After Doctor Who season 10, showrunner, writer, and executive producer Steven Moffat will be stepping down. The announcement was released on the show’s Twitter page that Moffate will be leaving the show, and replacing him will be Chris Chibnall, executive producer of the hit BBC show Broadchurch.
When Moffat took the position as the show’s boss in 2010, he had already been writing for Doctor Who since it was rebooted in 2005. With the transition from David Tenant to Matt Smith as the Doctor, Moffat helped lead the series into a new era. With Moffat at the helm, we have been introduced to 3 new companions and 3 new doctors (if you include the War Doctor.)
“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,” Moffat said in a statement released by the BBC. “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.”
Both Moffat and Chiball are happy with the show’s change in showrunner. “Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC program: 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,” Chibnall said about his new role. “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.”
Moffat had announced late in 2015 that he was already looking for his replacement and preparing for his departure from Doctor Who. It’s sad to see someone who has done so much for the series leave, but at least he isn’t done just yet. Moffat will not be leaving the show until after season 10 premieres in Spring 2017. Chibnall’s debut season won’t be until the following Spring 2018.
And just like the characters in Doctor Who you think are gone but then show up again as a major plot point, Moffat won’t be completely absent from the whovian universe. At their recent TCA panel, the BBC announced a Doctor Who spinoff, Class, premiering later this year which Moffat will be producing alonside Brian Minchin.