Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, as well as Mandip Gill, have left Doctor Who after four years of making their mark on the program. This marks the end of the present era.
Chibnall had the opportunity to discuss his favorite episodes from his tenure during the post-screening Q&A at the recent press event for The Power of the Doctor, Whittaker’s farewell episode, and the BBC Centenary special.
He said it was difficult to choose and that it would be simpler to pick a favorite child when asked which episodes he was most proud of, but one particular location stuck out:
I truly enjoyed what we did with the historicals. Rosa, Demons of the Punjab, Cothran, and Weeping Angel episodes from last year were all undoubtedly favorites of mine, but they had quite distinct moods. What we attempted to achieve was a genuine variety, including a variety of tones, moods, and storylines.
The critically praised episode Rosa, written by Mallory Blackman, won the Visionary Arts Award at the 2019 BAFTAs for brilliantly conveying the narrative of Rosa Parks. Many lauded it as a return to the first season of Doctor Who when the show’s primary focus was on education and entertainment. Demons of Punjab also sheds light on the occasions leading up to India’s partition and gives us a glimpse into Yaz’s ancestry.
Ascension of the Cybermen, Fugitive of the Judoon, and Spyfall were also mentioned as some of Chibnall’s best episodes. But for him, it wasn’t necessarily one particular episode that made him happy; rather, it was the show’s general success at this period:
The team of writers and directors who joined the show from a variety of various heritages and backgrounds came into the show and told their tales, that’s what I’m very proud of. I believe we made history when Jodie became the first female Doctor. We so made history, and it will continue the following year, which is great.
Mandip Gill, who attended the Q&A with Chibnall and Whittaker on October 11 at the Curzon Bloomsbury in London, was also asked the question.
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The historical moments you cited, Demons of the Punjab and Rosa, were what made me the happiest, Gill concurred. Being a part of such things was such an honor, but in this genre, you don’t often see it.
Nevertheless, I thought the pieces were brilliantly done and written. Even though the direction was excellent, I felt so honored to have been a part of those tales because it felt so meaningful to be a part of something that I felt so strongly about and that my family could watch even though they don’t often watch sci-fi shows.
The same question was posed to Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat at the conclusion of their respective eras, and both of them struggled to choose just a few of their favorite episodes.
The Day of the Doctor, the 50th Anniversary special, was obviously featured in Moffat’s lengthy list, and he particularly singled out the episodes starring River Song, saying: “I liked writing her:
Russell T. Davies, however, responded to the question regarding his favorite episode in a more contemplative manner. Like being asked what is your favorite thing about life, it has been our life. Such a thing doesn’t exist.
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A few years later, Russell T. Davies mentioned Gridlock as his favorite episode during an appearance on the Penguin Books podcast. He claimed that creating it was insanely smart and really challenging for the team. Only Doctor Who could pull off 23-year-old traffic congestion; Star Trek wouldn’t have that! It’s a wholly Doctor Who concept.
The Power of the Doctor, the BBC Centenary Doctor Who special and final installment starring Jodie Whittaker, will air on BBC One on Sunday, October 23, at 7.30 p.m.