Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A Matter of Time: Russell T Davies


Forty-seven years ago today, Russell T Davies was born in Sketty, a suburb of Swansea in Wales. He is a Welsh television producer and writer, best known for controversial dramas such as ‘Queer as Folk’, as well as for reviving his favourite science-fiction series, ‘Doctor Who’. He also created the spin-off series ‘Torchwood’, as well as ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’.

Davies has been a fan of Doctor Who since his childhood, especially of stories written by Robert Holmes, who he has said wrote some of the best dialogue ever written for television. His favourite story was the fourth Doctor’s second adventure, ‘The Ark in Space’. In late 2003, the new Controller of BBC One, Lorraine Heggessey, decided that she wanted to bring back Doctor Who in a revived format, and approached Davies to be the Executive Producer and Head Writer of the series.

Davies said in an interview that he was initially concerned about producing the new series of Doctor Who, because he believed that it was considered “a joke” with its low budget special effects. However, they now had the budget to match the imagination of the writing. The new series began on 26th March 2005, and was an immediate ratings success.

On 20th May 2008, it was announced that his tenure as Head Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who would end in 2009, and that he would be replaced by Steven Moffat, who had previously contributed many stories to the series. Davies wrote and co-wrote the five specials that were shown before Series 5, including the 2008 Christmas special. However, he has said that he will not write any more episodes now that Steven Moffat has taken over, as it is time to move on.

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