Doctor Who Boss Russell T Davies Has A Warning For Parents Ahead Of Anniversary Specials

The return to the Whoniverse is nigh.
David Tennant pictured on the set of Doctor Who's 60th anniversary specials
David Tennant pictured on the set of Doctor Who's 60th anniversary specials
Alistair Heap/BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/Disney

Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies has warned audiences that the latest instalments in the long-running sci-fi series won’t necessarily be suitable for viewers of all ages.

Before Ncuti Gatwa takes up the mantle of Time Lord later this year, David Tennant is set to return to the Tardis in three anniversary specials to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary.

Russell – who first helmed the show between 2005 and 2010 – is returning for Who’s new era – and has warned parents that although the series has been watched by children for decades, “it’s not a children’s show”.

Per The Independent, Russell explained that the first of his anniversary specials, The Star Beast, is the most child-friendly of the three.

“It is like a great big Pixar family film, like a bank holiday film – all the family watching, lots of laughs, a funny monster,” he said.

However, the same apparently can’t be said for the remaining two episodes in the anniversary set.

Russell T Davies
Russell T Davies
Eamonn M. McCormack via Getty Images

Russell added: “The second one, Wild Blue Yonder, is darker. Not scary – it’s genuinely weird.

“We do very scary stuff. Some stuff is quite violent. It’s not for children, it’s about children.”

The showrunner concluded that despite not gearing all of his episodes towards a younger audience, they’re still a part of his creative process.

“The most important thing is that eight-year-old watching, and I do know that when you’re eight, or when you’re six, there’s nothing more disappointing than a disappointing episode of your favourite show. That’s a real low that day,” he said.

“So you’ve got to keep it variable and change it, but it is that thought of disappointing that kid [that] drives us all.”

David Tennant, who previously appeared as the Tenth Doctor under Russell’s tenure, will be reprising his role as an interim version of the Time Lord between Jodie Whittaker and Ncuti Gatwa’s respective stints.

The Sex Education star will make his debut in 2023’s Christmas special, The Church On Ruby Road – presumably alongside new companion Ruby Sunday (played by Millie Gibson).

David will be joined by a host of fan favourite characters, returning classics and new additions in his three specials, the third of which is called The Giggle. Catherine Tate returns as Donna Noble (now Donna Temple Noble), Yasmin Finney stars as her daughter Rose and Neil Patrick Harris is The Toymaker; a vintage Who villain.

A recently-released teaser clip also introduced viewers to Miriam Margolyes’ character, and it’s safe to say we’re already obsessed.

The first of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary specials, The Star Beast, airs at 6.30pm on Saturday 25th November on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


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