Doctor Who Showrunner Chris Chibnall Names His Favorite Episodes
New Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall revealed his favorite episodes are historicals.
As the current era of Doctor Who draws to a close, the BBC held a special press night for Jodie Whittaker’s final outing as the character. During the event showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is also stepping away from the show, revealed his favorite episodes from his tenure with the series. After joking that it would be easier to choose a favorite child than just one installment of the beloved show, he said that he particularly loved “Rosa, “Demons of the Punjab,” “Sontaran, and “Weeping Angel.”
“What we’ve done with the historicals I’ve really loved,” Chris Chibnall said via Den of Geek. But while he loves all of them, he explained that there’s a different mood to each. “What we tried to do is have a real variety and a variety of tones and a variety of moods and a variety of stories,” the showrunner explained.
Written by Mallory Blackman, Doctor Who’s “Rosa” was a critically acclaimed episode that powerfully told the story of Rosa Parks. It went on to win the Visionary Arts Award at the 2019 BAFTAs and was hailed by many as a return to the show’s early days where the goal was to educate as well as entertain. “Demons of the Punjab” also made viewers aware of the real-life events preceding the partition of India. So it’s not surprising that these episodes mean a lot to Chris Chibnall.
Other episodes mentioned by Chris Chibnall include “Spyfall,” “Fugitive of the Judoon” and “Ascension of the Cybermen.” However, it wasn’t just these episodes that made him proud. Instead, he is happiest with the collective overall achievement of this particular era of Doctor Who. “I think we made history, with Jodie as the first female Doctor. And I think the team of writers and directors who came on board from all sorts of different heritages and backgrounds to tell their stories, that’s what I’m really proud of,” he added.
After a decades-long run, Jodie Whittaker became the show’s 13th Doctor in 2017. As Chris Chibnall mentioned, she was also the first woman to play the role. But the change was seamless since the transition from one actor to another is written into the story with the concept of regeneration. A Time Lord transforms into a new body when the current one can no longer heal normally. Each actor’s portrayal is unique, but all represent stages in the life of the same character. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative.
Jodie Whittaker’s final episode and BBC Centenary Doctor Who Special called “The Power of the Doctor” will air on October 23rd. The episode will also feature the Doctor’s 14th generation. And, according to Chris Chibnall, it will be very different from anything we’ve seen before. Speaking to MetroUK, the showrunner described the scene as visually different while noting that it will take place in a new location.
“I think I can say that without it being too much of a spoiler,” Chris Chibnall told the publication. While he didn’t give too much away, his comments seem to confirm that the regeneration won’t take place in the TARDIS, where every regeneration since Christopher Eccleston’s reboot has taken place. But the best way to find out what he meant is to watch the show.