Neil Cross addresses whether he’d ever take over as Doctor Who showrunner

Neil Cross has opened up about whether he’d ever showrun Doctor Who.

The novelist and TV writer, who created Luther, is a big fan of the BBC sci-fi series, and got to write two episodes back in 2013.

His outings for series seven, titled “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Hide”, came during the Steven Moffatt era, when Matt Smith played the Time Lord, and Jenna-Louise Coleman played his assistant, Clara Oswald.

Russell T Davies, who rebooted the show in 2005, has returned as showrunner of the series – and The Independent asked Cross what he would do if Davies asked Cross to replace him when he decides to step away again.

Cross said he’d “be too scared to take on Doctor Who”.

“At the same time, having never met him, if Russell T Davies asked me round because he needed his house cleaned or he needed someone to cook him breakfast, I would do it without hesitation.”

He praised Davies, saying he owes him “a great deal”.

“What he did for me, and for the Doctor Who universe in general, can’t really be underestimated,” Cross continued, adding: “He has brought me more joy than any living human being.”

Cross said that he’s “quite good friends” with former Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner, who is friends with Davies.

“We don’t talk about Doctor Who very much – although I do sometimes, when I’ve had a glass of wine. Through her, I was able to get Russell’s email address, and I was able to write him essentially a fan letter to say thank you. He wrote me such a gracious reply and it made me love him even more.”

Russell T Davies has been a big influence on Neil Cross (Getty Images)
Russell T Davies has been a big influence on Neil Cross (Getty Images)

Cross has written a film version of Luther, titled Luther: The Fallen Sun, and he told The Independent he “wanted to respect the fans very much”, but acknowleged that he is often tempted to bring back characters even when he shouldn’t.

He said: “It’s the same temptation that every writer has when they write an episode of Doctor Who. You want to acknowledge your own personal experience of Doctor Who, and I was guilty of that myself when I did it.”

Cross said that he “overburdened” himself during the experience, stating: “I had the cloister bell ringing on the TARDIS and it hadn’t run since 1969.”

When asked if he regretted that addition, he replied: “Not at all, but there is an element of playing in the toybox.”

Luther: The Fallen Sun is available to stream on Netflix now.