It is not often that the BBC displays common sense. An undoubtedly talented organization that still leads the world in several fields of broadcasting, it has a reputation for constantly shooting itself in the foot. Many have mocked it for years over in the UK over its natural tendencies to lean towards the progressive ideals of the London-centric, metropolitan types it constantly employs. These tended to cloud its judgement when it came to creative choices. Now the unthinkable has happened. The BBC admits defeat on Doctor Who!
When Jodie Whittaker was cast as the first female Doctor there was a classic reactionary outrage. However given that the Doctor regenerates, and it has been shown in canon that sometimes these regenerations can also switch gender, it was not a big issue… as long as the show didn’t make a big deal out of it.
Well, given this is the BBC, they did. They also did much worse. Under showrunner Chris Chibnall Doctor Who became a series of dull lectures on modern cultural themes, from heavy-handed tales around racism, through environmental messaging, barely disguised Trump allegories and even clumsy digs at the US second amendment.
Despite a new lady Doctor and her crew straight out of BBC diverse and inclusive central casting, the best thing on the show remained an old white dude in the form of companion Graham, played by Bradley Walsh.
The show hemorrhaged viewers and was eventually transferred out of its prime Saturday night slot. Seemingly trapped in a death spiral, it was announced that Whittaker and Chibnall would leave the show at the end of the forthcoming series.
The BBC, realizing it was killing one of its prime assets, has seemingly had an attack of rational thinking and picked up the phone to the man who successfully revived the show back in 2005, and gave us Doctor Who‘s most successful modern incarnation to date in the form of David Tennant.
Russell T. Davies and his Bad Wolf production label will take over Chris Chibnall ahead of the show’s 60th Anniversary in 2023, and he will cast the new Doctor.
Davies was behind Christopher Eccleston’s revival season and all of Tennant’s run. He also created spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures before Sherlock supremo Steven Moffat took over for the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi runs. In a statement to the BBC, he says:
“I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we’re time-travelling 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.”
Casting for Whittaker’s replacement is expected to start soon.
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