Yes, there are already questions over how long Russell T Davies is staying on as Doctor Who showrunner; fortunately, he’s addressed this topic head on.
When asked how long he’ll work on Doctor Who, Davies replied:
“For years, actually. I will have to spend years on that.”
(“Have to” implies it’s going to take some time to put all his plans into action…)
He reiterated, too, that he’s not moving onto other projects either:
“Not for a while. I am sorry. Time to give these young people a bit of space.”
Of course, “years” could mean “two years” or it could mean “20 years”. Who knows? Nonetheless, it’s nice to hear that Russell plans to stay on as showrunner for a while.
Before, he was showrunner, for four series plus some specials: if you look at transmission periods, that’s 2005 to 2009, or 2010 if we count The End of Time Part 2 airing on New Year’s Day 2010. However, Davies was announced as bringing back Doctor Who in 2003 and there was a long road getting to that point. So can we say he stayed on from 2003 to 2009, i.e seven years?
The next showrunner, Steven Moffat, worked alongside Russell since Series 1 then took over in 2010, being showrunner until 2017. He was announced as taking over from Davies in May 2008. So… around nine years?
And Chris Chibnall was showrunner from 2018 to 2022, though he started in the role in 2017. That’s six years, with his three series and numerous specials airing across five years.
We might count 2023 as the first year Davies has been showrunner again since 2009, although again, his work on the programme began earlier than this — indeed, we’ve seen the first few seconds of the Fourteenth Doctor’s life at the end of The Power of the Doctor, ushering in Russell’s new era. Could we see Davies in the showrunner chair until at least 2028?
We’ll see. Still, how wonderful to hear Davies settling back into this job so enthusiastically!