60 years of Doctor Who history

Doctor Who has existed in some form or another for 60 years now, changing with each new actor, showrunner, and writer. To honor this spectacular series, check out the history of how it has evolved over time.

Peter Capaldi And New Doctor Who Companion Pearl Mackie Pose In Costume With The Tardis And A Huge
Peter Capaldi And New Doctor Who Companion Pearl Mackie Pose In Costume With The Tardis And A Huge / Tim P. Whitby/GettyImages
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2018: Chris Chibnall becomes showrunner

Chris Chibnall
Doctor Who Photocall - Red Carpet Arrivals / Anthony Devlin/GettyImages

Chris Chibnall, who had previously worked on Doctor Who and been the head writer for Torchwood, seemed like an obvious choice when it came to Doctor Who. He loved the show and had been responsible for some incredibly powerful episodes in the past.

Jodie Whittaker
"Doctor Who" - Photocall / Karwai Tang/GettyImages

Jodie Whittaker Years (2018-2022)

Chibnall cast Jodie Whittaker in the leading role, making her the first actress to portray the Doctor. This was a big moment for the series, but it also marked a major shift in the fandom. Some fans simply didn't want a woman in the role, while others were willing to give her a chance. But many older fans simply stopped watching.

There had been plenty of complaints about Steven Moffat's running of the series, particularly during Peter Capaldi's run, but they were nothing compared to this. While there was a portion of the fandom who loved the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions, they were in the minority.

Whether because of the writing, acting, or both, Doctor Who seemed to be in a period of decline. Chibnall made some big swings when it came to his storylines, and while some were engaging, others failed to come together. This period had the lowest IMDb averages of any time in "New Who."

The biggest example of the divided fanbase can be seen when it came to the "Timeless Child" plotline. The story expanded on Gallifreyan lore, introduced versions of the Doctor that pre-dated William Hartnell, and generally retconned the Time Lord race.

A major part of this was revealed by the Master, played by Sacha Dhawan. He did a wonderful job in the role, chilling audiences with his reveal in "Skyfall." However, his time as the Master was just as disjointed as other parts of this period, as he swung violently from a menacing foe to a Rasputin-impersonator, dancing to "Rasputin" by Boney M.

Perhaps this period will eventually gain respect from the fandom, as did other moments from the series that were poorly-regarded in their own time. Only time will tell. But Chibnall and Whittaker announced that they would be leaving after they finished the "Flux" specials in 2022, forcing the show once again to reinvent itself.