Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies says end of BBC is ‘undoubtedly on its way’

Thursday 28 March 2024

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has said the end of the BBC is “undoubtedly on its way in some shape or form”.

Davies said the decision to co-produce the new series of Doctor Who with streaming platform Disney was to “prepare” for it to outlive the UK broadcaster.

“Before they (the BBC) approached me, I had already said in various interviews I think Doctor Who would have to become a co-production, there’s no way the BBC is going to fund that,” he said on the They Like To Watch podcast.

“You’ve also got to look in the long term at the end of the BBC, which is somehow, surely, undoubtedly, on its way in some shape or form.

“Is Doctor Who going to die then? No, you’ve got to prepare for that kind of stuff.”

Davies said the decision to co-produce the new series of Doctor Who with streaming platform Disney was to “prepare” for it to outlive the UK broadcaster.

The new series of Doctor Who, starring Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and former Coronation Street actress Millie Gibson.

Davies caveated his comments by saying “all of that is kind of the flim flam on top of the fact that I love it, and it’s the only chance you have in television for me to really write in pictures”.

The new series of Doctor Who, starring Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and former Coronation Street actress Millie Gibson, will begin with a double bill on May 11.

“If Disney collapsed tomorrow and we had to go back to making Doctor Who on a normal BBC budget, you know what, we’d all rally round and make it and suddenly the stories would become claustrophobic ghost stories and a lot of people would like that,” Davies said.

But he added it would be a “real shame” if Doctor Who was not available alongside other “big hitters” such as The Mandalorian and Marvel shows.

His comments come after BBC director general Tim Davie said he is open to a “more progressive” licence fee and revealed the corporation will launch its “biggest-ever consultation process” next year so the public can drive the debate on its future.

The licence fee has been frozen for two years at £159, but in 2023 the Government announced it would use a lower rate of inflation to increase the household charge from April to £169.50 a year.

The freeze and rising inflation has driven the broadcaster to reassess its priorities as it seeks to make £500 million of savings, with Mr Davie announcing at a Royal Television Society event in London this week that a further £200 million of savings will need to be made.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement