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Doctor Who EP to Fans: RTD Will Save You From The Big, Bad Disney

Doctor Who executive producer Joel Collins looked to reassure fans that Russell T. Davies will protect the show from "Disneyisation."

When the word first came down that Disney+ would be the streaming home for the BBC & Showrunner Russell T. Davies's Ncuti Gatwa (Fifteenth Doctor) & Millie Gibson (Rudy Sunday)-starring Doctor Who, it might not be surprising to know that quite a few fans were a bit nervous over what influence "The Mouse" might have on the long-running series. Adding to those concerns were the rumblings over how Disney's investment could find "The Mouse" having more and more of a say over various aspects of the production and creative process. You know, like the Doctor & Ruby end up having a wacky adventure in Disneyland. In the latest edition of SFX Magazine, executive producer Joel Collins attempts to ease fans' concerns by explaining why having Davies at the helm matters.

"From the Disney perspective, it's just a bigger audience. So, the show is bigger. But it's the same? It's hard to explain… So, all of the fear that everyone had, the 'Disneyisation' or whatever you call it, that would only happen if it wasn't being made by Russell. Or by somebody who wasn't as big a fan as Russell," Collins shared. "Russell wanted to bring fun to it; he just wanted to bring joy into the show and challenge people in all the right ways that Russell does. But also make it fun at the right points, make it really fun, take you on a ride. So, I think that's where the barrier to entry is removed because adults and children alike enjoy that. And it's not like, 'Oh, it's just for kids,' or 'It's just for adults' or any of this stuff.'"

But that doesn't mean Davies hasn't gotten inspiration from what "The Mouse" has had to offer. "Actually, he [Davies] always looked at Pixar films in the way he wanted this to be," Collins added. "If you look at that Christmas Special, he wanted it to have the fun of a Pixar film, and the complex levels of a Pixar film. No matter how well they're animated, they're all in the writing. They just are. They do workshops over the jokes and the humour, and the nuance. They work with every bit of that writing in Pixar to make sure that when they get to the animation, it reaches every beat, and Russell just has that innately."

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Image: The Disney Channel, BBC

Doctor Who: RTD Posts 2024 Christmas Special Tease

Taking to Instagram on New Year's Eve, Davies offered wishes for a happy new year by teasing a look at the TARDIS on one of the sets from the 2024 Christmas Special – with this tantalizing tease: "But what terrible secrets does it hide..?" Previously, we learned that Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls, Bridgerton) is guest-starring in the holiday event – so at least we have some clues coming together. "Happy New Year's Eve! And the point is – there, right behind us, that's one of the sets from the Christmas 2024 episode of Doctor Who! The future! Right there ♥️ But what terrible secrets does it hide..? (etc)," Davies wrote in his post – here's a look:

And here's a look back at the teaser trailer that was released on Christmas Day for Season 1, with Doctor Who set to return to BBC, BBC iPlayer & Disney+ screens in May 2024:

Looking Ahead to Series 14/Series 1 & Series 15/Series 2

A big update on Christmas Day, with the official teaser & press release for Season 1 confirming Yasmin Finney returning as Rose Noble. Along with Jemma Redgrave (Kate Lethbridge-Stewart), Aneurin Barnard (Roger ap Gwilliam), and Jack Forsyth-Noble (Will), Doctor Who Magazine #589 also confirmed that Bhav Joshi (Wedding Season), Eilidh Loan (Traces), Pete MacHale (Gangs of London), Miles Yekinni (Slow Horses), and Hemi Yeroham (Mamma Mia!) have joined the cast for the new series. In addition, Jinkx Monsoon (RuPaul's Drag Race) was also confirmed to have joined the cast – followed by Jonathan Groff (Glee, Mindhunter) and Indira Varma (Obsession, Game of Thrones) – as The Duchess – in May 2023.

Bonnie Langford was confirmed to be returning as Melanie Bush in June 2023, along with Lenny Rush (Am I Being Unreasonable) as Morris. In early August 2023, we also learned that Gemma Arrowsmith (Gemma Arrowsmith Sketched Out) and Mary Malone (Vera, The Prince) had joined the Christmas Special – while Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy (Hollyoaks) and Billy Brayshaw (Still So Awkward) had joined the Series 14 cast. In November 2023, we also learned that Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls, Bridgerton) was set to guest star in the 2024 Christmas Special. On the writing side, we learned late last month that Kate Herron (Loki, Sex Education) & Briony Redman (Pont Brec) had co-written the episode that Groff and Varma are starring in during the upcoming series.

And here's a look at composer Murray Gold, Segun Akinola, and the BBC National Orchestra performing our upcoming Doctor's new theme – along with some words from RTD near the end:

Here's a look back at a video showcasing Gold & Akinola's new take on the Doctor Who theme:

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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