Doctor Who Season 11 Team Revealed: Gender Balanced & Diverse
Chris Chibnall introduces his Doctor Who team, which is as diverse behind the scenes as in front of it.
It may seem like a small thing, but when the BBC revealed the Doctor Who team behind the scenes with Chris Chibnall this week, the sight of women and people of color was a relief. There are many reasons to knock Steve Moffat’s tenure, but the worst part was the lack of diversity behind the scenes. Other than Rachel Talalay, who was far and away the best director during his tenure, the writers, the production, and the direction were all a sea of white men.
Not so under Chibnall. His team is a masterclass in what one might call “casual diversity.”
After nothing but white men writing Doctor Who for ages, this year features Joy Wilkinson, who wrote the BBC five-part series The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby (bottom middle), as well as former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman (bottom right).
According to the BBC:
Malorie says: “I’ve always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.” …Joy says: “I loved the show and felt like it might be a good fit for me, but I knew it was really hard to get onto. So quite frankly I’m still pinching myself to be here!”
Ed Hime from Skins joins this group as well (bottom left), along with Pete McTighe from Wentworth (top middle), and Vinay Patel (center left.)
Vinay says: “I grew up watching shows like Star Trek and Quantum Leap on the edge of my dad’s bed, and I loved how they managed to capture the imagination of a kid like me as well as acting as a moral compass. I never imagined that I’d get to write for Doctor Who – I was pretty thrilled.”
— Doctor Who on BBC America (@DoctorWho_BBCA) August 19, 2018
As for directors, they include last year’s Young Directors Award winner Jennifer Perrott (center right), and the legendary Sallie Aprahamian, who has too many credits to list but has been at the directing game for the BBC since the early 1990s (top right).
Sallie’s memories of Doctor Who go right back to the 1960s, when William Hartnell created the role. She says: “I watched the First Doctor from behind the sofa through my fingers, frightened and exhilarated. I was really delighted, as a fan and as a director, to be invited to work on the first female Doctor’s series. What a brilliant time to be on the show!” …Jennifer says: “Doctor Who is an iconic show and one I’d loved as a child, especially when Tom Baker was the Doctor. Space travel has become more a part of modern life and this has opened the door for more human stories to be told amidst the escapist fantasy of saving the world from alien invasion. The aliens are now as emotionally complex as the humans, and I was really excited by that.”
Also directing: Mark Tonderai, who is also directing George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers (top left), and Jamie Childs, who directed the Doctor Who Christmas Special last year (center middle)
Mark says: “What was really crucial in my decision to direct the show was Chris Chibnall. I’m a huge fan of his and I like the way he sees the world. He has this ability to entertain and also deliver truths – questions, too – about who we are. And he does it all with a hint of a smile.”
No wonder Neil Gaiman is trying to get on this team, only to find there’s no room at the inn at the moment.
Doctor Who returns “Fall 2018” according to the BBC, but with rumors of a watch party being planned for New York Comic Con the weekend of Oct 4-7th, it’s a good bet the debut is probably that Saturday.