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Chris Chibnall Is Ready for His Era of Doctor Who to be Contradicted by Future Stories

Chris Chibnall, showrunner on the Thirteenth Doctor tenure, says he expects his Doctor Who era to be contradicted in the future.

The writer, who took over from Steven Moffat as showrunner on the show, said:

“I think you have to be very okay with — you do your work on the show during your time and the moment you step away, the moment you stop, then nothing is in your hands and other people will come in, will contradict it, will change it, will alter it, and that is more than okay.

“It would be very arrogant of me to sit here and go, ‘What I really hope is they’re going to expand the story into this and that and the other’, given that I have taken the works of others and turned it inside out and questioned it and re-moulded some of the answers.”

Sure, Chibnall’s era both aligned with and contradicted previous stories, and proved controversial — notably the Timeless Children storyline which said that William Hartnell wasn’t the first incarnation of the character; he wasn’t even the first one to call himself “Doctor”. You could say that that tale, on the other hand, built on The Brain of Morbius, in which various other faces — intended to be the Doctor — were seen.

And people will argue that Doctor Who has always contradicted itself, which is true to a point. The UNIT dating controversy, for instance, or Skaro being destroyed then suddenly reappearing again. Nonetheless, fans, both working behind the scenes on the programme and away from the show entirely, have found ways to smooth the wrinkles. The Brain of Morbius is a solid example: those faces, though intended to be unseen Doctors, could easily have been Morbius’ previous incarnations.

(I’ve always liked that Doctor Who is one ongoing narrative and that contradictions can be explained; that, perhaps, is one reason I hate the Timeless Child idea — it clashes with my Doctor Who.)

So Chibnall’s era might be contradicted in future. But then, fans will smooth things over too.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Chris Chibnall Is Ready for His Era of Doctor Who to be Contradicted by Future Stories

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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