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Russell T Davies Spoilers Talk

Russell T Davies OBE (born Stephen Russell Davies on 27 April 1963[1]) took over as head writer and executive producer on Doctor Who beginning with the 2023 specials, having previously held this role from series 1 in 2005 to series 4 in 2007-10. He was creator and executive producer of spin-off series Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, having written or co-written six episodes of Torchwood and three episodes (two stories) of The Sarah Jane Adventures. He also executive produced the Tales of the TARDIS series for BBC iPlayer, and The Daleks in Colour for BBC Four. Prior to this, in 1996, he had written the Virgin New Adventures novel Damaged Goods.

He is the single most prolific producer of televised entertainment in DWU history. His position is virtually unassailable because he was producing Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Doctor Who simultaneously.

A Welshman himself, his commitment to producing Doctor Who in Wales has led to a massive expansion of the television production capacity in that nation. His deliberate inclusion of recognisable Welsh landmarks in Doctor Who has increased tourism in the country. As such, his net impact on the economy of Wales is profound.

For his Doctor Who stories, Davies invested more time in the emotional bonds with his characters. Thus resulting in the Tenth Doctor and Rose's love for each other, Martha's one-sided affection for the Doctor and Donna's strong friendship with the Doctor. All of which led at the end of his original tenure as head writer to the Doctor deciding to not take on companions for a while to save himself heartbreak.


Early life[]

Stephen Russell Davies was born in Swansea on 27 April 1963.[2] As a child, Davies was almost always referred to by his middle name, leading him to become professionally known by that name.[3]

Previous work[]

Russell's first major success was the CBBC fantasy adventure serial Dark Season, which contained strong similarities to Doctor Who. Davies would create another children's supernatural drama series, Century Falls. He created the award-winning original Queer as Folk (which includes several references to Doctor Who) and a supernatural drama for adults, The Second Coming, which starred the future Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, as a reborn Christ.

Doctor Who and related work[]

Davies' first professional involvement in Doctor Who was in 1996, when he wrote the Virgin New Adventures novel Damaged Goods. The novel connected to Davies' previous work by featuring a cameo by Marcie Hatter from Dark Season.

Revival and work on spin-offs[]

After 2005, when the newly revived Doctor Who franchise executive produced by Davies flourished, Davies created two spin-off series: Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He wrote or co-wrote the debut episodes of each. Unlike Doctor Who, his writing involvement in these two shows has been minimal (in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale Davies writes that he was to have written Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang; he provided a pre-credits sequence involving a Blowfish driving through Cardiff). Davies was also a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, for which he wrote a regular column in which he often dropped hints about upcoming stories, usually in the form of random snatches of dialogue or listing words that would appear in the script.


On 20 May 2008, Davies publicly announced his departure from Doctor Who. After the fourth series' specials ended with The End of Time in January 2010, from series 5, also airing in 2010, Davies was succeeded by Steven Moffat in his role as Doctor Who head writer and executive producer. Davies continued to executive produce Torchwood until its fourth series and The Sarah Jane Adventures until its fifth series, both aired in 2011. Davies was also an executive producer for Sarah Jane's Alien Files.

Further work on spin-offs[]

In 2015, Davies's 1996 novel Damaged Goods was adapted for audio by Big Finish Productions.

Davies worked with Big Finish Productions in the creation of Torchwood audio series Aliens Among Us, helping co-create its characters.[4][5]

Other projects[]

His BAFTA-nominated and BAFTA-Cymru winning series It's a Sin aired in 2021.

Return as writer[]

He wrote the novelisation of his first Doctor Who episode, Rose, for the revived Target Books line, and contributed to the Doctor Who: Lockdown! event with various short stories and the performed webcast story Farewell, Sarah Jane.

He returned as lead writer of the series beginning with the last scene of The Power of the Doctor with the Fourteenth Doctor, filmed several months after the Thirteenth Doctor's actor Jodie Whittaker finished her part of her regeneration scene. As production on his era began, his regular showrunner column in Doctor Who Magazine resumed after it had been taken over by Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall in the interim.

Following The Power of the Doctor, Davies' first performed Doctor Who work to be broadcast in November 2023 was the Tales of the TARDIS spin-off series, which he wrote scenes for the Fifth Doctor and Tegan Jovanka which bookended a version of the 1982 serial Earthshock. This was followed by a Children in Need short episode with the Fourteenth Doctor called Destination: Skaro. The mini-episode bridged The Power of the Doctor and that month's The Star Beast, which was his first full episode of Doctor Who in 13 years.

Inclusion of LGBT characters[]

With the exception of his work in children's television, he has written an openly and proudly gay character in all his work, and Doctor Who is no exception when it comes to queer representation. His novel Damaged Goods features gay sex, and on television he was the first to write about a confirmed transgender side character (The End of the World) and confirmed male (Aliens of London) and female homosexuality (Gridlock). He continued to show transgender representation with the teenage character Rose Noble. (The Star Beast) While Steven Moffat holds the distinction of being the first writer to write about bisexuality (The Doctor Dances) on screen, Russell T Davies created Captain Jack, the first openly omnisexual character in televised Doctor Who. Several episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood have featured same-sex couples, most notably Torchwood which established a relationship between Captain Jack and Ianto Jones in the second season.

Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale[]

In February 2007, Davies and Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook agreed to exchange e-mails with the intention of creating a series of articles for DWM on the creation of select episodes from the then upcoming Series 4. This correspondence soon grew well beyond the confines of the magazine and in the autumn of 2008 the 512-page Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale was published. A second edition featuring some three hundred pages of additional material covering production of his final stories for Doctor Who was published in January 2010.

Significant additions to the Doctor Who universe[]

Russell T Davies came up with the concept of the Torchwood Institute, the Slitheen, the Judoon and the Cult of Skaro. He established a major piece of backstory, the Last Great Time War and the resulting destruction of Gallifrey and the Time Lord race.

He also created the Doctor's companions Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness (in conjunction with episode writer Steven Moffat), Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Mickey Smith, and Ruby Sunday (as well as several one-off companions).

He devised the concepts, formats and regular characters (other than Sarah Jane Smith) for Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures and established the idea of producing mini-episodes for special events, which he resumed doing on his first year back as showrunner.

He cast Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, David Tennant as the Tenth and Fourteenth Doctors, and Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor as well as their associated companions.

On his watch Davies reintroduced numerous television characters that first appeared before the first RTD era to new audiences. The characters and races he reintroduced were the Autons, the Nestene Consciousness, Daleks, Sarah Jane Smith, K9, Cybermen, Macra, the Master, Sontarans, Davros, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Jo Grant, the Toymaker, and Melanie Bush. He also introduced Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons' characters the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors to non-comic-reading audiences in the 2023 specials. The Fifth Doctor made a return appearance in an episode produced by Davies and another produced and written by Davies and his script for The Next Doctor incorporated a sequence incorporating footage of the first ten Doctors.

Although it has been a part of Doctor Who lore since its earliest days (see TV: The Aztecs, for example), it was during Davies' tenure that the concept of certain events and people being "fixed points in time" and unalterable was solidified. This concept is important in explaining why events such as the Second World War and the Iraq War still occurred in the Whoniverse, though this seems to apply mainly to Earth-based events and not events such as Dalek invasions.

Other information[]

  • In 2008, Davies was awarded an OBE, the second Doctor Who producer to receive one (Verity Lambert received an OBE in 2002). [6]
  • In an interview he stated the Christmas episode slot was his favourite of the year.
  • Davies is a skilled cartoonist and many Doctor Who-related examples of his work can be found in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale.
  • In 2009, Davies became one of the only Doctor Who-related personnel to be depicted in a fictional and non-parody context when Robert Degas portrayed him in the comedy Hudson and Pepperdine Save the Planet, an instalment of Afternoon Play which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 19 August 2009.[7]
  • The premiere episode of the 2008 BBC Wales series Merlin carries a "Special Thanks" credit for Davies, acknowledging his impact on reshaping Saturday evening television through Doctor Who.
  • His favourite classic series story is The Ark in Space, while his favourite Doctor is Tom Baker; he has also expressed admiration for Robert Holmes, the writer of The Ark in Space and many classic stories.
  • He did not wish to write even a single line for the Eleventh Doctor, as he felt he was Steven Moffat's character; the new Doctor's dialogue after the regeneration in The End of Time, Part 2 was left blank for Moffat to fill in. However, he did eventually write for the Eleventh Doctor in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode Death of the Doctor. Eleventh Doctor actor Matt Smith commented that Davies was "very good on writing Doctors" and that he immediately understood who Smith's Doctor was.
  • In The Writer's Tale, Davies reveals he was asked by Star Wars creator George Lucas to write a story for the popular animated spinoff series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but turned him down.

Television credits[]

As writer[]

Doctor Who[]

Series 1[]
Series 2[]
Series 3[]
Series 4[]
Series 13[]
60th Anniversary Specials[]
Series 14[]


Series 1[]
Children of Earth[]
Miracle Day[]

The Sarah Jane Adventures[]

Series 1[]
Series 4[]

Tales of the TARDIS[]

As script editor[]

As executive producer[]

As actor[]

Prose fiction[]

Virgin New Adventures Novels[]

Target novelisations[]

Short stories[]

Doctor Who Annual[]




Doctor Who: Lockdown[]



Audio commentary[]


to be added

External links[]