Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has announced the next series will be his last, with Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) to become new Head Writer and Executive Producer.
Moffat has steered the Doctor Who universe as Exec Producer since 2010, following Russell T. Davies, introducing both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi as Time Lords as well as companions in Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman, plus River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the Weeping Angels. His tenure also included the 50th Anniversary special in 2013, ‘The Day of the Doctor.’
The announcement also means there will be no series in 2016, with the next season in Spring 2017 (Autumn 2017 in Australia) but there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.
“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,” Moffat said. “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.”
Moffat recently told TV Tonight of his on-going frustration at press spinning his every quote on his shows, including Sherlock, into a headline.
“I was once asked a fairly benign question, ‘Why do you write such complicated plotlines for Doctor Who?’ First of all I said, ‘This is a show for 8 year olds, it’s not that complicated.’ But the fact is I’m frightened of that because Doctor Who fans are not stupid. It was quoted as ‘Steven Moffat says Doctor Who fans are stupid if they don’t follow the plots’ and the headline was ‘Steven Moffat says Doctor Who fans are stupid.’ It’s straight-forward, spite-driven lies!,” he said.
“A lot of people we know are stopping doing print interviews –and I will one day too- because they are sick of it happening.”
Chris Chibnall regards himself as a lifelong Doctor Who fan and is creator of the hit UK drama Broadchurch. His other credits include The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood. His first script for Doctor Who was 2007’s “42,”
Chris Chibnall, new Head Writer and Executive Producer, says: “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.”
Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, says : “I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy. I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion. I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 – I promise it will be worth the wait! I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.”
Chibnall’s debut series will launch in 2018.