Russell T Davies returning from Doctor Who's past is the best thing for its future

They say you should never go back.

Whether it’s sport, politics or popular culture, history is littered with people who’ve called it a day at the top of their trade – but struggled to recapture the old magic when they’ve been tempted to go back to what made their name.

In most circumstances, then, the announcement that Russell T Davies is returning as Doctor Who’s showrunner in 2023 would set alarm bells ringing. But for a series that has, of late, felt like its best years were behind it, the prospect of Davies returning to the show he spectacularly regenerated 16 years ago feels like a match made in heaven.

During his first, all-conquering stint on Doctor Who, Davies transformed a drama that had been unceremoniously dropped by the BBC in 1989 into appointment viewing. It was suddenly a mainstream series viewed by audiences of millions, a show that became a Christmas Day staple, whose appeal wasn’t just confined to sci-fi fans. Genre TV was having its moment in primetime, and Doctor Who – with Davies at the helm – was the driving force.

As a lifelong fan of the show, Davies always respected the show’s decades-old mythology. At the same time, however, he realized that many of the audience wouldn’t know a Cyberman from a Sontaran. So throughout the four seasons of his run, he gradually dripfed the backstory of an alien with two hearts, who adventured through space and time in a blue phone box.

But, crucially, the human drama was now just as important as the extra-terrestrial threats, as companions Martha Jones, Donna Noble and – particularly – Rose Tyler, and their lives outside the TARDIS, became integral to the story. Not every fan of classic Who loved the reinvention, but for many viewers his run was infectious, propulsive and unmissable.

  • Best Doctor Who episodes: 20 highlights of the modern run
  • Doctor Who season 13: everything we know
  • How to watch the Marvel movies in order

Jodie Whittaker will hand in the keys to the TARDIS in 2022. (Image credit: BBC)

A writer at the top of his game

And that’s what characterizes Davies’s work – his scripts are packed with levels of energy and emotion that few other TV writers can match, with exposition, comedy and tragedy often combining seamlessly in the same scene. He’s also brilliant at the producer side of the showrunning gig, a master at pulling a disparate bunch of episodes together into a coherent whole, and making the most of the talent at his disposal. After all, it was on Davies’s watch that David Tennant and Billie Piper became big-name TV stars, and future showrunner Steven Moffat wrote some of the greatest episodes in the show’s illustrious history.

Was everything Davies did on Who a success? Not at all, but he was never afraid to try new things – one episode even featured an alien designed for a competition on long-running kids’ show Blue Peter – and the show has arguably never hit the same heights so regularly since his departure.

Recent years have seen Davies confirming his status as one of the best writers in the industry, with A Very English Scandal, Years and Years, and It’s a Sin, in particular, proving that Doctor Who is welcoming back a scripter at the very top of his game. He’s also spent his decade away from the show at a safe, but respectful distance, not even being tempted to go back and write an episode.

He’s taken the opportunity to go back to the status of a Who fan, as he pointed out in a statement accompanying the announcement of his return [via the BBC]: “I’m beyond excited to be back on my favorite show. But we’re time-travelling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero [lead writer] Chris Chibnall at the helm – I’m still a viewer for now.”

How will Russell T Davies fold in new canon from the Steven Moffat era? (Image credit: BBC)

Second coming

That mixture of separation, fannish respect and knowledge of the show’s inner workings is what makes Davies the perfect candidate for the Doctor Who gig. Indeed, much as he did first time around, he finds himself taking the helm of a much-loved show with decades of history, that could do with an infusion of… well, magic, to make it feel essential in the TV landscape of its time.

There couldn’t be a better jumping off point than 2023’s 60th anniversary – if Davies follows tradition and brings together multiple Doctors for a celebratory episode, it could be one of the television events of the year. It’ll also be intriguing to see how he deals with the new aspects of canon established by his successors, Moffat and Chibnall, and – most importantly of all – who he casts to replace Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor Who.

And why stop at one show in the Doctor Who universe? During the glory days of the late ’00s, spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures meant that Who was doing shared universes while the MCU was still in its infancy. Davies certainly seems open to the prospect of expanding beyond the parent show. “I was in the middle of running an empire,” Davies recalled in January 2021 (via “And my god, I did that 10 years too soon, didn’t I?

“There should be a Doctor Who channel now. You look at all those new Star Wars and Marvel shows, you think, we should be sitting here announcing The Nyssa Adventures or The Return of Donna Noble, and you should have the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors together in a 10-part series. Genuinely.”

So as Doctor Who approaches its seventh decade, a milestone so epic that even Star Trek is playing catch-up, it couldn’t be better hands – especially as the second Davies era will be a co-production with Bad Wolf, the company founded by Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, key players during Who’s 2005 return.

Now a show that felt like it needed a new Russell T Davies has got its hands on the Russell T Davies – and the future of a 58-year-old institution is looking very bright indeed.

Doctor Who returns to BBC America and BBC One later this year. The show’s second Russell T Davies run should begin in 2023.

  • Best streaming services compared
Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Nonprofit websites are riddled with ad trackers

Last year, nearly visited the website of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that many people turn to for very private matters like sex education, access to contraceptives, and access to abortions. ... Read more »

France successfully launches cutting-edge military communications satellite

France has successfully launched a state-of-the-art satellite into orbit, designed to allow all of France's armed forces across the globe to communicate swiftly and securely. Paris created a space force ... Read more »

Nigella Lawson lasted just two weeks on vegan diet and confesses she doesn't 'see the point'

Nigella Lawson says she tried a vegan diet, but couldn’t stick to it. (David M. Benett/Getty Images) Nigella Lawson only managed two weeks of a vegan diet and says she ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing Fans Are All Saying The Same Thing About AJ Odudu And Kai Widdrington's 'Phenomenal' Argentine Tango

Whilst it is undoubtedly a fan favourite, the Argentine Tango can be a notoriously difficult dance for the Strictly Come Dancing celebrities to get right. Not only to they have ... Read more »

Black Friday Garmin deals 2021: early sales and what to expect

The best Garmin deals of the year are likely just around the corner, as Black Friday is on November 26, and it’s followed by Cyber Monday on November 29. These ... Read more »

Elon Musk's Starlink in talks with Vodafone for UK expansion

Elon Musk’s Starlink is eyeing a tie-up with Vodafone to expand its satellite broadband service in the UK. © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP Elon Musk – BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP The US satellite company, ... Read more »

MotoGP Italy live stream 2021: how to watch Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix online from anywhere

We saw a glimpse of the old Marc Marquez a few weeks back in the US, but even at his talisman circuit the Spaniard could only put four seconds between ... Read more »

Raab's negligence over Kabul is now clear. If he had any honour, he'd quit

Dominic Raab is a clever man, but not perhaps a wise or especially honourable one. Chronic misjudgments over Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan necessitated his sacking as foreign secretary. Yet Boris ... Read more »

Google Pixel 6's in-app translation may be the travel dream you've been waiting for

The Google Pixel 6 has plenty of promising features, but one stuck with me more than others – mostly because it would have come in clutch when a massive thunderstorm ... Read more »

The small but effective plug heater to snap up for winter

Looking for a small at-home heater? We may have just found the solution. (Russell Hobbs) Yahoo Lifestyle is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We ... Read more »

Why Are There Christian Crosses in Jewish Graves From Ancient Rome?

Realy Easy Star /Toni Spagone/Alamy The most pervasive and well-known symbol for Christianity is, of course, the cross. If you walk into a place of worship and there’s a cross ... Read more »

Giant owl not seen for 150 years pictured in wild for first time

A giant owl that has gone almost unseen in African rainforests for 150 years has been photographed in the wild for the first time by British scientists working in Ghana. ... Read more »

SoftBank Ventures Asia signals greater focus on Chinese tech start-ups with new Beijing unit

SoftBank Ventures Asia has formed a new subsidiary in China this month, signalling a bigger commitment towards its early-stage venture investing in the country since launching a dedicated US$285 million ... Read more »

[News Focus] Samsung still lost a year after Lee Kun-hee's death

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung ElectronicsMonday marks the first anniversary of the death of Lee Kun-hee, the chief of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung and its flagship unit Samsung ... Read more »

Why Galaxy Bespoke should have you excited for the Samsung Galaxy S22

At some point in the next few months Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S22, its new series of flagship smartphones, but if the jump from the Galaxy S10 ... Read more »

Compact SUVs gaining ground in Korea

Kia’s Sportage SUV / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group By Baek Byung-yeul C-segment or compact sport utility vehicles are gaining ground in Korea’s automobile market as their dimensions have grown ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Snapchat aims to improve its presence in Korea

A Google Pixel 6 phone user uses Snap’s photo messaging app, Snapchat. Courtesy of Snap By Baek Byung-yeul Nana Murugesan, managing director of international markets at Snap / Courtesy of ... Read more »

[Newsmaker] Authorities to begin looking into data to explain why Nuri launch failed

(Yonhap)South Korea’s Science Ministry said Sunday that researchers will begin looking into why the country’s first domestically-built rocket Nuri, or Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, failed to put a dummy ... Read more »

All eyes on Samsung heir's next move on late chairman's death anniv.

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong enters the Seoul Central District Court for a hearing on illegal use of surgical anesthetic propofol on Oct. 12. Korea Times photo by Ko Young-kwon ... Read more »

[Battery+] Tesla's battery shift highlights K-battery's uncertain future

LG Energy Solution’s cylindrical lithium-ion batteries. (LG Energy Solution) To take initiative in the premium electric vehicle market, where longer driving ranges serve as the barometer of competitiveness, the South ... Read more »

Facebook Portal Go vs Facebook Portal: which smart display should you buy this Black Friday?

Facebook has been in the video calling game for a few years now, but its Portal displays have struggled to gain the traction that other brands have found during the ... Read more »

Judi Love pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing for health-related reasons

Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack – Getty Images Comedian and panelist, Judi Love, has had to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing this week after testing positive for COVID-19. Her partner, ... Read more »

Jamie Laing explains why he is one of Spencer Matthews' only friends

Jamie Laing and Spencer Matthews attend the “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” UK Premiere at in 2019. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) Yahoo Entertainment's editors are committed to ... Read more »

S. Korean defense firms clinch deals worth US$128 mln at ADEX: organizers

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) — South Korean defense companies have signed business contracts worth US$128 million in total during a biennial arms exhibition held south of Seoul last week, its ... Read more »

Melbourne ends one of the world's longest lockdowns


India's Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, other stars eye NFTs amid global craze

Indian celebrities from the world of Bollywood and cricket are increasingly launching digital memorabilia through non-fungible tokens (NFT), hoping to rake in thousands of dollars by cashing in on growing ... Read more »

Oil refiners fear losing W800 trillion amid carbon neutral transition

Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Executive Vice Chairman Lee Dong-geun speaks during a discussion hosted by the KEF on the government’s carbon neutrality goal at the Press Center in central Seoul, ... Read more »

Mummy's older than we thought: new find rewrites the history books

The ancient Egyptians were carrying out sophisticated mummifications of their dead 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence which could lead to a rewriting of the history ... Read more »

Microsoft is ‘sorry' for angering developers by removing a key feature

Microsoft apologised to the open source community after facing a severe backlash against removing an important feature in the upcoming .NET 6 release. The .NET open source community was angered ... Read more »

Drone Footage Captures Four Active Vents at La Palma Volcano

Four active vents on the Cumbre Vieja volcano were visible on October 22, spewing lava and other volcanic material over La Palma, in the Spanish Canary Islands. The following morning, ... Read more »

Marvin Vettori overcomes a 'massive' Paulo Costa, who blamed an injury for weight issue

LAS VEGAS — Paulo Costa entered the Octagon at Apex on Saturday, his grudge match with Marvin Vettori only moments away. In 90 seconds, maybe two minutes, he’d be able ... Read more »

When Elon Musk ‘trolled' Apple CEO Tim Cook over a piece of cloth

NEW DELHI: Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his witty, weird and all kinds of tweets. Musk, in a tweet, has now made fun of Apple. Apple CEO Tim ... Read more »

S. Korea's seaport cargo up 8.1 pct in Q3 amid global rebound

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) — Cargo processed at South Korean seaports advanced 8.1 percent in the third quarter of this year as trade gained traction amid the global economic recovery ... Read more »

Beats Fit Pro release date, news, and rumors

It seems like the AirPods 3 aren’t the only pair of wireless earbuds Apple is set to launch this year, as the rumored Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds may not ... Read more »

I tested The Rock's exercise headphones to see if I could go ‘Beast mode'

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and I probably don’t have much in common. He’s a muscled ex-wrestler, while I’m an average-bodied writer. He’s a charismatic and energetic celebrity, while I’ve never ... Read more »

Here are the top Christmas Lego sets we hope are in the Black Friday sales

It’s a little ominous to think about, but we’re only two months out from Christmas, and once Black Friday 2021 it’s the next big thing in most people’s calendars. But ... Read more »

Why you should get a smartwatch now lockdowns are easing

COVID isn’t going anywhere soon, but the world is learning day by day how we might need to live with the virus and try to get back to some sort ... Read more »

The best budget keyboards 2021

Give the best budget keyboards a chance. You might find them just as capable and robust as the pricier keyboards. Although keyboards over $75/£75 come with their own perks – ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic