Chris Chibnall reflects on his Doctor Who time, the mixed reaction to his era on the show, and his new play.
In hindsight, the Chris Chibnall-driven era of Doctor Who saw a lifelong fan of the show get the controls to it at a hugely difficult time. The BBC’s budget was being squeezed, then there was a global pandemic, and as Chibnall has talked about since he left the show, there was a fight and a half to get the episodes made that he did bring to fruition.
That doesn’t mean he’s blind to the criticism that some of his stories drew, and in a new interview at the BBC website, he’s briefly reflected on that.
Up front though, the interview – and it’s a really good, long piece – is for his latest project, a play called One Last Push that’s opening at the Salisbury Playhouse this month.
He admits one of the attractions with tackling a comedy about giving birth (inspired by events close to home for him) was the sheer contrast it marked from his Doctor Who days.
“Obviously in Doctor Who it’s quite high-stakes storytelling”, he reflected to the BBC. “You’re often saving a planet or a civilisation or a universe. So to go into a different type of storytelling is really nice.”
When put to him that the viewer reaction to his four year run on Doctor Who was ‘mixed’, Chibnall to his credit appeared to take it on the chin.
“We knew that going in. You don’t cast the first female Doctor if you’re thinking you’re going to go in and just do the same as has been done before,” he argued.
He added too that he is “so proud” of the tales they told and the people they brought to Doctor Who. That they had “such a great time making it”.
Chris Chibnall brought in some divisive changes to the Doctor’s background too in his run, that Russell T Davies – the current showrunner – has gone out of his way to insist are canon for the programme now. Furthermore, Chibnall’s interviews since he left Doctor Who have been really interesting and open, a marked contrast from the more secretive approach he took when he was in the job.
Here’s the piece at the BBC, which is well worth a read.—
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