Season 11 of Doctor Who is going to be new… very new. There will be a new Doctor, a new showrunner, and apparently a new format. Chris Chibnall, who is slated to come on board as showrunner in 2018, has hinted at going away from the monster of the week format and into a more broad series storyline. As long as the TARDIS allows.
The writer/producer, who is coming off of the blazing BBC hit Broadchurch is fond of season-long storytelling, proven through the compelling, addictive crime drama. As the new head honcho, the style could easily bleed into Doctor Who, giving the season one single storyline.
Chibnall spoke to the Royal Television Society, who delved into the insights of his career, and got the scoop on what finally convinced the producer to take on the iconic show. He revealed:
“I finally said yes because I love the show to my bones. I resisted it for a very long time, and [the BBC] really had to woo me…But, in the end, I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it. When I went to them and said, ‘This is what I would do’, I actually expected them to say, ‘Ooh, let’s talk about that’, but they said: ‘Great!’”
Though Chibnall stayed mum on most Doctor details (ahem, like who is going to play the Doctor), he did respond to the question if he would be allowed to do a whole-season storyline, like Broadchurch, rather than individual episodes. To which he responded: “Yes. What the BBC was after was risk and boldness.”
Risk and boldness. Those two words might be a key insight into what’s coming up on the show. Perhaps in regard to the Doctor him or herself, and definitely into what kind of story fans will follow. Looking into Chibnall’s past, his work on Broadchurch seems to be a defining time in his career and a solidifying work in his personal style. After coming to the U.S. to work on the tragedy (in more ways than one) Camelot on Starz. The constant pressure from a team of over 13 producers led Chibnall to vow to never work in that way again.
The perspective on storytelling will be refreshing for a show that’s had such a long run and it’s no wonder the BBC is looking to keep it fresh. Some new blood will certainly keep the energy alive, as Chibnall said himself, “The definition of a good story is being told things that you don’t know yet.”
Source: Royal Television Society