Chris Chibnall Would Love to Work with J.K. Rowling on “Doctor Who”
Sunday marked the end of New York Comic Con and the start of a new era in Doctor Who history. A new crew, a new showrunner, a new cast, and the first female Doctor took over as the Thirteenth Doctor started her adventure on the BBC show Doctor Who. MuggleNet got to chat with executive producer Matt Strevens, showrunner Chris Chibnall, and actress and Thirteenth Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker. They shared their thoughts about the new season, the importance of having a female Doctor, and representation in general, as well as their love for Harry Potter.
While Jodie Whittaker admitted to not knowing much about Harry Potter, she was able to share her insights about working on the new season and being a role model to girls all around the world.
You can look up to people whether they look similar to you or not because it’s been kind of expected of us our entire lives. But I think the wonderful thing is, the Whovian fans in the Whovian world are so inclusive there. As a new Doctor without any screen time yet that they’ve seen, to be that welcomed and embraced is really emotional in particular because anyone can wear the costume as they’re dressing as the Doctor, but now young girls can dress as the Doctor and it fit.
Talking about her fellow cast, Jodie also expressed her wish of having them with her at the event since it is a shared effort. She also pointed out that it was very helpful to have such a good chemistry on set since shooting a season of Doctor Who usually takes about eight months. And it becomes clear from the first episode that while Jodie plays the lead character, the TARDIS team is as much in the center of attention, which makes it easier for audiences to identify with the show. Additionally, having such a diverse cast helps people see themselves in the show and connects Doctor Who with our modern-day world. The cast represents not only multiple ethnicities and a female lead but also people with disabilities.
Talking with showrunner Chris Chibnall, on the other hand, it became very clear that he is a big fan of Harry Potter and that he would love to work with J.K. Rowling or even just have her come to visit the set.
If J.K. Rowling wants to have anything to do with Doctor Who, please give her my phone number straight away. I think she is one of our greatest living writers. I think Harry Potter is an absolute transcendent piece of work, and continues to be with the theater play and with Fantastic Beasts. J.K. Rowling is a genius. If she ever even just wants to come and see what we do on Doctor Who, you tell her from me, the doors are open.
Chris also made it quite clear that while this was a new era of Doctor Who, he really wanted to go back to the basics and create relatable characters, such as the ones we know from the Harry Potter series. And while this recipe of a magical world with relatable characters and problems has worked very well for J.K. Rowling, it seems that the new season of Doctor Who has taken that to heart and will even go further with characters from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders.
It sort of goes right back to the original series in 1963. There were three companions – two teachers and a school girl. And so there were very real and relatable characters. And so what we’ve done is, our characters are very real-world characters. It was really important to us that they felt like the audience watching [and] that you could relate to them and that they’re the reality, and the magical element is the Doctor.
Later on, during the Q&A panel, he went further and apologized for the two white guys talking about diversity but said that it has definitely been part of the creation of the new series. He also explained that the character Ryan Sinclair, who has dyspraxia and was shown to battle with it in the first episode, was going to continue struggling with it but that it is just one of many character traits that will define Ryan.
As Potter fans, we are used to seeing well-rounded characters with flaws that allow us to identify with them and see ourselves in them. The fact that Doctor Who has gone even further with a female lead and more diverse characters at the center of a show that has always been about friendship, adventure, and drama makes me hopeful for the upcoming season but also the future of TV in general.
Read the full transcripts below: