Chris Chibnall confirmed as new ‘Doctor Who’ showrunner

Doctor Who

The BBC has officially announced that Steven Moffat will step down as the lead writer of Doctor Who next year.

Steven Moffat took over as showrunner for 2010’s Season 5 following Russell T Davies’ 2005-2010 era. His sixth and final season in charge will air in spring 2017, the BBC has confirmed.

As rumoured for some time, there will not be a full season of Doctor Who this year. Instead there will be just a Christmas special and BBC Three’s upcoming spin-off, Class.

> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall will be the new showrunner and his first season will launch in 2018. It has not been revealed who will oversee 2017’s Christmas special.

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Chibnall has written several previous Doctor Who episodes, such as ’42’, ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ and ‘The Power of Three’. His other writing credits include Torchwood, The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK and Life On Mars.

Steven Moffat commented: “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.”

He joked: “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.”

Broadchurch 2

Chris Chibnall 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.”

He added: “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, commented: “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.”

Torchwood cast

Polly Hill, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, added: “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 Doctor Who fans across the world.”

Season 10 is expected to begin filming in May.

> Here’s everything we know so far about Season 10.

Are you looking forward to Chris Chibnall being showrunner? Let us know below…

  • Broadchurch 2 was a mess and Chibnall’s not written any DW episodes that are more than “just okay”… but I’ll give him a chance to prove himself. This is confirmation that Doctor Who can survive until beyond 2018 and that’s good news. Moffat was the best thing to happen to the show in its long history and we have lots to thank him for. Can Chibnall hope to come close to the high standard Moffat’s set? I doubt it. But that’s okay. I’m sure he’ll get the job done and I look forward to seeing what his vision for the show will be.

    • Alan D. Harris

      The Power of Three is Top 3 Worst Episode Ever

      • Bottom thirty I’ll give you but I wouldn’t go as far as bottom three!

        • W. Adams

          Bottom thirty for sure, and only of the revival. Not of ever. There were some low points in the older episodes. A lot of great ones for sure, but a lot of bad ones too.

  • miss-phoenix

    As long as Moffat does not leave the show to Chibnall with a Doctor newly regenerated into a woman, I’m fine. Basically, KEEP PETER CAPALDI! We should create #keeppetercapaldi.

    • My prediction is that Chibs will begin with a new Doctor to better fit his vision and direction. While I’d prefer for Peter to stay it’s probably not what will happen – which is a sad sad fact that we’ll have to get used to.

      Ideally the 13th Doctor will wait until 2019 at the earliest to show up but I can see them arriving in 2017 as Moffat goes. At least if that happens we’ll get Moffat writing Capaldi’s regeneration, so there’s a silver lining for you.

      • Isa Gunther

        i agree with Dr. Moo that I’d prefer Peter to stay, but the more likely scenario is that Chibnall will start with his own Doctor. I do like the idea of a #keepCapaldi campaign though.

  • Hh

    I think there is an expectation that each showrunner will be significantly better than the last. Certainly Steven Moffat’s era of Doctor Who is better than Russell T Davies’ in most ways, particularly writing, casting and production values, but it would be setting up Chris Chibnall for failure to think that he, or indeed anyone else, would be able to hit such heights. I think after Moffat and Capaldi, there is no problem for the show to go through a transitional period. That partnership has produced the best series in the modern era and one of the very best since the show started. Of course, Chris Chibnall is not suddenly going to be able to write masterpieces based on his very lacklustre output for the show to date. If we get at least competent Who which doesn’t return to the soap opera stylings of Davies and which doesn’t over reach itself, I’ll be happy. I think careful stewardship which doesn’t undermine the magnificent legacy of Steven Moffat, which stabilises ratings in the UK and which shores up the incredible success Steven Moffat gave the show internationally will be an achievement in itself. Just as Steven Moffat became the clear successor to Russell T Davies, Chris Chibnall might be able to mentor and encourage a greater talent during his time to take over after a year or so to get the show moving forward again after it catches its breath and recovers from the loss of Steven Moffat’s vision and ambition. Unfortunately it would appear that the BBC want Chris Chibnall to have a clear break, so Peter Capaldi may be shown the door. That seems a real mistake and let’s hope sanity prevails and he is able to stay for at least one series.

  • “It could have been a lot better. It could have been better written. It was also very clichéd. It was very routine, running up corridors and silly monsters.” That’s me discussing 42. Or The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. Or Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Or The Power of Three.

    Or maybe it’s Chibs discussing The Trial of a Time Lord. You be the judge.

  • russell

    I’ve read the previous comments, and feel that they are jumping the gun. How can we possibly judge,until we see what Chris produces? Clearly the man can write gripping telly – and he knows his Whoniverse. What struck me about Broadchurch 1, was not just the drama..pacing..and cliffhangers but its whole stylistic approach : cinematography…sound…and music; of which I believe Chris was very much involved. Such effective sweeping changes, could be fantastic in a new series.A genuine vision. On the subject of Peter, it is quite understandable, how he ( and others ) might feel he should move on; but that would be missing a trick! A fourth series,followed by someone new in the next, would be like TWO opening nights on the trot!!! Personally, I’d like him to stay- very much so. It doesn’t seem as if he’s had HIS OWN ERA YET.Pertwee and Baker’s stints under different producers , created very different results. Peter has still to truly blossom – a new take on matters, might see that full bloom…….