It seems like fans' suggestions for the new Doctor on Doctor Who may be falling on deaf ears.
Chris Chibnall's first task as the incoming showrunner on Doctor Who will be to replace outgoing star Peter Capaldi by casting the Thirteenth Doctor. Fans on social media have been vocal about their desire to see a woman or a person of color become the Doctor for the first time, but Chibnall insists he's not paying them any mind.
"I don't read any of that," Chibnall tells Royal Television Society. "One of your jobs as a writer is to cut out the noise. All you have is your instincts and your process. The BBC came to me because they wanted those, and so reading coverage about the show is fundamentally useless and bordering on counterproductive."
Chibnall does appreciate that fans are buzzing but feels that buzz has no place in actually steering the series.
"A TV show isn't a focus group. It is great that people are speculating about who the Doctor will be…but it won't affect in any way what we do with the show."
Fans can keep campaigning for Richard Ayoade or Hayley Atwell to play the Doctor, but it will take more than that to actually get either actor into the TARDIS.
Chibnall is a longtime Doctor Who fans who also wrote for the series during the Russell T. Davies era and was head writer on the Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood. He is taking over for Steven Moffat, who has run Doctor Who since the show's fifth season.
Capaldi, who took over as The Doctor in Season 8 following Matt Smith's departure, will leave the show after three seasons. Moffat has teased that Capaldi's regeneration will be something different from what Doctor Who fans have come to expect.
Doctor Who Season 10, which is currently airing, introduced Pearl Mackie as the new companion, Bill Potts, replacing the previous companion, Jenna Coleman's Clara Oswald, who left after Season 9. Whether Mackie will join the new Doctor in Doctor Who Season 11 is still unknown.
Doctor Who Season 10 is currently airing Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America.