Doctor Who’s Big Comeback

DWM463A quite plugette for issue 463 of Doctor Who Magazine, which hits newsstands today. The lead feature, written by yours truly, sees Russell T. Davies, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner talk about bringing the show back for the 21st Century. I asked them to cast their mind to 2003, when the news of Doctor Who‘s return first broke, finding out the reasons behind the revival, the struggles that went on behind the scenes, and how it almost stopped before it had begun.

As Jane Tranter revealed to me:

When Michael Grade arrived back at the BBC as Chairman, Mark Thompson was back as Director General. Michael Grade didn’t like Doctor Who at all. Mark Thompson actually asked me if we could stop. I said, no, we couldn’t!

There’s loads of other great stuff in the issue too, including an interview with K9 creator, Bob Baker (plus my review of his autobiography) and the continuing controversy of whether the new Doctor should be a woman. Go get your copy today.

The return of Who

Interviewing Russell, Jane and Julie made me think back to where I was when I first heard Doctor Who was coming back. I still can’t believe it was 10 years ago!

I was still living in Bath and had Mark Wright sleeping on my lounge floor as he was down in the West Country for a week. We’d been tipped off that the show was on its way back by a friend on SFX and were hopping around like excited bunnies, a couple of days before it was announced in the Telegraph. The conversations were as you’d expect; who will play the Doctor? What will the theme tune be like? Will the Daleks be back? Will the Kandyman be back? OK, so that last one wasn’t mentioned (although it should have been. I still love The Happiness Patrol!)

But the biggest question was, how long will it last this time? After all, the last TV revival, back in 1996, had lasted all of one night!

Oh, we of little faith!

Of course, we never dreamt that the new series (if you insist on calling it that – in my mind, it’s the same show that started in 1963 and just rested for a decade or so) would reach such heights and that we’d be writing books and audios for the 50th anniversary celebrations.

But the trip of a lifetime was coming…


So, where were you when you first heard the Doctor was coming back? Let me know by leaving a comment below…




  1. Cavan,

    Just got back from lunch and reading your rather excellent article.

    Ten years ago I was very much a lapsed fan and the news passed me by. I only watched Rose out of a sense of loyalty and with no expectations – needless to say I was rather impressed and haven’t looked back since!


    • Glad you enjoyed it. Re-watched Rose recently, before writing Night of the Whisper. Was amazed at how confident it was. How sure of itself.

  2. That’s a good description and your article brings out the clarity of RTD’s vision for the series. I’ve not re-watched for a long while but certain moments really capture some of the nu-Who essence – I’m thinking when Rose finds her inner strength to save the day under the London Eye: the camera seems to focus, time slows and suddenly it all makes sense

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