Chris Chibnall never had a hopeless view of Doctor Who future

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Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall revealed to Doctor Who Magazine that he only discovered Russell T Davies was succeeding him as showrunner about 36 hours before the rest of the world.

“[BBC executives] Piers [Wenger] and Charlotte [Moore] told me. I had a suspicion, because Russell hadn’t texted me for a while. And he’s never been that quiet! So I called Russell and told him I’d kind of guessed. He was very apologetic about keeping it a secret.”

Russell T Davies back

Chibnall was also asked by Doctor Who Magazine whether he made an effort to dovetail with incoming showrunner Russell T Davies’ plans.

“No, because I wrote it before I knew Russell was taking over. I had my suspicions about what was going to happen, but when I had it confirmed I said to Russell, ‘This is going to work very nicely!’ The whole story is the perfect lead-up to…” he paused, before smiling. “… what happens next!”

When asked by Total TV Guide whether he wrote The Power of the Doctor with the understanding that Doctor Who wouldn’t continue, he had this to say.

“Your question is quite binary, but it wasn’t as binary as that. I wasn’t entirely sure what would be coming up next. But, no, I don’t you’re going to watch [The Power of the Doctor] and go, ‘This feels like an end.'”

“Where we ended up is where I wanted us to,” Chibnall told Total TV Guide. “It’ doesn’t feel like there’s any unfinished business to me.”

“People continually tell you in this job, that it’s really hard and you’re not going to enjoy it. But I 100 per cent loved it. Honestly, it’s been the most amazing time. What a privilege.”

Written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone, the Doctor Who BBC centenary special, The Power of the Doctor airs 23 October, 7:30pm on BBC One.

After The Power of the Doctor, Doctor Who returns in 2023 with three 60th anniversary specials written and executive produced by Russell T Davies and starring David Tennant as the Doctor. Davies will also be in charge of Doctor Who Series 14 with a new Doctor played by Ncuti Gatwa.