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Doctor Who Vet Steven Moffat Knows A Few Things About Russell T. Davies' Return, And Has Advice For Fans

The Doctor looking like he's squinting
(Image credit: BBC America)

Doctor Who: Flux is over, and after just a few specials in 2022, showrunner Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s run on the show will be complete. As bittersweet as that is, there’s reason to be excited as The BBC confirmed that showrunner Russell T. Davies will return for a new season and potentially much more. Former showrunner Steven Moffat actually knows a bit about Davies’ plans for his return and offered some advice for fans at a recent event. 

The producer recently spoke at a Q&A for the Oxford Union, and talk turned to Russell T. Davies’ return to the storied science-fiction show. After confirming he has no desire to return to the series as showrunner just yet, Steven Moffat talked about Davies’ upcoming stint and gave a slight tease of what fans should expect:

I’m really curious to see what Russell’s second go-around is like, what he does now. Because being the restless man he is, it won’t be the same as the first time. Don’t think you know what you’re going to get. You don’t. And I know a little bit [about his plans] because we chatted. He wouldn’t be doing this unless he could scare the living shit out of you. So, it will be great.

On a list of things I expected when Russell T. Davies returned to Doctor Who, I can say with confidence that having the shit scared out of me was not one of them. Beyond that, I think that many fans will be both thrilled and a little anxious to know that Davies doesn’t want to return to the franchise to do the same thing he did when he first oversaw the series years ago. 

Any anxiousness is understandable, especially given the sheer amount of change the series has gone through in its past three seasons. So a return to the past feels like a welcoming thing at this stage, though apparently, not exactly what the returning showrunner has in mind, according to Steven Moffat. 

At the same time, Russell T. Davies is partly responsible for the success of Doctor Who’s reboot. To this day, many still talk about iconic episodes from his run, so it almost feels wrong for me to have any anxiety to even question his future vision for the series. I’m still not wholly convinced the program will ever “scare the shit” out of me personally, but I’m more than ready to see Davies attempt to do so. 

Plus, the producer will be helping the BBC with celebrating the 60th anniversary of the franchise. Even if he has bold and unexpected ideas for future seasons of the series, the anniversary will likely require he be a bit tethered to the show’s past in some way. Who knows for sure, though, and maybe it’s best to just take Steven Moffat’s general advice in not assuming we know anything about what the showrunner will bring to the franchise in his second run. 

Doctor Who: Flux episodes can be viewed over at BBC America, but fans can find the series on streaming over at HBO Max. Hopefully, the coming months will bring more information about Jodie Whittaker’s exit, as well as news on who the new Doctor might be.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.