Steven Moffat has decided to end his run as showrunner of Doctor Who after six series in this production role. He will hand off the show in 2017 to Broadchurch writer and Doctor Who fan Chris Chibnall.
Chibnall’s debut series as head writer and executive producer will launch in 2018. BBC1 has decided to air Moffat’s final 12-part series – the 10th of the modern era – in spring 2017. This means that the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas Special will be the only one to air this year, possibly featuring a new companion for Capaldi. The decision was made because BBC1 felt there would be too many conflicts with nationally televised sporting events in 2016, including the Olympics.
Moffat said of his decision to leave the show: “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”
Steven Moffat will step down as Head Writer & Exec Producer after S10… Chris Chibnall to take over! pic.twitter.com/iMhNoEAegy
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) January 22, 2016
Like Moffat, his replacement Chris Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved success with the triple BAFTA winning hit ITV series Broadchurch. His other credits include BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood.
Chibnall came forth to say: “Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who‘s creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult.”
Chibnall, who has already had a hand in the show with his screenplay for Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, clearly has the pedigree to handle his new responsibilities, as well as the passion the job requires. It’s unfortunate that we now must wait an extra year to see what he has planned for our favorite Time Lord.