Russell T Davies denies claims Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who is a reboot

Leon Miller
Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson in the Doctor Who Christmas special

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies insists that Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor won’t usher in a franchise reboot.

Gatwa will replace David Tennant as Doctor Who’s leading man in the show’s third and final 60th anniversary special, “The Giggle.” “The Giggle” airs on December 2 on BBC One (UK & Ireland) and Disney+ (everywhere else).

From here, he’ll headline the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Church on Ruby Road,” alongside Millie Gibson as the Doctor’s new companion, Ruby Sunday. This festive-themed outing drops on December 25, reinstating the sci-fi show’s tradition of Christmas Day broadcasts.

The Christmas special will then segue into Doctor Who Series 14, which Davies recently referred to as “Doctor Who Season 1” – sparking speculation a reboot is underway.

Russell T Davies denies claims Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who is a reboot

But rumors of a Doctor Who reboot are unfounded, according to Davies. The showrunner said as much in a recent interview with SFX, during which he favored the term “reinvention,” instead.

“It’s completely a reinvention, Davies explained. “Reinvention of the show, brand new, but not a reboot, it’s the same old show, everything starts again, everything’s seen through the eyes of Ruby Sunday and it’s that lovely feeling of here we go, a new era beginning.”

Davies also teased the Doctor Who Christmas special’s plot, hinting that it will push the envelope even further than the second 60th anniversary special, “Wild Blue Yonder.” “[It] kind of goes into territory we’ve never touched before,” he said. “In many ways that’s more… fresher than [Wild Blue Yonder]. We’ve never done this before.”

Doctor Who showrunner talks Series 14’s villains

Fans can expect Davies’ emphasis on breaking new ground to carry over to Gatwa’s first full run of Doctor Who episodes, too. While the Welsh scribe won’t describe Series 14/Season 1 as a reboot, he’s already revealed plans to bench at least two iconic villains in favor of new baddies.

“It’s very new,” Davies enthused. “Ncuti’s new and Millie is new… and the whole new era, as it were. So… there are no Daleks, there are no Cybermen, I didn’t want to look back too much.” The showrunner paid particular attention to the Daleks’ absence, arguing that they “need a good pause” before going head-to-head with the Fifteenth Doctor.

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