Screenwriter Russell T Davies is returning to BBCs flagship sci-fi series Doctor Who as showrunner, 12 years after he left the role, the BBC has announced.
Davies will succeed Chris Chibnall, who previously announced he will be departing the series next year.
Russell T Davies was behind the revival of the long-running series in 2005, propelling it back into the limelight, initially with Christopher Eccleston playing the titular time-travelling Doctor.
With Davies’s at the helm, the show became a primetime TV fixture and led to two popular spin-offs, Torchwood for a post-watershed audience and the children’s series Sarah Jane Adventures.
Davies was there for David Tennant’s time as the Doctor before stepping down in 2009 when he was succeeded by showrunner Steven Moffat.
One of his first responsibilities on his return will be to decide who takes over the Tardis following Jodie Whittaker’s exit. The actress is set to hang up her Sonic Screwdriver after one more six-part series and three 2022 specials.
In a statement, Davies said: “I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we’re time-travelling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm – I’m still a viewer for now.”
Chibnall described Davies’s appointment as “monumentally exciting and fitting”, adding that Davies “built the baton that is about to be handed back to him”.
He said: “Doctor Who, the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and let’s be honest everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be very excited indeed about what lies ahead.”
Doctor Who celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2023.