Doctor Who boss: Why I won’t have a disabled villain
By Jennifer Ruby Showbusiness News Editor
dmg media (UK)
FOR nearly 50 years he’s been the Doctor’s most terrifying nemesis, his scarring and disability his inspiration for creating the Daleks. But Davros has been reincarnated as a character who has no need for a ‘mobile support chair’ – and none of the facial marks that made him one of Doctor Who’s most recognisable villains. Explaining the makeover, which was branded ‘woke’ by fans of the BBC show, boss Russell T Davies said he didn’t want to associate ‘disability with evil’. Julian Bleach, the fourth actor to play Davros, reprised the role in a special scene for Children In Need last week, revealing the new look. Davies told the Doctor Who Unleashed podcast that ‘time and society and culture have moved on’ and producers agreed they could no longer have a ‘wheelchair user who is evil’. He said he wasn’t ‘blaming people in the past’ for making Davros that way in 1975, but said: ‘When the world changes, Doctor Who has to change as well.’ Some viewers took umbrage, saying villains can be disabled, just as heroes can. One wrote on X: ‘I guarantee no one had an issue with Davros before Russell mentioned this.’ Another wrote: ‘Having him now magically cured really isn’t the answer as that is also problematic.’ The show will return on Sunday for a run of three special episodes with former Doctor David Tennant. New Doctor Ncuti Gatwa will take over in the Christmas special.