So let us be clear. I’ve been on a bit of a posting break lately, but the rumors that Moffat was looking for a replacement have been bubbling since the finale. Most posts which discussed them took this as proof Season 10 would be his last, and he was looking for a replacement. Capaldi’s hedging that he would leave post Season 10 was seen in the same vein. Capaldi wouldn’t stay post Moffat, Moffat was out by the end of next season, QED. We’d have a companion introduced this season who would cross to the next Doctor/Showrunner and be the continuity. And all those rumors about filming not starting until May and the season perhaps not being fully in 2016? Rumbles, but most quashed.
And then, less than an hour ago, the RadioTimes dropped the bomb.
Steven Moffat has decided that his “timey wimey” as showrunner of Doctor Who has come to an end and he will step down as the show’s lead writer and executive producer after six series at the helm, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
It gets worse. We have a new director (and he’s almost exactly who you might expect if you knew the shortlist.) But those truncated 2016 season rumors? You’re going to wish they were true.
Moffat will hand over the keys to the TARDIS at the end of the next series in 2017 to Broadchurch writer and Doctor Who fan Chris Chibnall.
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.
The only thing we’ll get in 2016? A Christmas special. No word if the new companion–who hasn’t been announced yet, if they’ve been cast–will be introduced now in that Christmas special, or if they will be another one-off companion like with River Song.
Much like the 2012 season delay, the BBC is once again blaming the Olympics.
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!”
I doubt that’s really what she wants to do. More likely there’s been some sort of issue–either with finding a companion in time to start filming for a 2016 season, or with Moffat and the Doctor Who production.
Not that Moffat is letting on why he decided to quit now, before Season 10 has even begun to be written, let alone what inner turmoil has delayed it.
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.”
There is no statement from Capaldi at this time.