Doctor Who producer says not to worry about "Disneyisation" – because of Russell T Davies

 Doctor Who.
Doctor Who.

Doctor Who is returning to our screens very soon – and executive producer Joel Collins has talked about Disney's involvement in the new era.

Outside of the UK and Ireland, fresh episodes of Doctor Who will premiere on Disney Plus, a new development that began with the David Tennant-led specials in 2023. But, according to Collins, the show is still the same Who we all know and love thanks to showrunner Russell T Davies's involvement.

"From the Disney perspective, it's just a bigger audience," Collins tells SFX magazine in the new issue, which features Halo season 2 on the cover. "So, the show is bigger. But it's the same? It's hard to explain...  So, all of the fear that everyone had, the 'Disneyisation' or whatever you call it, that would only happen if it wasn't being made by Russell. Or by somebody who wasn't as big a fan as Russell."

As it turns out, Davies is also inspired by some of Disney's output, as Collins explains. "Russell wanted to bring fun to it, he just wanted to bring joy into the show and challenge people in all the right ways that Russell does. But also make it fun at the right points, make it really fun, take you on a ride. So, I think that's where the barrier to entry is removed, because adults and children alike enjoy that. And it's not like, 'Oh, it's just for kids,' or 'It's just for adults' or any of this stuff.

"Actually he always looked at Pixar films, in the way he wanted this to be," Collins continues. "If you look at that Christmas Special, he wanted it to have the fun of a Pixar film, and the complex levels of a Pixar film. No matter how well they're animated, they're all in the writing. They just are. They do workshops over the jokes and the humour and the nuance. They work with every bit of that writing in Pixar, to make sure that when they get to the animation it reaches every beat, and Russell just has that innately."

Not a subscriber to SFX? Then head on over here to get the latest issues sent directly to your home/device!

Doctor Who will be on BBC One, iPlayer, and Disney Plus in May. The above is just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, which features Halo season 2 on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, January 24. For even more from SFX, sign up for the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.