There had been plenty of uncertainty about how much Doctor Who there would be in 2016, and plenty of uncertainty about Steven Moffat’s future as showrunner. In one huge announcement, just about everything has been cleared up.
The BBC have officially confirmed that Steven Moffat will be stepping down as showrunner next year, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall, who has penned several episodes as well as popular David Tennant drama Broadchurch. As expected by many, there won’t be a full series this year, with just a Christmas Special tiding us over til Series 10, Moffat’s final series, airs in spring 2017.
Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, stated:
“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!
Steven Moffat stated:
“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.”
Chris Chibnall provided his comments on taking over the job:
“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.”
So, finally, the future of Doctor Who is clear – one festival instalment this year, followed by what should be a permanent move to spring with Moffat’s final series in 2017, with Chibnall taking over from Series 11 in 2018.