According to Radiotimes.com Steven Moffat has decided to step down Doctor Who’s lead writer and executive producer after six series and hand over over the keys to the TARDIS at the end of the next series in 2017 to Broadchurch writer and Doctor Who fan Chris Chibnall. Like Moffat, Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer.
He said: “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.”
BBC1 has decided to air Moffat’s final 12-part series – the 10th of the modern era – in spring 2017. Chibnall’s debut series as head writer and executive producer will launch in 2018.
This means that only a Doctor Who Christmas special will air in 2016. Moffat’s final series to be broadcast next year in order to create a “huge event” for fans.
Chibnall is the man behind ITV smash hit Broadchurch but in the Who-niverse he was the co-producer andhead writer on Torchwood’s first the has also written many episodes of Doctor Who, including 42, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three.
As well as that he acted as producer and head writer for BBC drama Born and Bred, got Merlin on TV and wrote on one of FTN’s favourite shows, Life on Mars.
Explaining the decision to hold Moffat’s last series until next year, BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: “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!”
Moffat said of his decision to quit: “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.”
Here’s a much younger Chibnall talking about Who back in 1986