Russell T. Davies has refuted claims that the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor was motivated by a ‘big political strategy’.
When the news broke that Whittaker was to become the next Doctor, some sections of fandom decried the move as an attempt to tick boxes or be more politically correct rather than any storytelling motivation.
However, one person not buying that argument is former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies.
He told Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times) that there was no such conspiracy:
“This isn’t some big political strategy by the BBC. This is one man, Chris, moving into the big chair and deciding that’s what he wants to do.”
Imagining the impact the change will have on younger viewers when Peter Capaldi changes into Jodie Whittaker, he added:
“There will be some kids sitting down on Christmas Day who don’t follow the news – and the Doctor will change into a woman and they won’t know.
“For those kids it will be as mysterious and as exciting as it was in 1966 when William Hartnell changed into Patrick Troughton. The programme has never been that original since.”
Speaking of originality, Davies went on to praise Chibnall for taking the show in a direction that he hadn’t even considered back when he was in charge:
“I simply didn’t think of it
“We did a very, very good job in 2005 but it was a different world back then.
“What Chris Chibnall is brilliantly doing is making me and Steven Moffat look old-fashioned. We look like the past. And that’s exactly what we are – we are the past.”
Looking towards the future, Davies added that he was positive about the show’s bright new future.
“I don’t know Jodie, but whenever I’ve seen her interviewed on breakfast TV or whatever, she’s been really funny and vivid, not just spouting PR lines. And that’s rare. That excited me.
“Someone who’s got an incredibly strong self is going to fit the Doctor perfectly.”
Doctor Who Magazine #516 is available to buy now.