Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker are leaving Doctor Who imminently, with their last episode due to air in 2022, but new comments from Piers Wenger, Director for Drama at the BBC, make it sound as if the corporation doesn’t actually have a plan for the brand beyond next year.
At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Wenger was asked if he had a plan for the series, and he replied:
“No, I don’t. As with any change of Doctor and showrunner, it will be ambitious and radical. We will have to look at the TV landscape in which it will play. So, change is ahead!”
It’s not particularly inspiring, is it? “Ambitious” and “radical” are just buzzwords. Sure, we knew change was ahead anyway, so…
And considering Chibnall says he’d told the BBC he and Whittaker were always due to only stay for three series, it begs the question, why hasn’t the BBC got a move on? Isn’t another showrunner in place? Are they prevaricating because they didn’t want people to know Chibnall was leaving? If so, they could’ve announced it a while ago — after all, fans predicted it ages ago.
Especially as the show’s 60th anniversary is just around the corner!
It’s frustrating to see this flailing. There’s no talk of even Series 14.
Then again, maybe Wenger is lying. Still, if I were lying, I’d go for “oh yes, exciting times ahead” (with a twinkle in my eye and celery pinned to my lapel) over “I don’t know what’s happening, but it’ll probably be good, and does anyone know where the nearest bathroom is?”
Perhaps we expect too much of Wenger, but it is his job to drum up excitement, and he has worked on Doctor Who before. Maybe he was having an off day.
What do you think, Doctor Who fans? Rocky times ahead? Or subterfuge?