Doctor Who: "There Is No Plan at the Moment" for Kids' Spinoff: RTD

In a recent interview, Doctor Who Showrunner Russell T. Davies explained why "there is no plan at the moment" for a children's spinoff.

Along with all of the news buzzing around November's 60th-anniversary event, December's Christmas Special, and the next series of adventures, BBC & Disney+'s Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies isn't exactly having a boring time of things. That's because, along with his focus on the long-running series, Davies is also looking at a shared "WHO-niverse" of spinoffs (a dream he had heading into his first run). In fact, earlier this week, news broke about one potential spinoff (though we have some questions, which you can check out in a minute). But if there are any fans out there who were hoping for a spinoff aimed at young viewers similar to The Sarah Jane Adventures, Davies has some bad news. "It's an ideal, but we're coming back to a world in which money in children's [TV] is in even shorter supply,' Davies explained during a recent interview with SFX. "Even with all the good will in the world, we'd find it very hard to do now, unfortunately. There are fantasy shows – they do stuff. But our stuff is expensive." The showrunner added, "You also have to keep the spin-offs looking as good as the main show in order to maintain the entire brand – that's part of the problem as well. So it's genuinely tricky. There is no plan at the moment for children's, and I'm sad about that, but just affording it would be hard."

doctor who
Image: BBC

So About That UNIT Spinoff & Christmas Special Talk

According to a report posted by Deadline Hollywood on Wednesday, BBC sources confirmed that the first stage in Davies's "WHO-niverse" will bring a spinoff series based on the show's main military research organization, UNIT, with Jemma Redgrave returning to lead as Kate Stewart. Now, we know that we will be seeing Redgrave's Stewart before then, but the DH report offers two interesting updates about the Christmas Special. First, Stewart will be appearing in it. But from there, the report states that the special "will be the first to feature new doctor Ncuti Gatwa along with returns for David Tennant and Catherine Tate." Hmmm… wait for a second. So does that mean that Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor won't be in the 60th-anniversary specials? And that last part seems to imply David Tennant & Catherine Tate will be around past the anniversary celebration. Of course, it's very possible that DH's reporting is confusing the three-episode 60th-anniversary event and the Christmas Special. If not, those are some very interesting updates…

Doctor Who: Looking Ahead to 60th-Anniversary Event & Series 14

Thanks to Doctor Who Magazine #588 (which you should definitely purchase here to get all of the things we may have missed), Davies & others covered a wide range of topics, from new filming tech (including drones), the mention of the word "Meep," new block directors named, and a tease about a two-episode block set to take "the whole show into genuinely new territory."

VFX Coordinator Siân Reynish Talks Up New Marvel Studios-Like Filming Tech: "We're using top-of-the-range technology, the kind that Marvel films use, to make 'Doctor Who' in Wales, which I think is pretty spectacular. It means 'Doctor Who' is at the forefront of pushing the boundaries," shared VFX Coordinator Siân Reynish.

Wait… Drones in the TARDIS?! "And in the Christmas Special, we're shooting with drones on the set, which no one's done before. Because of the way the Doctor races erratically around the TARDIS, it's amazing to have those sorts of shots," Reynish added.

Reynish Is Hearing Good Things About Ncuti Gatwa: "I think he'll bring such a new dynamic. He's young and fun. The crew say he's up for anything, and I think he'll really make it his own and not try to copy the mannerisms of anyone else. He's really individual, and that's what we want – a new new Doctor!"

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Image: BBC Screencap

Oh, and the creature above? Reynish confirmed all of the comic book-based speculations that it was Meep, saying, "When you're watching at home, think of the amount of conversations we've had over how much the Meep blinks!"

Blocks 3 & 4 Directors Revealed: Director Julie Anne Robertson's Block Three includes "two wildly different episodes, by wildly different writers," according to Davies' column. "Julie Anne is a dream piece of crewing for me because I've wanted to work with her ever since sitting in awe of the BBC's Blackpool," Davies shared. "Julie Anne comes with the best reference ever – an actor called David Tennant, who starred in Blackpool and loves her!"

Director Ben Chessell is Aboard for 2-Episode "New Territory" Block Four: "Our search for directors reached all the way to Australia to find Ben," revealed EP Phil Collinson. "One of the greatest shows I've ever seen on television is Joe Barton's Giri/Haji for the BBC, with the spectacular finale directed by Ben. It broke all the rules of what television can achieve, so we knew he was a perfect fit for this two-episode block, which takes the whole show into genuinely new territory. We were all wondering how to achieve what's on the page, but Ben has marched in to show us how!"

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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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