As part of the publicity for Now We Are Six Hundred, a poetry collection written by James Goss and illustrated by Russell T. Davies, the former Doctor Who showrunner was asked which serial he wrote is his favourite.
How could you choose? His era gave us some incredible stories written by RTD, including Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways, Midnight, and The Waters of Mars – but Davies chose an underrated episode (which I personally love) for an unconventional reason. He reveals:
“That’s the tricky one because, of course, they are all my children and you can’t have favourite children – yes, you can! The one I have a particularly sentimental fondness for is an episode called Gridlock. Simply because it’s the first script I wrote entirely in Cardiff. I used to shuttle to and fro between Manchester and Cardiff and that one I was entirely in Cardiff when I finished and love it for that reason. Making it was mad and brilliant and very, very difficult for the team. It’s about a 23 year old traffic jam, only Doctor Who could do that; you wouldn’t get that on Star Trek! It’s a purely Doctor Who idea.”
The story, broadcast in 2007, starred David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, as the pair are separated amid New New York.
This also saw the unexpected return of the Macra, previously seen in 1967’s The Macra Terror, a four-part serial which is now missing from the archives.
Enjoy the full podcast, but beware: it’s not appropriate for younger listeners.
Gridlock started off as a grim allegory of society, boding over concepts of addiction, class systems, and kidnapping, but extended that allegory to include hope, faith, and redemption. Frankl;y, it’s a gem of Series 3.
So which is your favourite story written by RTD? Why? And Which is your favourite of his whole era as showrunner?