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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Stephen Russell Davies
Date of Birth: 27 April 1963 (age 46)
Swansea, Wales
Other Names: Russell T Davies
Episode(s): see all episodes section
Notable Works: Doctor Who
Torchwood
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Queer as Folk
This article is written from the Real World point of view. TARDIS

Russell T Davies, OBE (sometimes spelled Russell T. Davies, born Stephen Russell Davies, 27th April 1963) is a successful television writer and producer responsible for the revival of Doctor Who and the creation of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. From 2003 to mid-2009 he was the head writer and one of the executive producers of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who.

His written contributions to Doctor Who are formidable. Davies is easily the most prolific writer for the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who. He has also written more televised stories than any other writer since 1963. Including material written for The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood he has also 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 9 consecutive broadcast episodes (not including one parody mini-episode and episodes of Torchwood).

Beyond televised Doctor Who, he has also written both 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 recognizable Welsh landmarks in Doctor Who has also notably increased tourism in the country. His net impact on the economy of Wales is therefore profound.

Contents

Biography

Previous work

Russell's first major success was the CBBC fantasy adventure serial Dark Season, which contained strong similarities to Doctor Who. Davies would go on to create a further children's supernatural drama series, Century Falls. He then went on to create the award-winning original Queer As Folk (later adapted into an American version) and an supernatural drama for adults entitle 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 proffesional 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, made him the first writer of original licensed spin-off fiction to also write for the official TV series and he would go on to 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, writing or co-writing the debut episodes of both, but unlike Doctor Who his writing involvement in these two shows has been minimal (in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, however, Davies writes that he was to have written the opening episode of Torchwood Series 2, which he ultimately did not. Davies is also a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, for which he writes a regular column in which he often drops hints about upcoming stories, usually in the form of random snatches of dialogue or listing words that will appear in the script.

Departure

On the 20th May, 2008, Davies publicly announced his departure from Doctor Who. He will continue to be Executive Producer for the 2009 specials before being succeeded by staff writer Steven Moffat for Series 5 in 2010. He is also executive producing the 2009 series of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He has stated that he will 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 is he planning to stay with Torchwood for another decade if needs be, but the hopes to see further crossovers between that show and Doctor Who.[1] His future involvement with future seasons of Sarah Jane Adventures remains unconfirmed. However, his biographical blurb in the Doctor Who Storybook 2010 indicates that Davies will be staying on to oversee both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

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 became the first writer to write about confirmed transsexuality (The End of the World) and confirmed male (Aliens of London) and female homosexuality (Gridlock), Steven Moffat holds the distinction of being the first writer to write about bisexuality (The Doctor Dances) but Russell T Davies was the one who created Captain Jack, the first openly omnisexual character in televised Doctor Who. Several episodes of both 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 begin exchanging e-mails with the intent 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 a magazine and in the fall of 2008 the 512-page Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale was published. A second edition featuring some 300 pages of additional material covering production of his final stories for Doctor Who is scheduled for publication 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, and 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 those originating in Doctor Who) for Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and also established the idea of producing canonical mini-episodes for special events.

He decided on the casting of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, respectively, as well as their associated companions.

Under his watch numerous original-series characters have been reintroduced to new audiences, including Sarah Jane Smith, K-9, the Master, Davros, the Daleks, the Cybermen, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, UNIT, and the Sontarans, among others. The Fifth Doctor made a return appearance in an episode produced by Davies, and his script for The Next Doctor incorporated a landmark sequence incorporating footage of all 10 Doctors to date.

Although it has been a part of Doctor Who lore since its earliest days (see DW: The Aztecs, for example), it was during Davies' tenure that the concept of certain events and people being "fixed points in time" and unable to be altered was solidified. This concept is important in explaining why events such as the Second World War and 9/11 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 an interview he stated the Christmas episode slot was his favourite of the year.
  • Davies is also 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 installment of Afternoon Play which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 19th August 2009.[1]

Selected credits

Writing

Television

Doctor Who
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
2009 specials
Co-written with Gareth Roberts
Co-written with Phil Ford
Mini-episodes
Torchwood
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Premiere
Co-written with Gareth Roberts

Prose

Fiction
Novels
Virgin New Adventures
Nonfiction
Two editions of this book were published. The second edition, issued in January 2010, included more than 300 pages of additional material.

Other

External Links

  • BBC News - Profile: Russell T Davies

Footnotes

  1. Den of Geek: Torchwood Series 4 'Ready to Go', accessed 26th July 2009.
  2. Honoured: for services to Dr Who and Saturday nights, accessed 15-June-2008
  3. According to The Writer's Tale, Davies was to have written this episode but was unable to complete the work due to competing workload related to Doctor Who. The opening scene of the episode was devised by Davies for his incomplete script and remained in the final episode.

This article uses material from the "Russell T Davies" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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