After six series at the helm, the multi-award-winning Steven Moffat has decided to step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall, whose credits include Broadchurch (which starred former Doctor Who David Tennant), Doctor Who, Torchwood and Life on Mars.
Steven took over the reins on Series 5 in 2010 and during his tenure the show has become a truly global success. He has been responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors in Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi; as well as two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and iconic characters and monsters including River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill) and the terrifying Weeping Angels. Plus, the smash hit 50th Anniversary special in 2013 which saw fans around the world celebrate the world’s longest-running SF series with the Doctors Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt battling the deadly Daleks in a feature-length episode.
Steven’s final series will air on BBC One in spring 2017 and there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.
“It 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,” Steven Moffat says. “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.”
Like Steven, Chris Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award-winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved huge 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. His debut Doctor Who series will launch in 2018.
“Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme,” he enthuses, “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.”
Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “Like Charlotte, I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure. Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist! Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for fans across the world.”
• BBC Official Doctor Who Site: www.bbc.com/doctorwho