Sarah Dollard Won’t Be Writing for Doctor Who Series 11

Sarah Dollard has confirmed that, while she has chatted to incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall, she won’t be writing for the next series of Doctor Who.

However, it’s not because she doesn’t want to. It’s simply because she doesn’t have time!

In a recent interview, she said:

“I am properly sad to be saying goodbye to Twelve and Bill, but I’m delighted that the Doctor is finally presenting as a woman and I know Jodie Whitaker will be brilliant. Rachel Talalay has told me some deliberately vague yet still very exciting things about her take on the character, so I’m doubly excited.

“I won’t be on S11 due to workload/schedule clashes this past year, but I had a really great chat with Chris about his plans. So hopefully, I’ve left the door open for a possible return in the future. It would be an honour to work with him and write for Thirteen.”

Sarah is the second writer to confirm she won’t be working on Series 11 after Mark Gatiss (The Unquiet Dead; The Crimson Horror).

Dollard’s Doctor Who debut came with 2015’s Face the Raven, which saw her writing out companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman); she returned for last year’s Thin Ice, Bill Potts’ (Pearl Mackie) first trip into the past. She revealed that more aliens were due to feature in Trap Street in Face the Raven:

“I had quite a few nerdy easter eggs in Face the Raven that never made it to screen because of budget constraints. It was a street full of aliens who had got trapped on Earth for one reason or another, so I basically gave a cameo to all my faves from past episodes. Alas, it wasn’t to be for all of them. (RIP Adipose)”

Among the monsters we did see were the Sontarans, Cybermen (or half a Cyberman, at least), the Ood, the Judoon, and Me. Yes, Me was a monster.

And you might be interested to know that Rigsy, who appeared in Flatline before Dollard bought him back for the Series 9 episode, has got a first name. Oh yes. Sarah continued:

“More personal easter eggs usually come in the form of character names. I gave Rigsy a first name – Christopher – after my friend Chris Miles who’s a huge DW fan. And I named one of the street kids in Thin Ice after my goddaughter Harriet because I felt like I was finally writing an episode of TV that she was old enough to watch and enjoy!”

Are you sad Sarah Dollard isn’t coming back for Series 11? Or should Chibnall be pursuing a brand new team of scribes? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

  • Rick714

    I liked Dollard’s stuff! kinda thought Chibnall would have had his writers stable all picked out already, as I assumed you bring them in altogether for the writers room. Maybe he does and him asking Gatiss and Dollard was a while ago and just a courtesy. I would think that if the show is to premiere in 9 months, they’d already have started filming with at least some of the scripts ready to go by now……

    • Philip

      Whittaker’s definitely filming, so we can only presume the scripts are in the bag. Then again, if it’s anything like previous years, the final few episodes won’t be finished until much much closer to transmission. And we don’t know for sure that Chibs will be bringing in a writer’s room technique. Nothing’s been confirmed. However, I think right now it’s a pretty safe bet.

      • Planet of the Deaf

        Indeed we know remarkably little about the writing team and process for S11. All we know is who isn’t writing for S11!

  • egyptian bar

    I’m encouraged by her enthusiasm at the chats she’s had with those still in the loop.

  • DonnaM

    It’s a pity she won’t be contributing to the next series: I loved both of her episodes for Capaldi so I do hope it’s logistically possible for her to come back at a later date.

    The shortage of detail on writing staff is bothering me to be honest. The only one confirmed is Chibnall himself – not my kind of Doctor Who writer on previous evidence. I even prefer Gatiss on past form!

    Perhaps the lack of announcements means that Chibs is completely in control of the first few episodes – that would make sense to me and would give Jodie Whittaker a solid base to work her characterisation from in partnership with the boss-man.