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January 22nd, 2016 128 comments

Steven Moffat to Step Down as Head Writer After S10

BBC announces Steven Moffat’s next series of Doctor Who will be his last and confirms Chris Chibnall as new Head Writer and Executive Producer.

After six incredible series at the helm, the multi-award winning Steven Moffat has decided to step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who.

Steven took over the reins on Series 5 in 2010 and during his tenure the show has become a truly global success. He has been responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors in Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi; as well as two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and iconic characters and monsters including River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the terrifying Weeping Angels. Plus, the smash hit 50th Anniversary special in 2013 which saw fans around the world celebrate the world’s longest running sci-fi series with the Doctors, Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt battling the deadly Daleks in a feature length episode. Steven’s final series will air on BBC One in Spring 2017 and there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.

Steven Moffat says : “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.”

Like Steven, Chris Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved huge success with the triple BAFTA winning hit ITV series Broadchurch. His other credits include BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood. Chris Chibnall’s debut series will launch in 2018.

Chris Chibnall, new Head Writer and Executive Producer : “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.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One says : “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. 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 would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.”

Polly Hill, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says : “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.”


  • Jake

    January 23rd, 2016 - 10:14am

    I agree!! I love Toby Whithouse’s writing and stories! His more recent ones have been a slight let down, but School Reunion, The Vampires of Venice and a Town Called Mercy were absolutely fantastic! But I think Chibnall should be good too.

  • Dem squiggles

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:52am

    If we have only got the one EP this year does that mean that we could get slightly more next year Moffat said he was arguing for more or maybe a higher budget???

  • Dem squiggles

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:42am

    Wait who is writing the 2017 christmas special…?

  • ChristopherAdventures

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:22am

    It should have been Toby Whithouse!!

    – School Reunion
    – The Vampires of Venice
    – The God Complex
    – A Town Called Mercy
    – Under The Lake/Before The Flood

    But I want Russell back

  • The original Time Lord

    January 23rd, 2016 - 8:49am


  • Still Not Ginger

    January 23rd, 2016 - 8:18am

    Now they have a years break, they have loads more time to think of good ideas!

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 8:07am

    Pretty sure that’s Elvis dude ? [even if I am not a fan of that guy].

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 8:06am

    The Original Time Lord – Agreed 🙂

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 7:48am

    Ahh, now my original comment decided to appear !!.

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 7:46am

    Bye bye Moffat !! 😀

    About time too. He outstayed his welcome. Should have left on a high back in 2013 during the 50th Anniversary just like Matt Smith had done, cos ending on a high is always a good thing.

    Bring on Chris Chibnall, even if to me personally he looks a little like Russell T. Davies.

    Sad Doctor Who won’t be on this year, but that’s ok for me, cos I’ve got plenty to keep me happy during 2016 🙂

    Busted [the band are back since 2004]
    Thunderbirds Are Go – Series 2
    Humans – Series 2
    Red Dwarf XI
    Robot Wars [new six part series]
    Star Trek – 50th Anniversary
    London MCM Expo [a.k.a. MCM London Comic-Con] May and October
    Star Wars – Rogue One

  • doctor who fan 11

    January 23rd, 2016 - 7:04am

    I had to read it twice I’m half happy half sad

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:57am

    Finally. He’d been on the show long enough as it was at the start of this decade, and got a lot of fan’s seriously annoyed over time with his dreaded Paradigm Daleks, confusing storylines, the irritating Patanoster Gang, River Song and Ashilder, making the lovely Clara the star of the show back in series 8 which ment Peter Capaldi really did not get a proper chance to shine as the Doctor during his first series which thankfully he got too last year.

    The only real things I am greatful for is his terrific ‘Day of the Doctor’, saving Doctor Who to continue for years to come by giving the Doctor a whole new regeneration cycle in ‘The Time of the Doctor’, and making Davros finally in charge of his Daleks . . . . oh, and finally giving River Song her Sonic Screwdriver . . . . so we don’t need to see her again with her ruddy “spoilers” and “hello sweetie” which drove plenty of us up the wall 😀


  • A sad whovian

    January 23rd, 2016 - 3:50am

    I’m gonna go cry in a corner now…Ill just go kill who ever made the decision to make it continue in 2017…
    How did anyone think that Doctor who stopped for 10 years?

  • Blaidd Dwrg

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:39am

    Typical! Just as started enjoying the travels of the 12th Doctor, to read that the series has ended until xmas 2016 is an utter disappointment.

    If they cant do a full series, at least have the decency to make another Easter special and a Halloween special and maybe a Thanksgiving one for the USA fans.

    And its about time Moffat stood down. He has only made a few decent stories with memorable foes, such as the Weeping Angels.

    I know that in spring next year (so over a year without a FULL series) the show is coming back. But Steven Moffat, if you ever get to read this: you have practically killed Doctor Who off!!!!

  • LongTimeFan

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:39am

    I initially enjoyed Moffat. He certainly enjoyed the complex and intertwined. But as the episodes have progressed, there is just a dark side to this man that he cannot separate from his writing, and the bright wonderment of a Dr who episode is sorely missed.

  • 76 Totter’s Lane

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:37am

    That’s 3 series we’re behind now. We should be on Series 13 in 2017.

  • 47

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:19am

    Personally I’m not disappointed. I was not a fan of the Matt Smith/Moffat era at all. Dreadful. I always felt, weight, gravity and drama, being substituted by childish temper tantrums and Jar Jar Binks antics, awful comedy and always the companions and Doctor had to be the centre of the universe, revolving around them, with soap opera relationships (“The Ponds” & then Clara/Pink in Capaldi’s first season-). Peter Capaldi is far superior, yet there was still smut, innuendo, crassness and the Doctor being belittled with toilet humour on Moffat’s watch. I will not miss that at all, for sure. It would never be done to Pertwee. And what was an excellent last season (bar a couple or three episodes), was ruined for me by the whole set up of bringing the Time Lords back, was just a vehicle for Clara to cheat death and fly off in her own Tardis. “Clara Who” is what a lot of people complain about, and it was delivered. Moffat writes top notch individual episodes, but I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the seasons, story arch’s and characters he has done, and whilst parts of the last series were the best episodes for years, parts were not. Perhaps the year off will give a greater opportunity to wrap up this era tightly, and move on.


    January 22nd, 2016 - 11:54pm

    OH MY GOD!

    No Doctor Who this year! Argggghhhhh

    BUT. Chris? Not sure about that. His work is good, but not amazing and The Power of Three was not good.

    Really don’t know what to think…..

  • Dem squiggles

    January 22nd, 2016 - 11:29pm

    I just hope chibnall’s stories aren’t as bad as 42.

  • C’Rizz

    January 22nd, 2016 - 11:22pm

    I think what’s been over looked is that the series is being bumped back. No DW in 2016?!?

  • 197h

    January 22nd, 2016 - 11:20pm

    So no new Doctor Who this year?! That’s disappointing but I guess it might help giving the show a break. I’m not disappointed at all that Moffat is going, I think we need someone new to come in and mix it up a bit. But I don’t know about Chibnall, I did enjoy Broadchurch but he has never really stood out as a Doctor Who writer to me before, I couldn’t remember anything he had written for the show and I had to google him to find out what he has been involved in, but hopefully he brings something to the table and the BBC must have faith in him since they are announcing his takeover as Showrunner.

  • JellyBaby100

    January 22nd, 2016 - 11:01pm


  • The Figure Adventurer

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:58pm

    It’s the end… but the moment couldn’t have been more prepared for…

  • Anonymous

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:56pm

    Moffat brought more to DW than any other head writer/producer. He was a very brave and adventurous writer who enriched what was becoming a very dull and dated mythologhy…too much for the haters who couldn’t move on from the soap opera of the Tennant era…but who cares about them. As a fan from the 70s he made the show for true fans…some didnt like that…I loved it and will be sad to see him go…especially to a guy who wrote Broadchurch, one of the best thrillers in yeaes only to destroy it in the second series…oh dear….good luck fans.

  • Dalekparadigm2

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:45pm

    Wow. I didn’t see this coming. Moffat had finally got an awesome episode with Heaven Sent. I never thought I’d say this but I’m a little upset. Am I ill?

  • Anonymous

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:41pm

    You clearly didnt watch series 2 of Broadchurch. ….horrible.

  • TheSupremeOne1

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:29pm

    The King is dead, long live the King…

  • The original Time Lord

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:26pm

    About time. Hopefully Chibnall will restore some sort of structure and seriousness to the show. No gender bending, no pain in the arse romance, no flirting archaeologists and no wives!

  • the astronaut of death

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:23pm


  • JasonisnotaRobot

    January 22nd, 2016 - 10:17pm

    Well this was unexpected!

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