Home Doctor Who Series 11 INTERVIEW: Chris Chibnall Talks Past, Future and the Audience

INTERVIEW: Chris Chibnall Talks Past, Future and the Audience

Doctor Who - Chris Chibnall - Doctor Who, Showrunner - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: Ben Blackall
New showrunner Chris Chibnall has a storied history in television and with Doctor Who in particular.

Chibnall wrote five episodes of Doctor Who, served as lead writer on Torchwood and executive producer on Law & Order: UK starring Bradley Walsh. More recently he created the critically-acclaimed Broadchurch featuring Doctor Who alum past and (it turns out) future. As he takes on the TARDIS full-time, how has having a new Doctor affected the series direction?

Chris Chibnall (Showrunner) and Matt Strevens (Executive Producer) Doctor Who Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Chris Chibnall (Showrunner) and Matt Strevens (Executive Producer) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Ben Blackall

“Casting a new actor…brings in new opportunities to think about where the show is, think about where the world is, think about where you might want the stories to go,” said Chibnall. “I hope we’ve got a fresh set of stories that are engaged with, and resonate with, the world we live in now.”

What Can We Expect?

“You can expect emotion, you can expect action and adventure and monsters and far­off planets and huge alien vistas. You can expect a lot of humour, a lot of warmth and some great characters,” he continued. “Four great new friends for you to meet as they go through past, present and future and meet some incredible people from history and go and battle on alien planets and fight threats closer to home.”

I hope you can expect everything you’ve ever loved about Doctor Who.

It’s really a whole array of different stories. Ten individual stories that show off the range of the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends but also of the show as a whole. I hope you can expect everything you’ve ever loved about Doctor Who. More than anything, it’s hopefully incredibly entertaining and I think this series has something for absolutely everyone. If you’ve seen Doctor Who before I hope we’re going to be giving you all the stuff you love. If you’ve never seen it before, this is the place to start and I think you’re in for a rollicking ride.”

Renewal; Not Reboot

“This series is the perfect stepping on point…With the new Doctor you’ve got a new beginning, a new opportunity for people to join the show as viewers, for people who might have drifted away or haven’t seen the show for a few years, or 10 years or 20 years; it’s a great time to remind people of how amazing Doctor Who is and to have a restart. But also, it’s a great time for a new generation of children and families to start the habit of gathering around the television together to watch this funny, scary, extraordinary show!”

The show has a history of renewal, while also staying faithful to what it is.

“It’s not a reboot it’s just that great, unique thing which is built into Doctor Who: a fresh start happens every few years. This is no different to when Tom Baker changed to Peter Davison, or when the show went from black and white to colour, with Patrick Troughton handing over to Jon Pertwee. The show has a history of renewal, while also staying faithful to what it is.”

“It’s the amazing thing about Doctor Who is this fresh start every few years which brings a whole new jolt of energy to the show. And hopefully encourages the next generation of audiences to try the show, while also reminding existing audiences why they love it.”

Doctor Who Series 11 – Episode 1 – Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Henrik Knudsen
Doctor Who returns for its eleventh series on Sunday 7th October on BBC One with ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’. Look out for our spoiler-free preview coming very soon.

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