With Russell T. Davies’ return, BBC loses creative control of "Doctor Who"

The long-running sci-fi series is known for regeneration ... but what about reincarnation?

By Mia Johnson

Published November 28, 2021 8:00PM (EST)

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor in "Doctor Who" (BBC/Sophie Mutevelian)
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor in "Doctor Who" (BBC/Sophie Mutevelian)

This story originally appeared on Winter is Coming.

We've yet to witness all of what "Doctor Who" Season 13 has to offer, seeing as the series just premiered on Halloween night. But already, big changes are in the air for the series, with former showrunner Russell T. Davies returning to manage things for Season 14.

The announcement about Davies returning to run "Doctor Who" has been known for a little over a month now. And thanks to a report from The Times, we now know what else his return means for the series. According to their sources, "Davies . . . made his return next year contingent on the transfer of control to Bad Wolf, a production firm based in Wales."

This means that the BBC, which has been behind the production of the series previously, will now essentially have to hand this control over to Davies' and his team. And they'll be missing out on a lot of money for Season 14 and onward because of this; The Times estimates that could be about £40 million in commercial revenue lost per 10 episodes.

A new future for "Doctor Who"?

The Bad Wolf production company was formed in 2015, which means they didn't get to operate while Davies was the showrunner on "Doctor Who" back in 2005 and onward. But because the founders, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, worked as producers for the launch of "Doctor Who" back in 2005, it at least means we're dealing with a studio that knows the series — and people who know Russell T. Davies.

Unfortunately, since we're so far out from Season 14, the effects of this handover won't be seen for quite some time. But seeing as "Doctor Who" is due for an extreme revamp, their confidence to not only bring Davies back but hand over control to Bad Wolf shows that they are serious about having this flagship television series perform better than before.

With Davies coming back, we're likely to see old fans be more receptive to the series and the ideas that he brings to the table. And as Screen Rant mentions, Davies did attempt to expand the Who universe with the likes of "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures" well before the MCU and DCEU were doing their thing. So in order to grow "Doctor Who," we might see Davies take this approach again by potentially spearheading some spinoffs or limited series based on some of the characters we'll see in Season 14.


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