Chris Chibnall has revealed that his least favourite Doctor Who script written by him is The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos — which was actually a first draft script.
It’s both pretty shocking and not surprising, but Chibnall justifies a first draft making it to screen:
“Particularly in that first series, I spent a lot of time helping other writers. We had some problems towards the end and I had to go back and do some big rewrites. Which meant that the version of episode 10 that we filmed was a first draft. But I just didn’t have time to do a second draft. It didn’t feel enough like a season finale, and that was entirely down to time.
“So that’s my least favourite script of mine. But I really attacked Resolution, so hopefully I made up for it with that one.”
In Chris’ defence, he only wrote one draft of Dinosaurs on a Spaceship too, back in 2012, although Steven Moffat was showrunner then so apparently tweaked anything that didn’t work before it made it to screen while Chibnall worked on his other Series 7 episode, The Power of Three. Plus, Series 11 was Chris’ first time as showrunner, so it’s understandable that things didn’t run smoothly.
Saying that, it’s pretty poor that a first draft made it to air, and it shows. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and was almost universally criticised (naturally, like every Doctor Who, however, it has its fans).
It’s a shame that Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Thirteenth Doctor ended not with a bang but with a whimper. Chibnall presumably had lots of time to write her swansong, though, so fingers crossed the upcoming BBC Centenary special will tick all the boxes.