Russell T Davies described the new series of Doctor Who as a “lovely big hug from your friend”, which he is determined to retain as “terrible things” happen around the world.
The Doctor Who showrunner, who was behind the 2005 revival of the long-running BBC series, arrived for the premiere at the BFI Southbank in London, alongside Ncuti Gatwa who plays the Time Lord, and Millie Gibson who is his sidekick Ruby Sunday.
The premiere comes after a trio of 60th anniversary episodes aired on the BBC, starring David Tennant as the 14th doctor alongside Catherine Tate as Donna Noble – while the next episode featuring Gatwa and Gibson will air on Christmas Day.
“It is a feel good show and I’m very determined to keep it that way because it’s a tough world,” Davies told the PA news agency.
“Not only are there terrible things happening in the world, but we’re told about them constantly, it is the 24 hour news coverage, it worries me that children see this.
“It is certainly my own point of view generally that levels of mental health among young people is a scary thing these days, so if we can put a show out into the world that makes you smile, that is a warm hope, that is an hour of joy once a week – many hours of joy if you want to go back through the archive – then that’s no bad thing.”
Davies, who said he continued to be a “faithful viewer” of the show even after his departure in 2009, said there are a “lot of dramas telling you how bad the world is” at the moment.
“…I’ve done a few of those myself and they’re very good and we need those dramas but we also need the opposite.
“We also need something we can have a laugh, two characters in the lead who are your friends. That’s what this is, it is a lovely big hug from your friend.”
While Sex Education star Gatwa said starring in the show has been “daunting”, he described it as a labour of love “created by people who love the show”.
The 31-year-old told PA: “It’s a family show, so hopefully it is able to bring families together, but also it has been written by a very clever man.
“The show is very reflective of the world and of society, and where it’s at so I think you see things that we go through as humans in the show, very cleverly done so I think you’ll see a lot of humanity and hope.”