Chris Chibnall’s era of Doctor Who has had its fair share of criticisms, but it would appear that the new showrunner couldn’t care less about what critics and members of the press have to say about his series.
After a lackluster season 11 that saw Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor, with criticism aimed at the politically correct attitude and weak scripts, the show returned this January with a two-parter filled with action and surprise. And though the critical consensus has been largely positive, the premiere episode marked one of the series’ worst openings in recent years. This further affirmed Chibnall’s failure to connect with Whovians and meet their expectations, not to mention upsetting many fans because of some controversial narrative decisions that go against the continuity of the show.
So, the question is: will Chibnall even attempt to cater to fan requests or consider their critiques? Well, it would appear that the new showrunner couldn’t care less about what people have to say about his work. Speaking with DW Magazine, Chibnall showed his disinterest in following audience reception to the new episodes, saying:
“I’m not on social media,” He said. “I don’t read press coverage and I don’t read reviews.”
Chibnall then clarified his statement by mentioning that his craft is not a “democracy” and they ultimately have to make their vision come true.
“The one thing you can say about every series of Doctor Who that’s ever been made is that some people liked it, some people didn’t. That will be true forever,” He continued. “What you have to do is make the show you believe in, hope that it connects, then go home. If we allow other things in then we’re not making our vision. In terms of external opinions, it’s not a democracy. We make the show we want to make.”
When asked about the issues with their current run, Jodie Whittaker had the same opinion, noting that Doctor Who can’t please everyone. But if the ratings continue to plunge, Chibnall will be in trouble. He may even feel compelled to reevaluate some of his decisions.
In fairness, though, the new episodes have sparked much debate over the mysterious Timeless Child. So who knows? The Broadchurch showrunner may even end up satisfying fans by the end of this new season. But for now, we’ll only have to wait and see.