Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies hopes that the divisive Timeless Child storyline continues "for seasons to come"

Russell T Davies
(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has made it clear that he won't be ignoring the divisive Timeless Child storyline in the upcoming season of the hit show. In fact, he will be exploring it further and hopes that continues long into the series' future.

Previous showrunner Chris Chibnall introduced this arc during the Jodie Whittaker era which essentially revealed that the Doctor is a billion-year-old being called the Timeless Child, who was discovered abandoned and lost on a planet, then becoming the base genetic code for the Time Lord race. Given that this unveiled a brand new backstory for a character who has existed in pop culture for 60 years, it's safe to say that this was a controversial move.

However, Davies sees it as a perfect fit for the character of the Doctor, who is currently portrayed by actor Ncuti Gatwa. He explained why, also emphasizing his hope that the show long continues with that arc: "That is the journey and hopefully for seasons to come. It has put the Doctor in a very interesting position and what I love about this notion of him being a foundling, an orphan, is that it fits with the image of the Doctor anyways. He's always been alone, travelled on his own, needs a companion, finds new ones to take with him, then it breaks his heart when they leave. 

"So, that's a man always searching for a family, always creating a found family, which is wonderful, I love that. And so it fits for him to be adopted, to have been lost in the universe abandoned as a child. It's one of those great bits of lore that actually resonates with what the character always was, I'm overjoyed with it."

Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor

(Image credit: BBC)

Continuing, Davies goes on to state that he believes this backstory also means that the bond between the Doctor and current companion Ruby Sunday (portrayed by Millie Gibson) is rather special and unique. As he explains, it's because they are both foundlings: "Ruby we absolutely see in almost fairy-tale fashion being abandoned on a church doorstep at midnight in the snow on Christmas Eve. You are in the realm of myth and legend there. Suddenly the Doctor and the companion have more in common than ever before and that just makes it very resonant and striking."

The showrunner also hopes that this allows audiences to relate to the Doctor too - even if he is an alien with two hearts travelling through space and time in a police box. He concluded: "That strikes a chord for everyone - because we talk about adoption and fostering, but everyone, no matter what their family is, they wonder who they are. I mean, I was raised by my mum and dad and I still wonder where I came from - how did I come out of those two? And my sister is completely different, so I have no idea. So, I think it’s a very human feeling."

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 – stay up to date with exactly when with our Doctor Who release schedule.

For more from our interviews, here's showrunner Davies on whether we will one day see a musical episode, Gatwa on why Steven Moffat's 'Boom' is his favorite one of this season, the cast on how a new companion will shake things up for season 2, and the team revealing their all-time favorite Doctor Who villains.

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.