a real world point of view
|In the DWU|
|Main jobs:||Head writer, writer, co-producer|
|Main time period active:||2006-2008|
|Notable non-DWU work:||Life on Mars, Law & Order: UK|
Chris Chibnall is a lifelong Doctor Who fan who has become a writer for both that series and Torchwood. He was credited as a co-producer and was the effective head writer for the first two series of Torchwood. This status made him a regular interviewee on Torchwood Declassified. As of 2011, he has also made four appearances on Doctor Who Confidential.
That said, many people are frequent guests of Declassified and Confidential. What makes Chibnall unique as a "DWU talking head" is that he's the only one who can claim to have done it in the 1980s. Of all the producers of the BBC Wales version of the Doctor Who universe, he is the only one to have appeared on the BBC talking about the 1963 version of the programme, while it was still on the air.
As a youth Edit
In 1986, Chibnall represented the Doctor Who Appreciation Society on the BBC's public opinion show "Open Air". There he famously criticised The Trial of a Time Lord season as a specific example of the generally inconsistent quality of the series in the 1980s. The segment can be seen as a special feature on the BBC DVD of TV: The Ultimate Foe.
Chibnall's first major piece of television was 2002's Born and Bred, a rural medical dramedy for which he was co-creator, prolific writer, consulting producer and executive producer. Originally produced by Phil Collinson, the show swiftly came to be produced by Chris Clough — ironically, the man who had directed half the episodes of Doctor Who that Chibnall had railed against in his teens.
Also in 2005, Chibnall was brought into Torchwood by Russell T Davies, who would officially credit him as co-producer, but effectively make him the head writer. During this period he also wrote his first Doctor Who script, 42, and his second script for Life on Mars. He did not participate in the third Torchwood series, Children of Earth, but instead spent the 2008 production year working on Law and Order UK, starring Freema Agyeman and Bill Paterson. There, he wrote — or, to be more accurate, adapted from the original American scripts —the majority of the episodes in the show's first series. RTD lamented the loss of Chibnall in his book, The Writer's Tale, pointing out how much work Chibnall had actually shouldered in the previous two Torchwood seasons. Around the end of his run on Torchwood, he also wrote the fifth episode of Spooks: Code 9, a spin-off of Spooks on which writer James Moran and actor Georgia Moffett both worked.
In the 2009-2010 production season, he saw the production of his script for the tele-movie United, directed by James Strong and featuring a post-Tenth Doctor David Tennant. However, by 2009, Chibnall was moving on to his next big series, Camelot, an adult adaptation of the King Arthur legend. Broadcast on and co-produced by Starz, Camelot saw Chibnall return to the role of series creator and head writer. However, days before the launch of Torchwood: Miracle Day — another Starz original —the network announced that the generally well-reviewed show had been cancelled due to scheduling problems with its main actors. Chibnall was again left to find new work.
Chibnall is a three-time nominee for a Writers' Guild of Great Britain award for best series, but, unusually, he only lost once. Nominated, along with other writers, for series 3 and series 5 of Doctor Who, he won for series 3. That same year, 2007, he was also nominated for series 2 of Life on Mars — meaning that he effectively lost . . . to himself.