It is just a few weeks now before Doctor Who will return to our television screens. The new series that features the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, also features a complete, new set of writers and directors. Series 11 promises to be a fresh new start for the long-running sci-fi programme, as the showrunner Chris Chibnall promises a new modern vibe for fans.
Chibnall states, “We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you. A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun.”
“Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.”
Who are these new talented individuals that will lead our Doctor to the future?
Malorie Blackman is well-known as the Children’s Laureate, a position she held from 2013 to 2015, succeeding Julia Donaldson. She has written over 60 books for children and young adults including the series Noughts and Crosses and Byker Grove. She also is no stranger to television as her book Pig-Heart Boy was a BAFTA-winning, six-part TV serial. To Malorie, the chance to write for the thirteenth Doctor is a highlight of her career.
“I’ve always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.”
Visit Malorie’s website to discover her vast library of stories.
Those familiar with British television will know Ed Hime’s work. He was nominated for the BAFTA Craft Award 2010 for Breakthrough Talent for his script Skins – Series 4 – Episode 2 “Emily”. He won the 2007 Prix Italia award for the radio play The Incomplete Recorded Works of a Dead Body. Stories, character and plots are of critical importance to this dynamic writer.
“Writing for this series comes down to the adventure really, and telling emotionally engaging stories to bring everyone along with you.”
Ed is currently on commission to the National Theatre and has several series in development including Weird Blood for the BBC.
For a full list of Ed’s work see his agents website.
Vinay Patel is a young new and exciting playwright and screenwriter; His first play, True Brits, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. He had a stellar television debut with Murdered By My Father, about a father that honour kills his daughter. The movie won the 2016 Royal Television Society Award for Best Single Drama and was nominated for three BAFTAs. His next play, An Adventure, opens at the Bush Theatre in September 2018.
Writing for Doctor Who, is not something Patel ever thought he would be doing. “I grew up watching shows like Star Trek and Quantum Leap on the edge of my dad’s bed, and I loved how they managed to capture the imagination of a kid like me as well as acting as a moral compass. I never imagined that I’d get to write for Doctor Who – I was pretty thrilled.”
You can find out more about Viney Patel’s career at his website.
Pete McTighe created the Australian female prison drama, Wentworth. While British by birth, he has worked extensively in Australia where he wrote for Neighbours, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, and more. Wentworth has been sold to more than 150 countries and won many Australian awards including the Most Outstanding and Most Popular Drama.
Peter is a dedicated Doctor Who fan who has dreamed of writing for the series. “My entire television career has quite literally been an elaborate plan to get to write Doctor Who – and no one is more shocked than me that it paid off. I’ve been having the time of my life working with Chris, and writing for Jodie and the new team, and can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been up to.”
Joy Wilkinson was born in Burnley Lancashire and moved to London to fulfil her career ambitions as a writer. The writer who was selected as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2015, is both a journalist and a writer. She has spoken on many radio shows including Radio 4’s Start of the Week with Andrew Marr. She was mentored by Sir Kenneth Branagh on BFI/Lighthouse Guiding Lights scheme.
She wrote the award-winning, critically-acclaimed BBC five-parter The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby, along with episodes for Casualty, Holby City and Doctors. Her latest script is The Sweet Science of Bruising which can be seen at the Southwark Playhouse, October 2018.
Joy is still in shock about writing for the series. “I loved the show and felt like it might be a good fit for me, but I knew it was really hard to get onto. So quite frankly I’m still pinching myself to be here!”
To discover more about Joy’s work visit her website.
Sallie Aprahamian has a long history of directing television and has directed two of the episodes from Series 11. She also has the recent pleasure of working on the opening and closing episodes of Series 5 of Poldark. She has won many awards, including the George Devine Award for Blue Night In The Heart Of The West by James Stockand a BAFTA nomination for her work on Debbie Moon’s Wolfblood.
Sallie is an original fan of the series from when William Hartnell first created the role. “I watched the First Doctor from behind the sofa through my fingers, frightened and exhilarated. I was really delighted, as a fan and as a director, to be invited to work on the first female Doctor’s series. What a brilliant time to be on the show!”
To see more of Sallie’s work see her Showreel below.
Jamie Childs is already familiar to Doctor Who fans for directing Jodie Whittaker’s reveal as the Thirteenth Doctor. He returns to direct the first episode of Series 11. He has an extensive portfolio of work including ITV’s Vera and Stan Lee’s critically acclaimed series, the Lucky Man.
Jamie jumped at the chance to be involved with Doctor Who. “We tend to avoid making many shows in Britain that really allow the audience to properly escape, and Doctor Who has been doing this for decades. So yes, sign me up – I’ve always wanted to be part of that! There really aren’t many shows made over here that allow the viewer to travel to another universe.”
To watch samples of Jamie’s work see his website where you can watch numerous clips of his various projects.
Jennifer Perrott wrote, directed, produced and executive a number of award-short films. She won a Best Young Director Award at the BroadcastNow / BBC B+Young Talent Awards and has also directed various episodes of the Australian series , Currently, she is directing Gentleman Jack, a joint BBC One/HBO historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright.
Jennifer has loved the series since she was a child. “Doctor Who is an iconic show and one I’d loved as a child, especially when Tom Baker was the Doctor. Space travel has become more a part of modern life and this has opened the door for more human stories to be told amidst the escapist fantasy of saving the world from alien invasion. The aliens are now as emotionally complex as the humans, and I was really excited by that.”
To see samples of her work see her Vimeo channel.
Mark Tonderai is a man of many talents. The British writer, director, DJ and entrepreneur was educated in Zimbabwe before moving to Kingston to study architecture. He then switched gears and joined the BBC as a trainee presenter. Mark has directed numerous television programs including The Five, Impulse, Lucifer, Gotham, Black Lightning, George RR Martin’s Nightflyers and Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street.
The new showrunner, Chris Chibnall was a big influence on his decision to join the Doctor Who series. “What was really crucial in my decision to direct the show was Chris Chibnall. I’m a huge fan of his and I like the way he sees the world. He has this ability to entertain and also deliver truths – questions, too – about who we are. And he does it all with a hint of a smile.”
Watch this interview with the writer and director as he discusses his movie Hush
Doctor Who Returns this Autumn with new adventures featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor on BBC One and BBC America.