TARDIS Index File

Russell T Davies

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Russell T Davies
Other names: Stephen Russell Davies
Birth date: 27 April 1963
In the DWU
Main jobs: Executive producer, head writer
Stories: See all episodes section
Main time period active: 2005-2011
Career highlights
Notable non-DWU work: Queer as Folk
IMDb profile

Russell T Davies, OBE (born Stephen Russell Davies, 27 April 1963) was responsible for the revival of Doctor Who and the creation of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. From 2005 to mid-2009 he was the head writer and an executive producer of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who.

He is the single most prolific producer of televised entertainment in DWU history. His position is virtually unassailable, due to the fact that he was producing six different programmes in the franchise simultaneously.

His contributions to Doctor Who are formidable. Davies is by far the most prolific writer for the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who. He has written more televised stories than any other writer since 1963. Including material written for The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood, he has written more hours of television set in the Whoniverse than anyone else. However, unless he contributes to Doctor Who after 2009, he will remain second to Robert Holmes in terms of the total number of hours of television written specifically for Doctor Who. Between the broadcast of Midnight in 2008 and the final chapter of The End of Time in 2010, Davies became the only person to have written or co-written nine consecutive broadcast episodes (not including one parody mini-episode and episodes of Torchwood).

Beyond televised Doctor Who, he has also written fictional and non-fictional prose relevant to Doctor Who.

A Welshman himself, his commitment to producing Doctor Who in Wales has led to a massive expansion of the television production capacity of that nation. His deliberate inclusion of recognisable Welsh landmarks in Doctor Who has increased tourism in the country. His net impact on the economy of Wales is therefore profound.


Previous work

Russell's first major success was the CBBC fantasy adventure serial Dark Season, which contained strong similarities to Doctor Who. Davies would create another children's supernatural drama series, Century Falls. He created the award-winning original Queer As Folk (later adapted into an American version) and a supernatural drama for adults, The Second Coming, which starred the future Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston as a re-born Christ.

Doctor Who and related work

Revival and work on spin-offs

Davies' first professional involvement in Doctor Who was in 1996, when he wrote the Virgin New Adventures novel Damaged Goods. He wrote Rose, the debut episode of the 2005 revival, making him the first writer of original licensed spin-off fiction to also write for the official TV series. He would commission other colleagues in this area to write for the show, including Mark Gatiss, Robert Shearman, Paul Cornell, Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat.

As the newly revived franchise flourished, Davies created two spin-off series: Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He wrote or co-wrote the debut episodes of each. Unlike Doctor Who, his writing involvement in these two shows has been minimal (in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale Davies writes that he was to have written Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang; he provided a pre-credits sequence involving a Blowfish driving through Cardiff). Davies was also a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, for which he wrote a regular column in which he often dropped hints about upcoming stories, usually in the form of random snatches of dialogue or listing words that would appear in the script.


On 20 May 2008, Davies publicly announced his departure from Doctor Who. He continued as Executive Producer for the 2009 specials before being succeeded by staff writer Steven Moffat for Series 5 in 2010. He was also executive producing Series 3 of Torchwood and Series 3 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. He said that he would not write for Doctor Who again after the 2009 specials. However, at a Q&A session following a preview screening of one of the 2009 Torchwood episodes, Davies indicated that not only was he planning to stay with Torchwood for another decade if needs be, but he hoped to see further crossovers between that show and Doctor Who.[1] His biographical blurb in the Doctor Who Storybook 2010 indicated that Davies would stay on to oversee Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He executive produced Torchwood's fourth series, subtitled Miracle Day. The fifth series of The Sarah Jane Adventures was its last, following its cancellation after its star Elisabeth Sladen's death. Davies was also an executive producer for Sarah Jane's Alien Files.

Inclusion of LGBT characters

With the exception of his work in children's television, he has written an openly and proudly gay character in all his work, and Doctor Who is no exception. He was the first to write about confirmed transsexuality (The End of the World) and confirmed male (Aliens of London) and female homosexuality (Gridlock). While Steven Moffat holds the distinction of being the first writer to write about bisexuality (The Doctor Dances), Russell T Davies created Captain Jack, the first openly omnisexual character in televised Doctor Who. Several episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood have featured same-sex couples, most notably Torchwood which established a relationship between Captain Jack and Ianto Jones in the second season.

Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale

In February 2007, Davies and Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook agreed to exchange e-mails with the intention of creating a series of articles for DWM on the creation of select episodes from the then upcoming Series 4. This correspondence soon grew well beyond the confines of the magazine and in the autumn of 2008 the 512-page Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale was published. A second edition featuring some three hundred pages of additional material covering production of his final stories for Doctor Who was published in January 2010.

Significant additions to the Doctor Who Universe

Russell T Davies came up with the concept of the Torchwood Institute, the Slitheen, the Judoon and the Cult of Skaro. He established a major piece of backstory, the Last Great Time War and the resulting destruction of Gallifrey and the Time Lord race.

He also created the Doctor's companions Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness (in conjunction with episode writer Steven Moffat), Martha Jones, Donna Noble and Mickey Smith (as well as several one-off companions).

He devised the concepts, formats and regular characters (other than Sarah Jane Smith) for Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures and established the idea of producing canonical mini-episodes for special events.

He cast Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, as well as their associated companions.

On his watch numerous original-series characters and enemies have been reintroduced to new audiences. The enemies he reintroduced were the Autons, the Nestene Consciousness, Daleks, Cybermen, Macra, the Master, Sontarans and Davros. The characters he reintroduced included Sarah Jane Smith, K9, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Jo Grant. The Fifth Doctor made a return appearance in an episode produced by Davies and his script for The Next Doctor incorporated a sequence incorporating footage of the first ten Doctors.

Although it has been a part of Doctor Who lore since its earliest days (see TV: The Aztecs, for example), it was during Davies' tenure that the concept of certain events and people being "fixed points in time" and unalterable was solidified. This concept is important in explaining why events such as the Second World War and the Iraq War still occurred in the Whoniverse, though this seems to apply mainly to Earth-based events and not events such as Dalek invasions.

Other information

  • In 2008, Davies was awarded an OBE, the second Doctor Who producer to receive one (Verity Lambert received an OBE in 2002). [2]
  • In an interview he stated the Christmas episode slot was his favourite of the year.
  • Davies is a skilled cartoonist and many Doctor Who-related examples of his work can be found in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale.
  • In 2009, Davies became one of the only Doctor Who-related personnel to be depicted in a fictional and non-parody context when Robert Degas portrayed him in the comedy Hudson and Pepperdine Save the Planet, an instalment of Afternoon Play which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 19th August 2009.[1]
  • The premiere episode of the 2008 BBC Wales series Merlin carries a "Special Thanks" credit for Davies, acknowledging his impact on reshaping Saturday evening television through Doctor Who.
  • His favourite classic series story is The Ark in Space, while his favourite Doctor is Tom Baker; he has also expressed admiration for Robert Holmes, the writer of The Ark in Space and many classic stories.
  • He did not wish to write even a single line for the Eleventh Doctor, as he felt he was Steven Moffat's character. However, he did write for the Eleventh Doctor in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode Death of the Doctor.
  • In The Writer's Tale, Davies reveals he was asked by Star Wars creator George Lucas to write a story for the popular animated spinoff series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but turned it down.

Selected credits

Televised scripted drama

As writer

As executive producer



External links


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