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Executive producer

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An executive producer is the senior above the line talent on an episode, and is in overall charge of any episode's production.

Overview

In the 1963 version of Doctor Who, executive producers were largely uncredited, because the Head of Serials (or the Head of Series and Serials) was the uncredited executive producer of not only Doctor Who, but all programmes in the department. The only exception was season 18. For that year, the incoming Head of Serials asked Barry Letts to do the job for him on Doctor Who and oversee John Nathan-Turner's first year as producer. (REF: The Fourth Doctor Handbook) Hence, for that year only, an executive producer was credited on BBC-produced Doctor Who.

Since the 1996 tele-film, executive producers have been routinely credited on all DWU episodes. There have always been multiple executive producers on each episode of Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and K9 — except for the official BBC parody, The Curse of Fatal Death.

Different executive producers have traditionally had different production emphases. Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, for instance, have been primarily focussed on the writing, though they have had the authority to make decisions on any production matter they chose. Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger have held an executive producer credit largely because they held a senior position at BBC Wales. In this way, they weren't too different from the un-credited executive producers of the past, like Shaun Sutton.

In contrast to the classic series, they have been much more involved with the workaday production of the show. They have made direct contributions to narrative and storytelling, as well. Gardner overrode RTD and insisted that the Tenth Doctor should leave Earth for the last time from the Powell Estate, to narratively "bookend" his first appearance on Earth in The Christmas Invasion. (PCOM: The End of Time, part 2) The "BBC Wales executive producer" has also had an active role in major casting; Wenger was directly involved in choosing Matt Smith (CON: The Eleventh Doctor) and Julie Gardner negotiated for the series 4 return of Catherine Tate largely without RTD's assistance. (REF: The Writer's Tale)

Executive producers by story

Doctor Who

Torchwood

The Sarah Jane Adventures

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