Filming has now wrapped on Series 11 of Doctor Who, the first series featuring Jodie Whittaker as the latest incarnation of The Doctor. With Chris Chibnall as the new showrunner, he seems dedicated to having diverse talent both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Whittaker’s Doctor will have three new companions of differing ages and backgrounds, and BBC has just announced the writers and directors for Series 11 for Doctor Who, nearly all of whom are coming to the show for the very first time.
“We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you. A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun. Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.”
The list of writers includes author Malorie Blackman, Skins writer Ed Hime, playwright and screenwriter Vinay Patel, creator of female prison drama Wentworth Pete McTighe, and screenwriter Joy Wilkinson. The directors include Jamie Childs, who directed Whittaker’s introduction video; veteran television director Sallie Aprahamian; writer and director Jennifer Perrott; and TV and film director Mark Tonderai.
In the past, the show has been criticized for not having a diverse set of voices in the creative team behind it. Patel and Blackman are the first writers of color to write for the show, which is now in its 55th year. The two female writers are also the most the show has ever had. It may seem like a small step, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. The Doctor Who fanbase is one that covers much of the world, and is therefore quite diverse. It seems only right that the creative team behind the show should do its best to reflect that. Many of the new writers and directors also grew up as fans of the show, as well as other sci-fi shows, and are thrilled to be part of telling the adventures of The Doctor.
Doctor Who will premiere sometime this fall. The premiere will be simulcast on BBCAmerica in the United States and BBC One in the UK.