It’s been over 14 years since Doctor Who made its triumphant return to television. Alongside the compelling performances from Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, the series was overseen by Russell T. Davies who, in his 4-year stint as showrunner, gave us some of the best episodes the series ever made.
But in a recent interview with the Radio Times, Davies gave his final verdict on whether or not he would be making a return to writing duties for the show, even for the upcoming 60th anniversary in 2023. Russell said at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival:
“It’ll be like coming back to do a job I did ten-years ago, wouldn’t it? Who would do that?”
Since leaving Doctor Who, Davies has done a few Who-related projects. He oversaw and gave his consent for Big Finish to adapt his first Virgin New Adventures entry, Damaged Goods as well as giving them permission to use a number of his characters in either their own spin-off ranges or to guest star in other Big Finish series.
More recently, he returned to adapt his debut television adventure, Rose, for BBC Books in the traditional Target Books range. Davies added:
“Really think about it. Go back to the job you had 13 years ago. Go back to your old school, walk in, say hello and take your old seat. And then start giving instructions! Watch everyone’s else’s faces, shortly before they call the police. Move on! And why not? The future is golden!”
Davies had another time-travelling project up his sleeves too, with Years and Years. This time-jumping narrative, featuring Emma Thompson (playing Vivienne Rook, whose name certainly rings a bell…), Russell Tovey, and Anne Reid, follows the Lyon family from Manchester with each episode moving 5 years into the future.
The idea is that, by the time the show ends, we’ll be seeing the Lyon family 15 years into the future. Davies decided to produce this series because since he conceived it in 2008, the world has just got madder and madder – Donald Trump’s election and Brexit apparently convinced him to pitch it to the BBC.
But he was also quick to add that Doctor Who would still exist in 2035:
“Doctor Who is forever! It’s the one unchanging thing in the world!”