I'm going to mention right up front here that I've read absolutely no commentary on the news that broke just this morning, namely that Russell T. Davies -- the man who helped bring the BBC's Doctor Who back from hiatus and onto the airwaves with a whole new generation back in 2005 -- is returning to the show after Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker depart with the conclusion of Season 13.
Yeah, I did not see that one coming.
Anyway, let me also mention right up front that unlike so many others I wasn't as enamored with Davies' run. Yes, it was quite good, but at some point I thought it got a bit too overlapped and jumbled together, so much so I couldn't quite follow some of the through-lines with the characters as they developed. Again, for clarity's sake: yes, it was quite good. I just didn't go gaga over it the way so many others did.
Still, I have to wonder why Davies would want to come back and even why the BBC would want to bring him back. It's a curious choice. Clearly, he's done an awful lot with the property, but he left wanting to go and do other things, which he's done and done quite well. Is he coming back because he now has more stories to tell, or does his return bode something more? Does the BBC believe by simply bringing him back into the fray they can regain some of Who's luster, which seems to have waned a bit under Chibnall and Whittaker? Or could the BBC be thinking that maybe it's time to put Who out to pasture, and what better way to bring the man who engineered its comeback to do the same with its swan song?
Like others in the business of commenting on programming, I tend to overthink these things; and I would imagine that some may be having the same thoughts as I this morning. In the history of television programming, I think it's rare to welcome a departing creative head back into the fold; but there aren't exactly all that many franchises in TV corners that possess Who's longevity. Dare I suggest that something greater or grander could be afoot with such a development?
Given the reality that Who seems to have fallen into a rut (not in a bad way) of spacing out its seasons over multiple years, perhaps Davies' return could be an attempt to clean that up, to return the show to a sense of normalcy on the programming dial. I know fans online have wondered about why they've had to wait so long -- to endure these unusual hiatuses -- and who can blame them? I'd be happy with maybe a telefilm thrown in here and there if I had to wait two to three seasons for new episodes; but I've no idea how the showrunners could work out that dynamic the way the BBC manages its properties now.
In any event, I suspect there will be ample speculation in the days ahead as to whether or not this could mean something more than it does. We'll all be spinning like TARDISes in no time at all.