Stephen Russell Davies (born 27 April 1963), better known as Russell T. Davies, is a British producer and screenwriter, born in Swansea. He added the T to his name because there was already a Russell Davies in UK media.
Known as RTD (or sometimes "Rusty") by Whovians, he has a penchant for naming characters "Tyler" and/or "Smith". He also tends to inject Camp and Technobabble in very large doses, and his characters are highly likely to be bisexual.
Originally from a background in children's TV, he wrote and produced a number of adult dramas between the mid 90s and the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, most notably Queer as Folk, and soon became one of the most influential and popular TV writers in the UK.
He was one of the executive producers on Doctor Who, along with Mal Young, Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson. RTD, however, was in charge of the creative aspect and is the "showrunner" as a US person would think of it. He is responsible for the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, and he also created its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Davies has written several Doctor Who episodes and specials over his tenure as producer, and been responsible for rewrites on many more. He has now stepped down from the position following the conclusion of production on the David Tennant era, handing the reins to Steven Moffat.
Master of the Wham Line and the Wham Episode: in his five years on Doctor Who, he was infamous for leaving the penultimate episode on a massive cliffhanger to whet appetite for the finale. He's also critical of TV executives using "Tonight, Someone Dies" and similar catchlines in commercials and claims that it impacts ratings — and admittedly, he has a point.
Liberally uses Author Appeal, and as a result, placed Wales firmly in the centre of the Whoniverse alongside London. Also became famous for finally upgrading all the Ho Yay subtext in Doctor Who to proper TV canon, for abolishing No Hugging, No Kissing in the series forever, and for dialing all of the above — Wales, Ho Yay and tons of sex — Up to Eleven and beyond in Torchwood.
Was awarded an OBE in 2008.
- Children's Ward
- Bob and Rose
- The Second Coming
- Queer as Folk
- The 2005 revival of Doctor Who (31 episodes, plus one 2005 Children in Need special, written or co-written, 2005-2010)
- Torchwood, spinoff of Doctor Who (Six episodes written or co-written)
- The Sarah Jane Adventures, another Doctor Who spinoff (Three episodes written or co-written)
- Wizards vs. Aliens (co-created with Phil Ford, two episodes written)
- Cucumber and sibling shows Banana and Tofu
Tropes concerning him and his works
- Aliens in Cardiff:
- The trope namer via Doctor Who and Torchwood. There is a dimensional rift in Cardiff that lets aliens and other entities through, which the Doctor encounters on occasion and Torchwood encounters every episode.
- More generally, he made aliens in mundane settings a big part of his revival of Who.
- Author Appeal: Wales, Ho Yay, self-aware campiness (he produced Doctor Who and a show called Wizards Vs. Aliens, for crying out loud!), and, in Doctor Who, the Daleks.
- Author Tract: In projects where he's served as showrunner, he constitutes a mild case of this (for sufficiently flexible values of 'mild'). While he does tend to harp on about homosexuality and atheism a lot, he rarely cops out, and he makes an effort not to devalue the opposing views of either topic- being straight or religious is just as likely to be explored in one of his stories.
- Camp: Pops up often, especially in his run on Doctor Who, but always with a sense of self-awareness.
- Darker and Edgier: His take on Doctor Who's mythos was this. The Time Lords were all wiped out by the Doctor's own hands, leaving a lot of angst on his part, the Daleks were more powerful, deadly, and sadistic than before, and the companion actually had to deal with the consequences of leaving her home and family to travel with the Doctor.
- Everyone Is Bi: Bisexual people are very common in his works.
- While RTD stories are very progressive, even for the era, a major theme in his stories about homosexual love is loss and mourning. His Torchwood hero, Jack Harkness, is the poster boy for pansexual hedonism, while his lovers (Ianto and Angelo in particular) serve as a cold splash of reality.
- Of special note: RTD, himself gay, has gone on record about not being the biggest fan of this trope, arguing that it in some ways perpetuates gay shame both as something experienced by homosexuals and how it is viewed by non-homosexuals, and also because it can be a bit boring, cliched and stereotypical to watch and write. As such, while most of his works deal with homosexuality and are not entirely free of angst, the characters usually angst about things other than being homosexual.
- Hotter and Sexier: While never actually explicit, Russell's run on Doctor Who contained more references to sex than most of the Classic Era, and then he produced Torchwood, which was often very explicit.
- Lying Creator: It has become well-known in the Who fandom to never trust anything Davies says.
- For one thing, he once said that he didn't like the Master and wasn't planning on bringing him back. Davies also said he didn't like multi-Doctor stories. This has also caused fans to distrust them when he says something sensible and thankfully true like "It's better not to show the Time War."
- Davies used a phony name, an anagram of Doctor Who, during production of the 2005 series to prevent would-be pirates from spotting the tapes. That phony name would later become the name of a spinoff series.
- After "Doomsday", he told the press Rose was gone for good. He told Billie Piper, "See you in two years".
- RTD's still lying in regards to Doctor Who even after stepping down from it. He said he would never write an episode for Matt Smith's Doctor. Guess who guest stars in the RTD-penned The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of the Doctor".
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: He has admitted to being this himself, and isn't happy about it.
- The Unpronounceable: A Running Gag in Doctor Who:
- Blon Fel Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius. Getting the planet's name right became a Running Gag.
- The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. This one so stumped Simon Pegg the one time he had to say it that he was told to just say it the best he could and a roaring sound was added in post-production to cover his very minor mispronunciation.
- And in Doctor Who 2007 CS "Voyage of the Damned" we have Bannakaffalatt.