBC’s biggest-ever science fiction show and reimagining the programme for a whole new audience in 2005, but Russell T Davies had to do all that first time around with something missing from his professional life, and so it was top of his list of demands when he decided to return to the series, the writer has revealed.
Davies has since returned to the show to oversee the 60th-anniversary specials of Doctor Who starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor alongside Donna Noble played by Catherine Tate. After that he’s setting about rebooting the rebooted series for a bigger and better Whoniverse experience for viewers as Ncuti Gatwa takes over as the Fifteenth Doctor accompanied by his companion Ruby Sunday, played by former Coronation Street star Millie Gibson.
But Davies was certain he need one thing before he would agree to do it all again.
“But hey, d’you know the first thing on my list of demands? An office. An office of my own.” wrote Russell T Davies in his Letter from the Showrunner column of Doctor Who Magazine.
The writer went on to explain that he had managed during his first tenure of running Doctor Who without a place to write and do business of his own.
“In my first years as showrunner, I never had an office. That’s quite barmy, looking back. I’d go to meetings in other people’s offices. If they were busy, I’d perch in a corner and wait. I’d linger in corridors. I’d hover in stairwells. Now the perch, linger and hover are no more! I have an office, at last, and here I am…”
Davies recently spoke more about the“obvious doubts” he had before returning to Doctor Who for a second stint at the helm of the show and has given a little more context to the new deal between Disney and the BBC that will see Disney+ become the streaming home of the science fiction show across the globe outside the UK. Both Davies and the other producers have been keen to stress that the deal won’t effect the “Britishness of the show” and that Doctor Who is in safe hands.
Doctor Who will return to our screens in November 2023 for three special episodes that are written by Davies and see the spectacular return of David Tennant as the lead in the series, this time playing the Fourteenth Doctor opposite his old companion Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate. The shows will also feature Yasmin Finney as Rose and Neil Patrick Harris as a villain.
There has been intense speculation that there will be more returning favourites from the history of the show to the 60th specials, with fans hoping for an appearance of the likes of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the shows.
None of those names has been confirmed, although none of the mentioned actors has ruled themselves out and appear to still have a great relationship with the show. Billie Piper recently said she was “flirting with the idea” of spending a few days on set, and previously Karen Gillan has said “never say never” to a return while Jenna Coleman has said, “Doctor Who never leaves you.”
The 60th specials will be followed by a special festive episode of Doctor Who starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor with Coronation Street’s Millie Gibson as his companion Ruby Sunday. This will be followed by the rest of Doctor Who season 14 in 2024.
So, lots to look forward to if you’re a Doctor Who fan!