Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has claimed that his new series of the BBC show might “annoy” some fans. It comes after the writer admitted that the new iteration will lean into fantasy much more than it has in previous years.
The head writer has delighted fans by returning to the science fiction series 13 years after handing the reins over to former showrunner Steven Moffat. He has now revealed that the show will be back with a suitably festive Christmas episode – as well as a brand-new budget.
Discussing his decision to return, Russell told Radio Times: “I completely agreed with everything the BBC wanted to do. They wanted someone protecting the show. And I knew it would be hard work – but I love hard work.”
Speaking about receiving money from American partner Disney, the Welsh star admitted: “I’ve never worked with this kind of budget – never. It’s been brilliant for me to learn.”
The new budget means that Russell can tackle more ambitious storylines with high-quality special effects. He has revealed that, as a result, moving into the realms of fantasy has never been more possible.
“I was just a bit jealous that all those other shows were getting a bigger taste of the pie, so this Christmas, the enemy is goblins,” he explained.
“The show is taking a sly step towards fantasy, which will annoy people to whom it’s a hard science-fiction show.
“Episode two next year is wildly fantasy. Completely making up scenarios on screen that we’ve never been able to show before. But the following episode is proper hard science fiction.”
Following some heavy persuasion from Russell, the BBC has moved Doctor Who back to its Christmas Day slot.
This Christmas, fans will see 31-year-old Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa step out of the TARDIS for the first time, with Russell promising the episode will be “absolutely designed for new viewers.”
Describing how he had managed to reclaim the coveted Christmas Day slot, Russell said: “I kicked in the door at the BBC and said, ‘Christmas Day, or else…’
“I literally demanded it from day one because I think Doctor Who just suits it perfectly,” he continued.
“Look, it’s Christmas Day. It’s BBC1. It’s a new Doctor. It’s joy all around. I never liked Only Fools and Horses Christmas specials where they went to Hull or Spain.
“I think Christmassy things should look Christmassy. So, we have snow. We have Christmas trees.
“It’s properly, properly Christmassy, from beginning to end. We’re going to ride back into the job.”
Read Russell’s full interview at www.radiotimes.com.