TV Series - Jul 31, 2022

The Doctor Who director Russell T. Davies had 'massive doubts' about working for the show

The Doctor Who director Russell T. Davies had 'massive doubts' about working for the show
The Doctor Who director Russell T. Davies had 'massive doubts' about working for the show

It is widely known among modern Whovians that Russell T. Davies played a pivotal role in bringing back "Doctor Who" after a 16-year hiatus in 2005.  Taking the role of the ninth incarnation of the Time Lord, Christopher Eccleston led the BBC sci-fi series back to television.

"Doctor Who" had been reinvented for an entirely new audience, and it was an incredible moment for fans who had been denied new episodes for years. Its essence remained, but the lore had been revamped, and part of the show's sci-fi elements was now used to assess human nature.

The remake of "Doctor Who" for a global audience - not just a British audience - was met with riotous applause from showrunner Russell T. Davies and executive producer Julie Gardner. As a result, the show became very popular History was made.

There was always a formula for success with "Doctor Who": an eccentric father figure in the lead, aliens from another world, and an exploration of time travel. A 26-year run was originally planned for the show. Having its cancellation in 1989 resulted in such a landmark in British popular culture that it was revived in 2005 was no small feat. The show's creator had "massive doubts" about working on it at the time, so, understandably, Russell T. Davies had doubts.

Russell T. Davies had 'very strong doubts'

"Doctor Who's" writing roster was once described as one of the most challenging jobs in television by Russell T. Davies. 'Time Lord' is a fictional show starring a hyper-intelligent alien led by a fictional Time Lord who has been running for decades and has been reinventing itself almost since the first episode was broadcast. There is no doubt that Davies had a big hand in the creation of Doctor Who as we know it today, but he had his share of doubts about taking on the role of showrunner as well.

It was a difficult decision because there were far too many variables: he had a stellar, successful career as a freelance screenwriter and television producer, and the unsuccessful "Doctor Who" 1996 film didn't do much to bring the show back into the spotlight. Aside from that, Davies was also concerned about the fact that he would be unable to exercise creative control over the BBC's programming.  If he were to join the company, he would be embarking on irreversible changes that would affect his independent career forever.

The BBC's rules and restrictions were also a concern to Davies since he'd heard whispers of them. In the wake of Julie Gardner's announcement that she would be working on the revival of "Doctor Who," all of his worries began to fade away. Davies described his decision to take the job in an interview with Steven Moffat published in Doctor Who Magazine in June 2020. Julie Gardner was responsible for it all.

'It's a career in reverse'

Russell T. Davies has long been a devoted fan of "Doctor Who," he just needed the right partner to revive the show. The screenwriter continued by saying that the switch from the independent sector to the BBC felt like a career reversal, but he knew the moment Julie Gardner stepped into the role he would be the showrunner.

Since 2005, Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner have brought back "Doctor Who". The series has become a cultural phenomenon and dominated the conversation in pop culture. Davies stepped down from the show's helm in 2009 but will come back as showrunner in 2023 to commemorate the show's 60th anniversary.


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