Doctor Who: Female writers and directors announced for season 11


Jodie Whittaker’s first season of Doctor Who will be groundbreaking in more ways than one. Season 11 will feature a much more diverse production crew behind the scenes.

Jodie Whittaker’s first season of Doctor Who will apparently be groundbreaking in more ways than one. Season 11 will not only feature the first-ever female Doctor and three new companions of varying ethnicities, genders and ages, it also will see an increasingly diverse behind-the-scenes crew.

The BBC officially announced the upcoming team of writers and directors slated to work on season 11, finally giving some solid information about showrunner Chris Chibnall’s highly secretive new run of episodes.

Now, let us all take a moment to stop and rejoice as the show’s push for greater inclusion that began with Whittaker’s casting continues on behind-the-scenes.

The upcoming season will be directed equally by men and women, and its writers’ room will be staffed by three men and two women in addition to Chibnall himself. Furthermore, in one of those moments that are awesome, yet still feels really uncomfortable that we have to celebrate it in 2018 — the 55-year-old science fiction series has named its first writers of color. (That’s not a typo.)

Season 11 writers include former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, playwright Vinay Patel, former Skins writer Ed Hime (who penned the amazing “Emily” episode in season 4), as well as Pete McTighe, and Joy Wilkinson. Sallie Aprahamian, Jamie Childs, Jennifer Perrott, and Mark Tonderai are the season 11 directors. (In case you were curious, it was Childs who helmed the reveal of Whittaker as Thirteen in Doctor Who Christmas special “Twice Upon a Time”.)

In his official statement, Chibnall seems beyond chuffed about everyone involved with the new season:

"We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you. A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun.Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year."

While that’s all well and good, what’s really important here is the increased inclusion and representation on the Doctor Who creative side. For all that the Doctor herself frequently espouses progressive values, the show itself has been somewhat slow to adapt to changing times. (I mean, it took them 55 years to put a woman in charge of the TARDIS, after all.)

With the arrival of Chibnall, that seems to be changing at a rapid pace. In fact, one might almost call issues of representation a priority for his era of the show.

Speaking with the press at San Diego Comic-Con last month, Chibnall insisted that he wanted Doctor Who’s landmark eleventh season to be as inclusive as possible.

"We’re doing lots, but our plan across time is to do lots more.It should be the most inclusive show on television. The whole concept of Doctor Who is that anybody can go anywhere and do anything, and we want to reflect that on-screen and off."

We still know relatively little about Whittaker’s upcoming Who debut, or what to exact from Thirteen’s first season. Chibnall is playing things extremely close to the vest, giving fans very little to go on other than the fact that he wants the series to be accessible to all viewers, new and old.

Subsequently, Season 11 will feature new adventures, planets, villains and stories, with very few connections to the Doctor Who that’s come before. This isn’t as weird as it sounds, however, since it’s also pretty much what happened in season 5 when Steven Moffat took over. (And given how overly complicated and inwardly-focused Moffat’s stories eventually became, a fresh start isn’t the worst idea in the world.)

Related Story. More Doctor Who leaks reveal Thirteen’s TARDIS. light

Doctor Who will return at some still-to-be-announced date this fall.