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Doctor Who Showrunner Breaks Silence on Disney’s Involvement With Series

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News that The Walt Disney Company was going to become involved with the future of Doctor Who took fans of the franchise by surprise in a big way. The deal was announced as collaboration between the BBC and Disney Branded Television, bringing the upcoming new season of the show to the Disney+ streaming platform around the globe and noting their work together would “transform Doctor Who into a global franchise for UK audiences and the rest of the world.” Rumors quickly began to swirl that Disney would have a big hand in shaping the series and its content, including murmurs of a super-sized budget that could have the show compete with the likes of The Rings of Power.

Since then the series’ creators haven’t really touched any of the fandom speculation and talk but in a new interview showrunner Russell T Davies has set the record straight on at least one of the concepts. Speaking with Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times), Davies commented specifically on the rumor that the show’s budget was going to grow to $10 million an episode. His reply reads: “That has been exaggerated. If that was the budget, I’d be speaking to you from my base on the Moon….That is not the budget, and I worry that misinformation like that creates false expectation. Nonetheless, we have a lovely, handsome budget, and we’re very happy with how we’re proceeding with it.”

Davies previously served as the showrunner for the first four seasons of the revived Doctor Who on the BBC, covering Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s tenures as the character. He’s been absent ever since but is back for the 2023 series of 60th Anniversary specials and will showrun the 15th season of the show when Ncuti Gatwa takes over in the lead role.

The 2023 specials won’t actually be the start of Gatwa in the role however as the recent “The Power of the Doctor” episode saw a major twist occur. As series regular Jodie Whittake was preparing to regenerate, which many assumed would herald the arrival of Gatwa as the fourteenth doctor, Tennant appeared, taking on the role of the Fourteenth Doctor for the upcoming 2023 specials and making Gatwa’s character the Fifteenth Doctor when his time eventually comes.

Tennant will be joined in the next batch of episodes by Catherine Tate, returning as companion Donna Noble. Heartstopper breakout Yasmin Finney plays a new character named Rose (not that Rose), rumored to be Donna’s daughter. “Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick or flashback,” Davies teased of Tennant and Tate’s returns. “The only thing I can confirm is it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”

Check back here tomorrow for whatever it is Doctor Who is teasing, and perhaps new details on the 2023 specials that will arrive next year.

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