Doctor Who fans had their minds blown last fall when it was announced that Russell T. Davies, the man who brought the series back in 2005 and steered the ship until 2010, was returning as showrunner following the conclusion of the Jodie Whittaker era. It seems that outgoing EP Chris Chibnall had a similar surprise, as he’s revealed that he didn’t know who was replacing him until just hours before the news broke.
Speaking in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (via RadioTimes.com), Chibnall admitted that he only found out that Davies had been brought back to follow him around 36 hours before everyone else did, with BBC bosses letting the news slip. Having said that, he already had an inkling.
“Piers [Wenger] and Charlotte [Moore] told me,” Chibnall explained. “I had a suspicion, because Russell hadn’t texted me for a while. And he’s never been that quiet!”
Chibnall, who first wrote for Who during Davies’ first era on the series, went on to add that he’s been in regular contact with his predecessor/successor (how timey-wimey) since finding out. But that doesn’t mean that he’s got all the inside secrets on where Davies is going to take the TARDIS next.
“I know a little about what’s going to happen, but not very much,” he stressed. “Really I don’t want to know, because I just want to go back to enjoying watching the show as a viewer.”
Chibnall has previously shared his surprisingly carefree reaction to the threat of Davies’ retconning away everything he’s established during his time at the controls, revealing that he’s confident Davies will “ignore” the big changes he made to the canon — including the “Timeless Child” arc that completely rewrote the Doctor’s origins. Well, if he does, at least an upcoming comic book series and audio drama spinoff will further delve into that.
Maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising that the BBC kept even Chibnall in the dark, seeing as they’re doing their darnedest to keep the so-called “RTD2” era as secret as possible. We don’t even know who the Fourteenth Doctor is yet, although that announcement is apparently coming over the next couple of months.
Remember, Jodie Whittaker makes her final Doctor Who appearance this fall in a special releasing as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.