Current Doctor Who producer Matt Strevens admits that he thought the show might be canceled with the end of Jodie Whittaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor.
Speaking at the Gallifrey One fan convention (per Screen Rant), Strevens – who has been working on the series alongside current showrunner Chris Chibnall for a few years now – said that he wasn’t sure the long-running BBC show would survive Whittaker’s run. In fact, the powers that be didn’t tell him about Russell T. Davies returning until a day before the announcement.
“My utter relief was, we didn’t break it, and Jodie gets to regenerate,” He said.
Chibnall’s tenure on Doctor Who has been dogged by a constant stream of controversy and division among Whovians. From lackluster scripts to underwhelming story arcs and needless changes to continuity and lore, many fans think the show is in need of dire course correction.
Even the viewing figures seem to confirm a drop in audience participation, regardless of what the producers might say. Were it not so, the BBC would not feel so desperate as to bring back Davies, who is the go-to Doctor Who creative for most fans of the series.
Doctor Who has been canceled once before, back in 1989, and it was Russell who regenerated the show and made it popular again. Hopefully, he can manage the same feat again when he takes over next year.
Beyond that, I think most fans would agree that the Thirteenth has been a great Doctor in both charisma and persona, though her run has been afflicted with poor storytelling decisions from the get-go. Hopefully, Jodie’s incarnation will manage some sort of redemption in her final two episodes, set to premiere sometime later this year and on New Year’s Day, respectively.