Doctor Who’s most controversial showrunner breaks silence on divisive special

Leon Miller
David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor in the 2023 Children in Need special.BBC

Former Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall recently weighed in on the franchise’s polarizing Children in Need mini-episode, “Destination: Skaro.”

Chibnall is no stranger to Doctor Who-related controversy. The English writer and producer generated his fair share of fan outrage while serving as the sci-fi series’ showrunner from 2018 to 2022.

Doctor Who devotees still debate aspects of Chibnall’s run today – particularly the infamous “Timeless Child” story arc. The arc, which ran throughout the ex-showrunner’s four-year tenure, drastically overhauled established Doctor Who canon, upsetting many fans along the way.

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Despite this outcry, Chibnall’s replacement, Russell T Davies, has since confirmed he won’t undo any of his predecessor’s contributions to the franchise’s lore, which he branded “brilliant.”

Doctor Who’s most controversial showrunner breaks silence on divisive special

Chibnall repaid the compliment in a recent interview with Radio Times, backing Davies’ own tweaks to Doctor Who canon in “Destination: Skaro.” This includes the mini-episode’s revamped depiction of iconic baddie Davros, which has come under fire from some corners of the show’s fanbase.

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“I think what’s lovely about that sketch is Russell’s just cheeky with it,” Chibnall said. “Like, he’s respectful and disrespectful and you sort of need to be that as a showrunner and it’s delightful. But actually there’s a lot to break down in that sketch, where you go – he’s moved things on.”

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“He’s made some decisions,” he continued. “The decision around Davros, and stuff like that, [they’re] really fantastic, wonderful decisions and it has to keep changing. It has to keep evolving, it has to keep checking itself against the world and being a little bit ahead of the world.”

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Doctor Who reveals new details about the Daleks’ origin

Davros’ appearance isn’t Davies’ only bold creative choice in the Children in Need mini-episode. The Welsh scribe also reveals that David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor unwittingly played a role in the creation of one of his greatest enemies, the Daleks.

It’s currently unclear whether Davies will flesh out this plot point further in future Doctor Who episodes, although if he does, it won’t be for a while. The showrunner previously announced that he has no plans to include the Daleks in Doctor Who Series 14/Season 1 when it premieres in 2024.

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About The Author

Leon is a freelance Movies and TV writer at Dexerto. His past writing credits include articles for Polygon, Popverse, The Escapist, Screen Rant, CBR, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more. Originally from Australia, Leon is currently based in the UK.