Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies wants to make a musical episode one day, despite once turning down ABBA's idea for a stage version

The Doctor and Ruby in The Devil's Chord.
(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who is back with a bang, and this time round it has a musical edge! Following a brilliant scene set to the Spice Girls classic 'Spice Up Your Life' in the 60th anniversary special The Giggle, the recent Christmas special, 'The Church on Ruby Road', featured an original musical number titled The Goblin Song, which took the charts by storm.

Because of all this, rumors started to circulate online that this upcoming season of the beloved sci-fi show will feature a musical episode, namely episode 2, 'The Devil's Chord', which sees The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) travel back in time to the '60s to watch The Beatles record their first album at the legendary Abbey Road.

However, while this episode does indeed feature a song and dance, it isn't a full-on musical installment. But showrunner Russell T Davies thinks it's only a matter of time before we see that, as he revealed during an interview with GamesRadar+. 

As Davies explains, even though there are no current plans for one, he feels that it is something they are working towards: "I think it fits Doctor Who. I mean, Doctor Who has so much joy and I think actually my writing has always been heading towards bursting into song. No one who knows me isn’t going to be surprised that this has finally happened in something that I’ve written – I’ve tried it before but never quite got it." 

Continuing, Davies also divulged that he has previously attempted to write musical episodes for other shows he's worked on, not just Doctor Who. However, it's a tricky task: "It’s not easy writing a musical, people don’t just burst into song, you have to earn it, you have to place it, you have to time it, you have to feel it. And I’ve tried before on other shows, not just Doctor Who. I’ve literally tried it many, many times and never quite earned it – but finally, I think we are beginning to crack it now so I hope there’s more, that’s all I can say. We’re not planning a full-on musical episode but one day, definitely!"

The Doctor and Ruby.

(Image credit: BBC)

And it might not just be on the screen that we see Doctor Who fully enter the realm of musicals, as Davies would also be keen to see that on the stage too. In fact, as the showrunner admits, it's an idea he's been approached about before, by none other than Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus from legendary pop group ABBA. However, Davies turned down the meeting with them which would have discussed making a musical version of Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin-off TV show. It remains a decision that he hugely regrets.

As he revealed to us, Davies wishes that he could travel back in time – Doctor Who style, of course – to tell himself off: "I would love to do a full-on West End musical, let’s do that, come on! Many years ago actually, Benny and Bjorn from ABBA came along and said they wanted to do a Torchwood musical. And I must have been the biggest idiot in the world, I was just too busy at the time, and I just turned that idea down. I turned the meeting down, that never happened. How stupid was I? ABBA wanted to do a Torchwood musical! Honestly, if I could have a TARDIS and travel back in time I would go clout myself on the head over that decision. What was I thinking?!"

So ABBA, if you are reading this, Davies is still down! Let's make Doctor Who The Musical happen!

Doctor Who season 1 will premiere simultaneously on BBC iPlayer on May 11 in the UK and Disney Plus internationally on May 10 with a double bill. New episodes will then air weekly. Keep your eyes peeled on site for more from our interviews!

For more, check out our list of the best new TV shows coming your way in 2024 and beyond.

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.