Steven Moffat steps down as Doctor Who showrunner, Chris Chibnall will take over

Steven Moffat at Comic Con 2008
Steven Moffat at Comic Con 2008

Steven Moffat (photo ©Ewen Roberts) will hand over the TV show “Doctor Who” to Chris Chibnall, the creator of the acclaimed show “Broadchurch”. Chibnall will take over the difficult task of maintaining the success of one of the British institutions after its tenth season. This change is accompanied by important decisions by the BBC about the broadcast of the coming seasons and unfortunately the first consequence is that the next aired episode will be the 2016 Christmas special.

Over the past 15 years, Chris Chibnall has been accumulating considerable experience as both executive producer and screenwriter after writing stage plays for some years. He’s been the creator, producer and writer of the drama show “Born and Bred”, aired from 2002 to 2005. H’s been a writer for the show “Life on Mars”. He also has experience with “Doctor Who” since he was the author of a number of episodes beginning with “42” and was also co-producer and author of the spinoff “Torchwood”.

Chris Chibnall has already had experience as showrunner with the shows “Law & Order: UK”, “Camelot” and especially “Broadchurch”, which received many awards and high praise from audience and critics. In short, he has the experience needed to run a show like “Doctor Who” and is known also as a fan since the days of the classic series. However, he’ll have to wait before starting his new job.

The BBC has decided to delay the broadcast of the tenth “Doctor Who” season, the last run by Steven Moffat, to 2017, apparently in spring. Officially, the BBC preferred to keep this season and broadcast it when it will be an event because in 2016 there are the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games that will capture a lot of attention.

The eleventh season, the first created by Chris Chibnall, will be broadcast in 2018, with dates yet to be decided. It’s unclear who will produce the 2017 Christmas special. Other questions concern the show’s protagonists: will the new companion arrive in the next Christmas special or in the tenth season? Above all, will Peter Capaldi keep on playing the Doctor after the tenth season? Basically, 2016 will be a year in which we’ll be waiting for some answers.

Steven Moffat ran “Doctor Who” making the most of the wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey elements of the show. In over 50 years of history, the only constant has been change so we can expect something different from Chris Chibnall. Instead, it’s granted that from the beginning there will be people who will criticize him and miss Moffat.

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