Change is a constant in Doctor Who. The Doctor regenerates, companions come and go, and now a new showrunner will be taking over. Steven Moffat has announced that he will be stepping down as showrunner of Doctor Who, and pass the torch on to Chris Chibnall, creator of Broadchurch.
Chibnall is no stranger to the Doctor Who universe, having worked as co-producer and writer for the spinoff show Torchwood. He’s also written several episodes of Doctor Who, including the episode “42” during David Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor, and “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” with Matt Smith as the 11th. As a fan of both the classic and the newer Doctor Who series, fans can expect someone well-versed in the show’s history and tone to take over the show.
However, Moffat’s departure will not be immediate. Doctor Who will not air in 2016, with the exception of a Christmas special (essentially giving us two Christmas specials in a row, following 2015’s “The Husbands of River Song”). Instead, the 10th season will air in spring 2017, after which Chibnall will take over for a 2018 run.
Why the delay? BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore explains: “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!”
So while there’s still some time until Moffat steps aside and Chibnall takes the reins, BBC is promising great things ahead. Now the wait for season 10 begins, a wait all too familiar to the Whovians who have to deal with time moving forward in a predictable, linear fashion.