Toby Whithouse has responded to rumours he’ll be the next Doctor Who showrunner.
The Being Human creator has long been a fan favourite to take over when Steven Moffat vacates the role but with the current showrunner signed up until at least Series 10 and with the airdate of that series currently rumoured to be 2017, interest in the show’s future has been high on the agenda.
Whithouse is no stranger to the show, having cut his teeth writing favourites School Reunion, The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex and A Town Called Mercy – as well as this year’s upcoming two-parter for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.
Now, Whithouse has been asked directly if there is any weight to the rumour that he’s next in line to the throne.
Speaking to The London Economic, Whithouse said:
“No-one at the BBC has ever had this conversation with me! No-one has asked me, no-one has approached me about if Steven [Moffat, the current showrunner] leaves, when Steven leaves. These are conversations that happen purely among fans, not on any official level.”
That sounds pretty definite; however Whithouse has said before that it’s ‘definitely something I’d be really tempted by’ so there’s no reason to count him out when Moffat decides to step aside with no concrete plan in place (or at least no public indication of a plan).
Moving on to this series and Whithouse told TLE just what a pleasure it is to return to the TARDIS:
“There is something so magical, so ludicrous about that show! We’re all quite established writers, but we all go back, we all keep doing it! It’s ridiculous, and it’s brilliant, and you get to work with some of the best actors in the industry. The appeal never fades: I’m 45 now, and writing: ‘Interior: TARDIS’ at the top of a scene is still really, really exciting.
“You also get to tell these extraordinary stories that you couldn’t write for any other show. I’ve written for three Doctors now, and with David [Tennant], Matt [Smith] and Peter [Capaldi], you can throw the most convoluted dialogue, the subtlest gag, at them and they will get it because they are brilliant. Watching your ridiculous, strange stories get realised by these people is a wonderful thing.”
As for what he’s writing for Capaldi, Whithouse would not be drawn:
“No! Steven would come round here and kick me in the shins! I like to know as little as possible, actually, as I really enjoy watching the show as a punter. Spoilers – that’s exactly what they are. So I have no idea what happens after my episode.”
It’s the experience of watching for the first time, as a fan with his daughter that keeps Whithouse from teasing for more secrets. “I could find out relatively easily, but I don’t want to, I want to sit on the sofa with my daughter and watch it for the first time, not knowing what’s going to happen,” he recalls. “Actually, just before Peter [Capaldi] was announced, I was with Steven and I said: ‘Look, I’ve just got to know: who is it?’ And Steven said, ‘Well, I could tell you, but then if it gets out… it’s your fault.’ Of course my response was: ‘Oh for God’s sake – don’t tell me!’”
Should Moffat stand down soon, would you like Whithouse to take over? Many of us at K Towers would!