Cancel Culture Series From Doctor Who Showrunner Starring Karen Gillan On The Way

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Who will be delighted to know that, as Variety reports, Karen Gillan is expected to star in an upcoming dramedy series exploring the nuances of cancel culture. Titled Douglas Is Cancelled, the show will also feature Hugh Bonneville of Downtown Abbey fame. The exciting project stems from the creative mind of showrunner Steven Moffat, famed for his work on Doctor Who. 

Hugh Bonneville Cast As Douglas

Bonneville will portray Douglas Bellowes, a middle-aged, widely respected news anchor whose story the series will center around. Enjoying a life of privilege and his status as a national treasure, Bellowes hosts a famous current affairs show entitled Live at Six. He lives a harmonious life at home with his wife, Sheila, a newspaper editor. 

But things don’t stay so ideal for long in Douglas is Cancelled

Karen Gillan Portrays Madeline

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Indeed, the inciting incident of the series kicks off when, amid a family wedding, Douglas is overheard telling a controversial joke. This seemingly benign decision will come to shatter his world. The incident soon risks wider exposure on social media (the battlefield of cancel culture) and kicks off a maelstrom of rumors and digital backlash. All of which significantly impact Douglas’s personal life and career. 

However, when things reach a chaotic fever pitch, Gillan’s character, Madeline, a tech-savvy co-anchor possessing a strong social media following, enters the fray as a potential savior. A central question to Douglas Is Cancelled: will Madeline, who has over two million social media followers, come to Douglas’s rescue?

The Rest Of The Cast

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Additionally, fans of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy will be energized to learn the excellence of the show’s announced cast and crew. 

For example, rounding out the stellar cast alongside Gillan and Bonneville are Ben Miles (from Hijack), Alex Kingston (A Discovery of WitchesDodger), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso), and Simon Russell Beale (Thor: Love and Thunder). Ben Palmer, known for his work on The Inbetweeners, will sit in the director’s chair.

Douglas Is Cancelled Created By Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat

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For her part, Gillan voiced humorous enthusiasm for her role in Douglas Is Cancelled. The Marvel actress described how the prospect of toying sadistically with a guy called Douglas for four episodes, especially when Steven Moffat wrote said episodes, strikes her as a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

Having already commenced production in London, the four-part series is Moffat’s brainchild. Hartwood Films (which produced Sherlock) produces it, collaborating with SkyShowtime and BBC Studios Distribution. The show will premiere on the UK streaming service ITVX. 

Moffat shares the executive production role alongside Sue Vertue (known for The Devil’s Hour). He revealed the surprisingly spontaneous genesis of Douglas is Cancelled, which the screenwriter wrote impulsively and without consulting anyone else. The writer expressed awe that such a privately conceived project is nonetheless in development. 

A New Take On Cancel Culture

Comissed by ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, the series should entail a compelling mix of dark humor and legitimate social commentary. Its top-quality cast and veteran creative team poise the show to be a thought-provoking meditation on the import and complexities of cancel culture in our digital age.