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The acclaimed and multi-award-winning TV creator behind shows such as Queer as Folk and, more recently, Years and Years, A Very English Scandal and It’s a Sin was unveiled Friday as taking over from outgoing showrunnner Chris Chibnall, who announced earlier this summer that he would be handing over his keys to the TARDIS in 2022 alongside current Time Lord Jodie Whittaker.
Davies, who left the show in 2009, will take the reins again in 2023 to celebrate Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary and, according to the BBC, “series beyond.”
Reuniting Davies with his former collaborators, BBC Studios will also be partnering on the new season with Bad Wolf, the fast-rising production banner led by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, the ex-BBC duo he worked alongside to revive Doctor Who in 2005. Bad Wolf — actually named after a Doctor Who episode — is behind the recent big-budget BBC/HBO His Dark Materials adaptation and financial drama Industry, and is based in South Wales, an area where Doctor Who is credited with having helped spawn a major film and TV production hub.
“I’m beyond excited to be back on my favorite show,” said Davies, whose four-year tenure at Doctor Who saw a surge in popularity and two spinoffs in Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. “But we’re time-traveling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm — I’m still a viewer for now.”
Added Chibnall: “It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home. Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him — Doctor Who, the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and let’s be honest everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be very excited indeed about what lies ahead.”
Chibnall and Whittaker revealed in July that they would leave Doctor Who after three seasons following a trio of specials, culminating in what the BBC is describing as an “epic blockbuster special” that will air in fall 2022 as part of the broadcaster’s centenary celebrations.
“As the 13th Doctor prepares to embark on new and extraordinary adventures, the winds of change are blowing … bringing with them news to delight Doctor Who fans across the globe,” said Piers Wenger, BBC director of drama. “We are thrilled that Russell is returning to Doctor Who to build on the huge achievements of Chris and Jodie. Thank you to the two of them and the team in Cardiff for all they continue to do for the show and hello Russell, it’s wonderful to have you back.”
As for the next actual Doctor Who, the BBC said this would be “announced in due course.”
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