Doctor Who: how Russell T Davies hinted at Jodie Whittaker casting

Russell T. Davies

The dust has settled on the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor in Doctor Who now, and she’s going to start filming for series 11 of the show before the year is out (and, of course, we’ll see her for the first time in the role on Christmas Day).

Ahead of the announcement that she had the role, very few people were in on the secret. But one person who did have at least some inside knowledge was former Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies. So much so that he slipped hints about her casting in a newly-published book of Doctor Who poetry.

“Let’s just say I’m friends with all these people”, Davies said of Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall (Who bosses present and future, of course). “And we’ve been friends for years. So I knew what was in the air. I knew kind of”.

Davies was invited by BBC Books to illustrate the poetry book, that’s been penned by James Goss. And he told the Radio Times that “there’s a poem called Contents, which I thought ‘Well I’ll draw a trunk, and in that trunk there’s something representing every single Doctor,” Davies recalled. And that was tough, and that was me sitting there scratching my head for a long time on some of them. And I got there! And there’s also a handbag in there, you’ll be glad to see”.

He dropped further hints too. A female mannequin inside the TARDIS. An unknown Doctor wearing women’s shoes. But also, when he was putting his work together, Davies didn’t know just who had landed the role. As such, he admitted himself that his drawings were “quite speculative”. But not far off the mark, as it turned out!

The book – Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection Of Time Lord Verse – is on sale from tomorrow.

Radio Times.