When Doctor Who returned in 2005, alongside it came a support show unlike anything else at the time: Doctor Who Confidential, an extensive weekly, behind-the-scenes breakdown of how the episode you just watched got made. Although Confidential ultimately fell by the wayside, a new report suggests its spirit might live on, thanks to the return of Russell T. Davies.
British tabloid the Mirror reports that Davies has apparently commissioned Doctor Who: Unleashed, a behind-the-scenes series in the vein of Confidential that would begin with a special focusing on the series’ 60th anniversary which brings back beloved stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the Doctor and Donna Noble. Unleashed would then continue as a regular companion series when Doctor Who returns for a new season presumably sometime in 2024, following Ncuti Gatwa’s debut season as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord.
Confidential ran from 2005 until 2011 on the BBC channel BBC 3 (which itself has recently returned to airwaves in the UK after a period as an online-only channel), providing a weekly look at its accompanying Doctor Who episode from a production perspective, highlighting notable stunt or effects work, behind-the-scenes looks at art and prop making, interviewing writers about the process of ideating a scene, historical segments looking back at the series’ long history, or just in general showing the vibe on set while making a show like Doctor Who. In an era today of dwindling special features, especially in the pivot to streaming, or where such kinds of access are reserved for tightly edited online videos, something like Doctor Who Confidential still feels unfortunately unheard-of in the current pop culture landscape.
Things have gotten a little better with initiatives like Disney’s Gallery series covering the Marvel movieverse and Star Wars series, sure. But even those aren’t running in “real-time” alongside their respective releases in the way Confidential — a regular, 45-minute chunk of post-episode commentary and insight on TV every week — did with Doctor Who. If Davies’ return to the program means the return of something like Confidential in some manner too, then we’re even more excited for him to be back in the TARDIS than we already were.